New Institute leadership and Council elected
Leung Sze Kit, Roy was elected the Institute’s President for the 2023/24 Council, following the 51st annual general meeting (AGM) held on 7 December 2023, and Au Chun Hing, Edward and Law Cheuk Kin, Stephen, JP as Vice-Presidents.
Leung, Partner and Head of Public Affairs, Hong Kong of KPMG, has served on the Council since 2018.
Vice-President Au served on the Council from 2019 to 2020 before returning and served as Vice-President in 2022, while Vice-President Law served on the Council from 2010 to 2017 before returning in 2022.
In the Council election, 14 Council members were elected and they will serve for a term of two years. The terms of office of the President and Vice-Presidents are one year respectively. The Immediate Past President will hold office as a member of the Council until the conclusion of the 52th AGM.
- Leung Sze Kit, Roy (President)
- Au Chun Hing, Edward (Vice-President)
- Law Cheuk Kin, Stephen, JP (Vice-President)
- Chan Ting Bond, Michael
- Lam Siu Fung, Frank
- Lee Shun Yi, Jasmine
- Li Shun Fai, Michael
- Liu Kwok Tai, Teddy
- Lo Charbon
- Tong Piu, Barry
- Tse Hoi Fat, Calvin
- Wong Wai Kei, Vicky
- Wu Chun Sing, Parco
- Yeung Long Yan
Immediate Past President
- Fong Wan Huen, Loretta
Government-appointed lay members
- Au King Lun, MH, PhD
- Choi Heung Kwan, Agnes, MH
- Ho Shuk Ying, Sabrina
- Ng Choi Yuk, Theresa, JP
- Tang Helen, JP
- Cheung Sau Lan, Susanna, JP
Institute announces tax policy and proposals for 2024-25 Budget
Under the theme “Reinvigorate and Reinvent Hong Kong,” the Institute put forward proposals for the government’s 2024-25 budget under four key themes covering stimulating investment; attracting and retaining talent and fostering innovation; supporting the wellbeing of the community and promoting sustainability; as well as reforming the tax system. These are aimed at retaining Hong Kong’s vibrancy and attractiveness to investors and talents, as well as re-energizing its status as a leading international financial centre. A press briefing was held on 23 January to announce the proposals.
Best Corporate Governance and ESG Awards 2023
The results for the Best Corporate Governance and ESG Awards 2023 were announced last November. The event saw a record number of 34 awardees in the 24th edition of the awards. This includes 12 Most Sustainable Companies/Organizations Award winners, which remains the top accolades in the competition. Separate corporate governance (CG) and environmental, social and governance (ESG) awards were also awarded to companies and public sector organizations that achieved a high standard of performance in either CG or ESG.
The awards reflected that it is still unusual to find assurance of data in sustainability or ESG reports, which is consistent with the findings of the Institute’s recent study, ESG Assurance in Hong Kong 2023: An evolving landscape. The study, which expands on the 2021 study of the same theme, reviews the state of play of ESG assurance in the local market and makes key recommendations based on the results.
Studies look at talent shortage, SMP tech adoption
The Institute conducted the Survey on shortage of accounting professionals in Hong Kong to gain insights from members into the current state of talent supply within the accounting profession in Hong Kong. The Institute proposes several recommendations based on the findings of the survey, including the inclusion of the accounting profession in the Talent List; expanding the scope of the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates to cover the Institute’s accredited programmes in the Greater Bay Area; and subsidizing the study of the Institute’s Qualification Programme (QP).
Meanwhile, with many small- and medium-sized practices (SMPs) yet to adopt technology, the Institute also launched a study to offer a roadmap for SMPs seeking to navigate digital transformation. The Institute conducted a series of interviews with SMPs and technology vendors as part of the study. The findings shed light on the inherent challenges in digital transformation that SMPs face, such as costs and the need for training and development. It also highlights the potential benefits, and offers strategic insights to gain a competitive edge while overcoming risks.
50th Anniversary Gala Dinner
Over 500 guests and members were in attendance at the 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner held on 4 December 2023. Under the theme “Accounting for Success Now and Beyond,” the occasion was a joyous celebration of our achievements over the past half century, as well as the Institute’s continued efforts to facilitate the profession’s continued role as mainstays of Hong Kong’s development. Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee was the guest of honour. A special ceremony was also held to honour the Institute’s first cohort of members.
Annual report 2023 published
Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Institute, the Annual Report 2023’s theme, “Accounting for Success Now and Beyond,” encapsulates the Institute’s dedication to not only achieving success with the profession in the present, but also embracing the future with resilience and vision. The report includes a glimpse at some of the Institute’s most significant milestones, charting our path so far and taking stock of the magnificent legacy left by those before us. Each chapter includes a photo collage that reflects the rich and dynamic history of the Institute and the profession in their interactions within and with the broader society.
Recap of 2023 student engagement activities and initiatives for 2024
To kickstart the new year, the Institute reflected on the remarkable student engagement activities organized in 2023, including QP talks; business case competition; career building workshops and seminars; employer engagement; and the digitalization of QP. Events planned for 2024 and beyond include: expanded outreach with secondary schools; strengthened collaborative partnerships with universities, professional organizations, and industry leaders; and exploring development of the Interim Qualification. More details can be found here.
For employers, this toolkit will help clarify misconceptions and emphasize the indispensability and impact of the profession, and the long-term value of the QP.
Council meeting minutes
The abridged minutes from the October, November and December 2023 Council meetings are now available.
Chan Wai Ping CPA
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 of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (Code); Hong Kong Standard on Quality Control (HKSQC) 1 Quality Control for Firms that Perform Audits and Reviews of Financial Statements, and Other Assurance and Related Services Engagements; Hong Kong Standard on Auditing (HKSA) 220 Quality Control for an Audit of Financial Statements; HKSA 230 Audit Documentation; HKSA 240 The Auditor’s Responsibilities Relating to Fraud in an Audit of Financial Statements; HKSA 315 Identifying and Assessing the Risks of Material Misstatement through Understanding the Entity and Its Environment; HKSA 320 Materiality in Planning and Performing an Audit; HKSA 330 The Auditor’s Responses to Assessed Risks; and HKSA 500 Audit Evidence; and being guilty of dishonourable misconduct.
As the sole practising director of a corporate practice, Chan Wai Ping & Co. Limited (practice), Chan was responsible for operating the practice, including its compliance with relevant laws and regulations, as well as for the practice’s quality control system and the quality of its audit engagements. The practice was subject to a first-time practice review in March 2016 and a follow-up practice review which was concluded in June 2019 (review). During the review, the practice review team (reviewer) found that the practice had amended the audit working papers pertaining to a client’s audit. The reviewer also noted that the practice did not adopt audit programmes in a number of audit engagements, and the practice did not have adequate policies and procedures to address potential threats to auditor’s independence caused by its provision of accounting services to certain audit clients. Further, the reviewer identified specific deficiencies in two of the practice’s clients’ audits. The Practice Review Committee (PRC) decided to raise a complaint against Chan.
In communicating with Chan/the practice during the course of handling the complaint, the Institute found that the practice had failed to notify the Registrar of a change in the address of its registered office in accordance with the pre-amended Professional Accountants Ordinance (Cap. 50). Alternatively, Chan intentionally or recklessly failed to cooperate with the Institute pertaining to the handling of the subject PRC complaint. This indicates improper conduct on the part of Chan.
Decisions and reasons: The Disciplinary Committee found that Chan had been guilty of dishonourable conduct. The committee reprimanded Chan and ordered that the name of Chan be removed from the register of CPAs for two years and her practising certificate be cancelled and not to be issued to her for a period of 24 months with effect from 22 November 2023. Chan was ordered to pay the costs of the disciplinary proceedings of HK$101,446.
Cheung Chun Wing CPA
Complaint: Failure or neglected to observe, maintain or otherwise apply the fundamental principle of integrity in sections R111.1 and R111.2 under Chapter A of the Code; the fundamental principle of professional competence and due care in section R113.1 under Chapter A of the code; and HKSQC 1; and being guilty of professional misconduct.
Cheung is the sole proprietor of a firm (practice). He is responsible for the practice’s quality control system and the quality of its audit and compliance engagements. The practice was subject to a second full scope practice review which was concluded in February 2022. At the time of the practice review, the practice reported that it had engaged subcontractors to perform its audit work.
In the practice review, the practice reviewer (reviewer) reviewed a number of audit engagements. Cheung was found to have provided false and/or misleading representations to the reviewer, and false answers in the 2020 practice review self-assessment questionnaire. Furthermore, the practice review site visit revealed that in response to the prospect of practice review, Cheung had created audit evidence and working papers of the engagements for two clients subsequent to the completion of those audits. In addition, Cheung had manipulated the client lists provided to the reviewer in an attempt to keep the engagements with no working papers from being selected for practice review. The reviewer further found that for most of the practice’s engagements, little or no audit work had been done prior to issuing the audit reports such that there was not in existence any audit working paper or audit file. The reviewer also found a number of significant deficiencies in the practice’s quality control system and performance of the reviewed engagements.
Decisions and reasons: The Disciplinary Committee found that Cheung had been guilty of professional misconduct. The committee reprimanded Cheung and ordered that the name of Cheung be removed from the register of CPAs for four years and his practising certificate be cancelled with effect from 19 December 2023. He was ordered to pay a penalty of HK$100,000 and the costs of the disciplinary proceedings of HK$62,678.
Tan Ziwei; Wong Ka Man; Poon Chun Wa; Choi Hiu Wa; and Leung Ho Lam
Complaint: Failure or neglect to observe, maintain or otherwise apply the fundamental principle of integrity under sections 110.1 A1(a) of the Code; and being guilty of misconduct.
Tan, Wong, Poon, Choi and Leung are students registered under the Professional Accountants By-laws (Cap. 50A). They were found to have committed plagiarism by submitting identical (or in one case, nearly identical) work for a written assignment of the Law module of the conversion programme run by their former employer, a CPA firm. The CPA firm reported the case to the Institute. After considering the information available, the Institute lodged complaints against them under by-law 34(1).
Decisions and reasons: The Student Disciplinary Committee was of the view that honesty and integrity are indeed the very pillars essential to upholding the standards of the accounting profession, and the very nature of an accountant’s work must be arrived at independently. The committee found that Tan, Wong, Poon, Choi and Leung had been guilty of misconduct. The committee reprimanded them and ordered that they be declared not eligible to sit for any examination of the Institute for a period of two years with effect from 14 December 2023. They were ordered to pay costs of the disciplinary proceedings of HK$15,375 severally.
Details of the disciplinary findings are available on the Institute’s website.