Financial Controllership Programme 2019: Calling future finance leaders
The Institute’s Financial Controllership Programme is accepting enrolments with the deadline of 5 June. The six-month part-time programme is taught by professional accountants in business and other experienced facilitators and aims to help participants develop competencies expected of a skilled finance leader today and add value to their business.
It is specially-designed for aspiring and recently appointed financial controllers, existing financial controllers who wish to refresh their skills, and members preparing to make the switch from practice to business. The programme runs over 16 Saturdays between June and December and covers five topics relevant to the work of a financial controller: management competency development; accounting for performance and decision making; strategic finance; risk management and corporate governance; and business ethics. The programme is open to all members with at least five years post-CPA qualification work experience. Interested members can find out more here.
Supervision and Evaluation Bureau visit the Institute
On 22 May, Vice-President Johnson Kong hosted a delegation of six officials from the Ministry of Finance’s Supervision and Evaluation Bureau led by Director General Guo Jin Xing. The Institute introduced the latest on audit reform in Hong Kong, followed by discussions on cooperation in cross-border audit cases.
New Members Cocktail
More than 160 members attended the cocktail reception on 18 May to celebrate their CPA designation. They were welcomed by Institute President Patrick Law, Council members, the Acting Registrar Jonathan Ng, members of senior management, and representatives from the Young Members Committee and various sports and recreation interest groups.
Welcoming new members at the New Members Cocktail.
Accountant’s Update Pathway 2019 (International) programme
Subscribe the 20-hour Accountant’s Update Pathway 2019 (International) programme at an early bird discounted price of HK$2,475 before 11 June. This programme will keep you up to date with global trends in financial reporting, tax harmonization across the G20, audit, regulation and technology, and includes dedicated content for Hong Kong. More information is available here.
New e-course pathways
Three pathways on data analytics, leadership and management, and business performance management have been added to the Institute’s e-course catalogue of accounting CPD. Each pathway is a 20-hour programme with 20 sessions and learners can read the material at their own pace within six months. Find out more here.
Ng Chi Ching, CPA
Complaint: Failure or neglect to observe, maintain or otherwise apply the fundamental principle of Professional Behaviour in sections 100.5(e) and 150.1 of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.
Ng was the financial controller, company secretary and compliance officer of Yorkey Optical International (Cayman) Limited, a company listed in Hong Kong. In those positions, Ng had a statutory obligation to ensure that the company complied with the relevant disclosure requirements under the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap. 571) (SFO).
In August 2012, the company announced its interim results and stated that it expected significant growth and increasing profitability in the second half of the year. However, the company’s full year results announcement in March 2013 revealed that performance had in fact deteriorated significantly. The company had therefore breached the relevant disclosure requirements by not issuing any profit warning announcement in the intervening period. The Market Misconduct Tribunal started proceedings in 2016 in relation to the breach.
The tribunal noted that Ng did not obtain the company’s monthly management accounts, and as a result, he was not alerted to the deteriorating performance during the second half of the year. Ng only became aware of the deteriorated results one month before the company’s annual results announcement, and even then he failed to ensure that the company issue a profit warning announcement.
In 2017, the tribunal found that Ng was reckless in failing to ensure the company’s timely disclosure, and that he failed to put in place a system to enable the timely identification and disclosure of price sensitive information. The tribunal found Ng had breached sections 307G(2)(a) and 307G(2)(b) of the SFO and issued sanctions against him. They also recommended referring the findings to the Institute.
Decisions and reasons: The Disciplinary Committee ordered that the name of Ng be removed from the register of CPAs for one year with effect from 13 May 2019. In addition, Ng was ordered to pay HK$32,496 towards the costs of the disciplinary proceedings. When making its decision, the committee noted that Ng’s conduct was grossly insufficient and highly undesirable. He had wholly ignored and disregarded his duties and responsibilities. The committee further noted he was appointed in the positions of the company because of his professional background as an accountant. His conduct amounted to a serious breach of statutory duties and the trust and confidence placed upon him by the public and shareholders.
Wong Suet Fan, CPA
Complaint: Guilty of professional misconduct and dishonourable conduct.
Wong was selected by the Institute for practice review in early 2016, when she was holding a practising certificate and practising as a sole proprietor. The Institute’s practice reviewers attempted to contact Wong through her registered contact addresses to arrange the review, but they were unable to obtain her response. However, Wong was able to receive the Institute’s documents for registration renewal which were sent to those same addresses, and successfully renewed her membership and practising certificate for 2017.
In May 2017, the Practice Review Committee of the Institute issued a direction to Wong requiring her to provide certain information for the practice review and cooperate with the Institute to facilitate a practice review. Wong failed to comply with the direction and did not respond to the Institute’s communications concerning the matter.
Decisions and reasons: The Disciplinary Committee ordered that the name of Wong be removed from the register of CPAs for one year with effect from 29 April 2019. In addition, Wong was ordered to pay HK$34,447 in costs of the disciplinary proceedings. The committee found Wong’s disregard of the Institute’s communications, and failure to provide a proper office address, prevented the Institute from carrying out its statutory duty to conduct a review of her practice. The committee further found Wong’s failure to maintain a proper office address was a breach of section 31 of the Professional Accountants Ordinance and would amount to a criminal offence.
Yin Yingneng, Richard, CPA
Complaint: Failure or neglect to observe, maintain or otherwise apply the fundamental principles of (i) Integrity under sections 100.5(a) and 110.2 of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants and (ii) Professional Behaviour under sections 100.5(e) and 150.1 of the code. Yin was also found guilty of professional misconduct.
Yin was appointed as the Chairman of First China Financial Network Holdings Ltd. (First China), a Hong Kong-listed company, in 2005 and was subsequently redesignated as a non-executive director. He resigned in December 2008.
In 2012, the Securities and Futures Commission filed a court action against Yin and others for their breach of director’s duties to First China. The breach concerned falsely putting forward a non-existent agreement between the company and a third party for the distribution of dividends in connection with an acquisition undertaken by the company. This caused First China to wrongly pay a dividend of RMB18,692,000 to the third party. The court found Yin breached his duties as a director under the GEM Listing Rules and common law, and ordered him to be disqualified from being a director or involved in the management of any listed or unlisted corporation in Hong Kong for four years.
Decisions and reasons: The Disciplinary Committee ordered that the name of Yin be removed from the register of CPAs for two years with effect from 24 May 2019. In addition, Yin was ordered to pay costs of the disciplinary proceedings of HK$37,000. When making its decision, the committee took into consideration that the breach of trust by a fiduciary is a very serious matter and the amount involved was material. The committee also considered mitigating factors which included the court’s acceptance that Yin was the least culpable party in view of his attempts to resist the instigator’s pressure and to find a way to return the windfall.
Details of the disciplinary findings are available at the Institute’s website: www.hkicpa.org.hk.