AC students grab top prize in inaugural AIA Finance Case Study Competition

Michelle Leung

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Three students from the Department of Accountancy (AC) outperformed teams from top universities in the mainland, Macau and Hong Kong, including Tsinghua University, Peking University and the University of Hong Kong, to clinch the championship in the first ever Finance Case Study Competition organized by the Association of International Accountants (AIA).


The students’ achievement fully demonstrates that CityU nurtures high-calibre future accountants with expert communication skills through its provision of professional education.


CityU’s team—Vivian Jiang Weiyi, Sally Sun Qianhui and Vivian Lam Yi-man, Year 3 students studying for the Bachelor of Business Administration programme—cleared two rounds of the competition, entitled the “Quest for the Future International Accountants”, to make the finals at Shantou University, Guangdong, held between 5 and 6 November.


The AIA competition promotes the importance of English language presentation and financial analysis skills in formulating business strategy. Contestants have to submit a written report based on a case study, deliver a presentation, and answer questions from a panel of judges. In addition to possessing a sound knowledge of accountancy, students have to prove their teamwork, problem solving, financial analysis and strategic planning skills.


“The judges were very impressed by the performance of the CityU team, especially the students’ English language presentation and communication skills,” said Dr Tony Shieh, Assistant Professor in AC and the coach of the award-winning team. “In the Q&A session, the students gave concise answers that went straight to the point,” he added.


Team leader Ms Jiang said the key to the team’s triumph was the applicable knowledge and skills that CityU had equipped them with. “The Accounting Scholars Programme offered by the Department has given us valuable opportunities to access updated knowledge about accountancy and the workshops on the programme helped us develop our presentation skills, which made us stand out from the other teams during the competition,” Ms Jiang said.


The team added that by taking part in the competition, they gained greater understanding of the International Financial Reporting Standards—a set of accounting standards issued by the International Accounting Standards Board—and practical accounting applications. They said that they would like to thank Dr Shieh and Mr David Yip, Visiting Associate Professor in the Department, for their inspirational guidance and support.


Dr Shieh acknowledged that the three students had put a great deal of work into preparing for the challenge of the competition, despite their busy schedules. “As final-year students, they have been tied up with lectures, assignments and job hunting over the last two months, but they still devoted a lot of time to prepare for the contest. I think this is another major reason for their success,” he said.


AIA is a professional international accountancy examining and membership body founded in 1928. It is one of the six statutory Recognized Qualifying Bodies in the UK for company auditors under the Companies Act 1989. The AIA professional qualification is also recognized throughout the European Union and in other major financial centres around the world, including Hong Kong.


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