The CPA Conference 2021 to cover how COVID-19 has changed the profession
The Institute’s debut conference for both professional accountants in business and professional accountants in practice will take place on 2 October at Kowloon Shangri-La, Hong Kong.
Themed “Transcending together,” the conference will cover the business lessons learnt from the pandemic, doing business with purpose, the need for digital transformation, the future of the finance function, as well as the evolving skill sets and the path forward for the accounting profession. It will provide a platform for speakers to share their insights with members on the latest trends and issues having an impact on the work of CPAs in business and practice.
The event is divided into two sessions, with one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and will be conducted in Cantonese. More details about the conference and its panel discussions are available on the Institute’s website. Online enrolment will close on 24 September.
Hong Kong CPAs and GBA Survey report out now
The Institute has published its findings of a survey aimed at collecting the views of members and Qualification Programme (QP) students about the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA) and the specific opportunities they think are in the area for Hong Kong CPAs.
The survey, which was conducted between May and June by the Institute for the GBA Committee, received responses from 166 members and 65 QP students. The results of the survey will be used by the committee to inform and evolve the Institute’s GBA strategy and initiatives. The report is available on the Institute’s website.
72nd National Day Celebration for the Accountancy Profession
The Institute will jointly hold the 72nd National Day Celebration for the Accountancy Profession with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants on 28 September at JW Marriott Hotel Hong Kong. Members are invited to come together to foster a much closer alliance and to promote unity and solidarity among those in the profession. Members can book their seats or become a sponsor via the Institute’s website.
Call for new QP facilitators
The Institute is recruiting workshop facilitators for the QP who will play a key role in unlocking the potential of prospective CPAs and helping them become future-ready. Facilitators are required to have a minimum of four years’ membership with the Institute; hold or recently held a responsible position in a professional, business, government or academic organization; have a working knowledge and have demonstrated technical competence in the module subject matter; and good command of spoken English.
New interns sections launched on HKICPA Source
A new internship opportunities section has been launched on HKICPA Source, the Institute’s online portal of accounting and finance job listings. Companies offering internships to students or recent graduates are invited to publish the job posting on the online portal for free. Visit the Institute’s website for details.
Institute rolls out tech survey
The Institute is conducting a survey on the technology usage by accountants in practice and business. The results will help the Institute’s Digitalization Committee to develop strategies to support the profession’s needs. Members and QP students should have received the survey invitation email. The survey will close on 26 September.
Minutes of Council meetings
The abridged minutes from the June and July Council meetings are now available. They can be found in the “Members’ area” of the Institute’s website.
Resolution by agreement
Hsu Shiu Hung, Kenneth CPA (practising) and Kenneth S.H. Hsu & Co.
Complaint: Failure or neglect to observe, maintain or otherwise apply Hong Kong Standard on Auditing (HKSA) 315 Identifying and Assessing the Risks of Material Misstatement through Understanding the Entity and Its Environment, HKSA 330 The Auditor’s Responses to Assessed Risks, HKSA 500 Audit Evidence and the fundamental principleof professional competence and due care in sections 110.1A1(c) and R113.1 under Chapter A of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.
The respondents expressed an unmodified auditor’s opinion on the financial statements of a private company for the year ended 31 March 2019. They failed to perform appropriate audit procedures to evaluate whether some of the company’s expenses were for genuine business purposes and properly approved. In particular, they failed to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence supporting lump sum payments for expenses made through a shareholder of the company. In addition, they did not evaluate how the company’s inability to provide support for the payments would impact the auditor’s opinion.
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 the 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.
Leung Wah CPA (practising)
Complaint: Failure or neglect to observe, maintain or otherwise apply the fundamental principle of professional competence and due care in sections 100.5(c) and 130.1 of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, HKSA 300 Planning an Audit of Financial Statements, HKSA 315 Identifying and Assessing the Risks of Material Misstatement through Understanding the Entity and Its Environment, HKSA 500 Audit Evidence, HKSA 700 Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements, Hong Kong Standard on Quality Control 1 Quality Control for Firms that Perform Audits and Reviews of Financial Statements, and Other Assurance and Related Services Engagements, and being guilty of professional misconduct.
Leung was the sole practitioner of Leung Wah & Co., a firm which is now de-registered, and the managing director of Hong Kong Wan Long CPA Limited (collectively, practices). The practices shared the same quality control system, audit methodology and staff resources. He was responsible for the quality control system of the practices. An initial practice review conducted on the practices revealed a number of deficiencies both in the practices’ quality control system and Leung Wah & Co.’s audit and compliance engagements.
The Disciplinary Committee further found that the multiple breaches of professional standards demonstrated that Leung disregarded the requirements of the professional standards, and his quality of work fell far below the standard expected of a CPA (practising). Such serious lack of regard to professional standards amounted to professional misconduct.
Decisions and reasons: The Disciplinary Committee reprimanded Leung and ordered the cancellation of his practising certificate, with no issuance of a practising certificate to him for 10 months. In addition, Leung was ordered to pay costs of the disciplinary proceedings of HK$111,134. When making its decision, the committee took into consideration the nature of the breaches committed in this case and the respondent’s admission of the complaint.
Hong Kong Institute of CPAs settles regulatory proceedings involving a CPA (practising)
The Hong Kong Institute of CPAs has settled regulatory proceedings concerning alleged non-compliance of its professional standards involving Wan Hing Chuen CPA (practising).
The matter concerns audit deficiencies identified in a practice review conducted on Li, Tang, Chen & Co. Wan was the engagement partner of an audit of the consolidated financial statements of a Hong Kong listed company and its subsidiaries for the year ended 31 December 2016. The audit was selected for review as part of the Institute’s practice review of the firm in 2018.
The practice reviewer identified significant deficiencies that showed that Wan failed to perform adequate audit procedure, and/or prepare adequate documentation, on a number of material items in the financial statements: available-for-sale financial assets, convertible bonds at fair value through profit or loss, and a gain on disposal of financial assets. As a result, Wan failed or neglected to observe, maintain or otherwise apply HKSA 230 Audit Documentation and/or HKSA 500 Audit Evidence.
Settlement agreement: The Council of the Institute has agreed with Wan that:
- Wan acknowledges the facts of the case and areas of non-compliance with professional standards;
- Wan be reprimanded; and
- Wan pays a financial penalty to the Institute of HK$75,000 and makes a contribution to the costs of the Institute in the amount of HK$50,000.
The Institute considers a settlement on the agreed basis to be in the public interest. In the circumstances, the Institute is satisfied that there is no purpose to be served in pursuing disciplinary proceedings.
Details of the resolution by agreement, disciplinary finding and settlement are available at the Institute’s website.