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Opening-up to drive need for new talent in accounting sector

Wang Yanfei
Updated: May 11,2018 9:24 AM     China Daily

China’s efforts to promote opening-up are expected to generate more demand for accounting professionals as such moves will create a cross-border flow of talent, according to the CEO of the professional organization for certified public accountants in the United States.

Barry Melancon, president and CEO of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, said the slew of measures announced by China’s top financial regulators sent positive signals and injected confidence for market players.

The US professional association of CPAs has more than 400,000 members worldwide.

“Overall, if you look at the efforts of opening-up, China has done a remarkable job,” Melancon said. “Recent efforts will just make that quicker.”

Earlier in April, Yi Gang, the governor of the People’s Bank of China, unveiled fresh details of plans to open up the financial sector, many of which went beyond market expectations.

For instance, the long-awaited Shanghai-London Stock Connect is expected to start this year and the daily Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect quota will quadruple to 52 billion yuan ($8.3 billion) starting from May 1, according to Yi.

These efforts will significantly increase the integration of China’s market, according to Melancon.

Such measures are crucial at a time when the world is developing more rapidly, which means economies have to rely more on each other. “China, as an open market, helps with that whole process,” he said.

China’s greater involvement in the global financial markets will generate more demand for accounting professionals, providing more opportunities for the association to enhance cooperation with local institutions and help more talents in the industry to continue their training, according to Melancon.

He cited the example of the Belt and Road Initiative, which is going to create more business, a freer flow of economic factors and more opportunities for multilateral financial cooperation.

“Every one of those businesses has to have competent accountants to work in that particular process,” he said.

Demand also comes from young accounting professionals who might need to continue with further training and education, he added.

The association is looking at China as a potential exam site.

There will be plenty of changes to achieve localization in the future, because it is important to stay relevant to the needs of the profession in China, he added.