Hong Kong’s gross domestic product expanded 1.5 percent in the second quarter of this year, compared with a revised 2.9 percent growth in the previous quarter, according to the Census and Statistics Department. Led by inbound tourism and private consumption, the Hong Kong economy continued to recover in the second quarter, though the momentum softened on the back of the strong rebound in the preceding quarter, said a government spokesperson.
The percentage of audits carried out by the United States branches of global accounting firms, including the Big Four, in which deficiencies were found by inspectors of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board last year, up from 21 percent of audits inspected in 2021. Some firms told the U.S. regulator that the increase in flawed audits are due to high staff turnover and remote work, reported the Financial Times.
“Our language is an accounting language. It is sustainability translated into an accounting language.”
– Emmanuel Faber, Chair of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), spoke at the IFRS Foundation Conference on 26 June to officially launch the inaugural global ISSB Standards, IFRS S1 and IFRS S2. For the first time, the standards create a common language for disclosing the effect of climate-related risks and opportunities on a company’s prospects.
“The high-quality ethics standards in the Code are a cornerstone to ethical behaviour in business and organizations, and they underpin the accountancy profession’s longstanding good reputation.”
– Gabriela Figueiredo Dias, International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants’ (IESBA) Chair. IESBA said in early July that recent events in a number of major jurisdictions involving professional accountants have undermined public trust in the accountancy profession. It therefore emphasized the importance of accountants understanding and complying with their ethical obligations under the Code.
“This is a critical moment in advancing IOSCO’s goal of improving climate-risk disclosure for investors.”
– Jean-Paul Servais, Chair of the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). IOSCO announced on 25 July its endorsement of the ISSB’s standards following its comprehensive review of the standards. It is calling on its 130 member jurisdictions to consider how they can incorporate the standards into their respective regulatory frameworks.
The value of debt and loans issued to fund projects with environmental and social benefits in the Greater Bay Area in the second quarter, compared with 56.8 billion yuan achieved in the previous quarter, according to a report by HSBC and CECEP Environmental Consulting Group.
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The portion of Hong Kong accounting firms that currently lack 20 percent of manpower needed, according to a survey conducted by The Hong Kong Association of Registered Public Interest Entity Auditors (PIEAA) between October 2022 and February 2023. The findings highlight a serious talent shortage in the accounting industry. “This will affect Hong Kong’s position as a fundraising centre for listed companies,” Clement Chan, PIEAA’s Chairman and an Institute member, told the South China Morning Post.
The amount PwC will invest in artificial intelligence (AI) over the next five years in Mainland China and Hong Kong to “responsibly deliver human-led tech-powered solutions” to its clients. According to the firm, it will also use AI-tools and technology to enhance its internal operations.