Global Accounting Stream
GA Study Trip 2019 – London (UK), Lausanne (Switzerland)
Led by Mr. Eric Leung (Associate Director, Professional Accountancy (PACC) Programme), a group of 12 Global Accounting stream students went on a 2-week study trip to the United Kingdom (UK) and Switzerland in June. With the help of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), the group visited the head offices of Barclays and Unilever in London to understand the role of accounting in the banking and fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industries. “In the presentation by the finance team at Unilever, we heard about an interesting budgeting method called ‘zero-based budgeting’ which is different from the traditional budgeting approach we learnt in class.” Patrick So (PACC (Global Accounting), Year 2) said. “The finance team explained to us how such approach helps reduce operational costs. This is my first time to see how practical accounting information can be used at a strategic level.”
As part of the UK visit, students attended a seminar at the Judge Business School of the University of Cambridge. Li Changhao (PACC (Global Accounting), Year 2) recalled his experience and said, “Dr. Michael Willis introduced how a company’s environmental impacts would be included in the preparation of financial statements. His step-by-step guidance of a real-life case inspired me much as Dr. Willis demonstrated interactions between accounting, law and risk management relating to climate change.”
The lecture was followed by a corporate visit to AstraZeneca, one of the largest global biopharmaceutical businesses. “AstraZeneca’s global sustainability team shared with us how the business achieves its sustainability development goals. The team highlighted their practical approach in implementing sustainability strategies which are far more than just focussing on environmental protection,” Li added.
The trip continued with another week in Switzerland, with 14 CUHK Master of Accountancy Programme students joining the group. PACC (Global Accounting Stream) student Nick Wong commented, “The scenery of Switzerland is always breath-taking, so is her innovation performance.” Themed as The Future Banking, the sharing session hosted by Swissquote, a leading provider of online financial and trading services, demonstrates why Switzerland can retain crown as the ‘world’s most innovative nation’. “We always hear about FinTech. The demonstrations of its key digital investment products during our visit to Swissquote let us understand how algorithms help offer new solutions to clients,” Wong added.
One of the key features of this study trip is students are required to present their recommendations to various identified business issues in two Switzerland-based companies. One of the cases is related to Reuge, a manufacturer of traditional music boxes with over 150 years’ history. “Running a business is much more than just writing up a proposal. You can never come up with a convincing strategy without paying attention to an important attribute – feasibility. Different from cases in our traditional assignments, this real business case analysis requires us to take everything into consideration rather than just creating something ‘grand’,” concluded Wong for his presentation experience to the CEO and the Global Sales and Marketing Director of Reuge.
To enrich the students’ understanding of different accounting-related issues further, the group attended lectures at the University of Lausanne. Student Sachiko Surjono recalled her two-day classroom experience, “Many of the lectures touched on topics not being covered in our curriculum at CUHK. One of them is related to the valuation and accounting disclosures of football clubs which are very popular in Europe. We might know how to conduct a simple valuation of a traditional company. However, during this seminar we were made aware of how to use accounting information to value a football club!”
GA stream students actively participate in various community services. For example, a group of GA students participated in the rickshaw race during the 18th ACCA Community Day. GA stream students also achieved outstanding results in various case competitions. For example, 1st Runner Up and Best Future Business Leader Award in CGMA Global Business Challenge 2018, Championship and Best Presenter Award in the Financial Innovation Challenge of the HSBC Financial Dialogue Series 2018; Championship and Best Presenter Award in the Tax Debate Competition; Championship of Peak Time 2016, outperforming 18 finalist teams from top business schools around the world; World’s Top 10 Final Presentation for the AAB’s International Conference, etc.