Quality Assurance Report 2020 now available
The Institute’s Quality Assurance Report 2020 is now available. The report summarizes the work of the Quality Assurance Department in practice reviews (including anti-money laundering/counter-terrorist financing compliance monitoring review) and professional standards monitoring over the past year, and highlights common review findings that members should be aware of.
Strategic Plan 2020-2022 progress update
Visit here the two webpages on the Institute’s progress on implementing and updates to the Strategic Plan 2020-2022 Building Trust in Our Profession. The pages highlight updates and new strategic objectives and initiatives and key action items, and links to relevant publications and other material.
New thought leadership website section
The new thought leadership website section brings together the Institute’s advocacy, research, and other thought leadership initiatives. Read the articles, guidance, responses to consultations by government, regulators and international standard setters to learn how the Institute makes a difference to society through thought leadership.
New training by competencies webpage
Visit the new “Training by competencies” webpage to explore highlights of training topics that are important and relevant to your training and development. New bite-size videos for selected training programmes are also available for quick learning. Explore now, refine your training plan, and enhance your development. More topics will be introduced, stay tuned.
Digitalization Committee and Long Working Hours Steering Group
The Institute has set up the Digitalization Committee to provide support to members in identifying and evaluating the latest digital technology in audit and practice management; and the Long Working Hours Steering Group to assess and evaluate working conditions of accountants in firms and corporate practices and address related issues within the industry.
Minutes of Council meeting
The abridged minutes from the March Council meeting are now available for members to read on the Institute’s website.
Resolution by agreement
Ho Chi Pui, CPA (practising) and ANDERSON LI & HO CPA Limited
Complaint: Failure or neglect to observe, maintain or otherwise apply the fundamental principle of professional competence and due care in R113.1 and R113.2 under Chapter A of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.
The respondents issued an accountant’s report for a solicitors’ firm under the Accountant’s Report Rules (Cap. 159A). In conducting the reporting engagement, they failed to comply with the Accountant’s Report Rules and the Institute’s Practice Note 840 (Revised) Reporting on Solicitors’ Accounts under the Solicitors’ Accounts Rules and the Accountant’s Report Rules. The deficient procedures related to checking of proper authorization for withdrawals of money from client accounts; inquiring into the outstanding items of bank reconciliations; circularizing client ledger accounts; checking the firm’s recording of all bills of costs; and confirming the firm’s computerized accounting system had complied with the relevant requirement. The respondents also failed to obtain a signed engagement letter for the reporting engagement.
Regulatory action: In lieu of further proceedings, the Council concluded the following should resolve the complaint:
- The respondents acknowledge the facts of the case and areas of non-compliance with professional standards;
- The respondents be reprimanded; and
- The respondents jointly pay an administrative penalty of HK$50,000 and costs of the Institute of HK$15,000.
Chiang Sin Mei, Cindy, CPA (practising)
Complaint: Guilty of professional misconduct and dishonourable conduct.
Chiang was a CPA practising full-time in her own name. In September 2017, Chiang was selected for practice review. The review could not be carried out as a result of Chiang’s continuous non-cooperation. She failed to submit documents required for the practice review and respond to correspondence from the Quality Assurance Department of the Institute, despite the department’s repeated reminders and numerous attempts to establish contact by email and by phone. In July 2019, the Practice Review Committee issued a direction to Chiang requiring her to provide the necessary information and to cooperate with the Institute with respect to the practice review. The written direction was mailed to Chiang’s registered addresses, but the letters were returned unclaimed.
Decisions and reasons: The Disciplinary Committee reprimanded Chiang and ordered cancellation of her practising certificate, and her name be removed from the register of CPAs for three years with effect from 27 April 2021. In addition, Chiang was ordered to pay costs of the disciplinary proceedings of HK$66,051.50. When making its decision, the committee took into consideration the particulars in support of the complaint, the complainant’s submission, and Chiang’s refusal to participate in the proceedings. The committee found that Chiang deliberately avoided communications from the Institute in relation to the practice review. Her non-cooperation, which prevented the Institute from carrying out its statutory duty of conducting a practice review on her practice, amounted to professional misconduct. In addition, the committee found that Chiang, as a CPA (practising), was guilty of dishonourable conduct as her failure to maintain a valid registered office address as required under section 31(1) of the Professional Accountants Ordinance would amount to a criminal offence.
Chui Yiu Hang, CPA
Complaint: Guilty of dishonourable conduct.
Chui was convicted in the Magistrates’ Court in June 2019 of the offence of committing an act outraging public decency, and the court sentenced him to imprisonment. Chui’s appeal against the conviction was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in January 2020.
Decisions and reasons: The name of Chui be removed from the register of CPAs for 12 months. In addition, Chui was ordered to pay costs of the disciplinary proceedings of HK$29,178. When making its decision, the Disciplinary Committee took into consideration to the circumstances of this case. The committee noted that this was a second offence committed by Chui, and accordingly the matter was more serious and warranted a tougher sentence.
Details of the resolution by agreement and disciplinary findings are available at the Institute’s website.