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China is full of eastern promise

The profile of the IFA and its membership are increasing in a number of regions outside the UK, not least because of the Diploma in International Accounting Standards being offered in China and Russia. During August, chief executive J. Malcolm Dean, visited China and Hong Kong to meet and present awards to more than 50 students who recently successfully passed the Diploma, at the Tsinghua University and the Shenzhen City Employees Institute of Continued Education.

"The students are generally of a very high quality," says Mr Dean. "Many of them are Chinese CPAs, working in major organi­sations and companies." Among those receiving their diplomas were Qui Dan, a senior cost accountant in the finance department of the high-tech Harris Corporation, and George Choi, financial controller for the Wal-Mart China Company. "My studies with the IFA have helped me a lot," says Choi (who will be profiled in a future issue of Financial Accountant).

While he was there, Dean was also involved in discussions to further improve world-wide recognition of the IFA and its qualifications. This involved meeting with Mr Dong ZhiMing and Mr Tiger Laing, to discuss plans for developing the IFA in China, over the next 12 months.

It also included the signing of a mutual recognition agreement between the IFA and the Society of Registered Financial Planners Ltd in Hong Kong (RFP-HK). The agreement aims to bring the two organisations together with the objective of jointly promoting the interests of members and the accounting pro­fession, and to provide the basis to better pro­mote both bodies to government, business and academia. The agreement gives members of both groups reciprocal membership rights, at the same status. During September and October, members will be able to apply for direct entry/admission. After this, they will need to take the following:

Full member of RFP-HK joining the IFA as an associate member, will need to take Financial Accounting (associate level) and Audit Technique (associate level). A full member of the IFA joining RFP-HK will need to take Insurance Planning and Best Practice for Financial Planners. So, as Dean observes: "It makes sense to take up membership sooner rather than later."

Dean also featured on China Central TV Economic News, and in newspaper interviews in the financial press, including The Standard (Greater China's business paper) and Apple Daily (the main finan­cial journal in Hong Kong). The subject under discussion: interna­tional financial reporting standards. Although other institutes, such as the ACCA, also incorporate IFRS into their syllabus, the IFA offers the only stand-alone Diploma - hence its popularity.


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