Congratulations to our fellow members who were awarded honours and appointed as Justices of the Peace on 1 October. It is pleasing to see members being commended for their activities in our community and demonstrating the commitment of our profession to our home.
This year two Past Presidents, Roger Best and Clement Chan, received a Medal of Honour and were made a Justice of the Peace (JP) respectively. Current Council members were also among the recipients. Vice President Nelson Lam was appointed a JP, and Council lay member Wilfred Wong received a Bronze Bauhinia Star. We are grateful for their service. Finally, I want to congratulate the other Institute members who were decorated. Brian Chiu Kwok-kit, JP received a Bronze Bauhinia Star; Ho Ka-Yee and Ma Ka-Hei who received the Chief Executive’s Commendation for Government/Public Service; and Andrew Weir, and Chan Yuen-sau, Kelly who were appointed as JPs.
All of these members serve as fine examples of our profession.
I look forward to welcoming members to the two online Members’ Forums we will hold in mid-November. These forums follow on from the success of the ones held last year. During the events, the Chief Executive and Registrar and I will update members on the latest developments of the Institute, and you will be able to tell us your thoughts about the development of the profession. If you are unable to attend the forums, they will be recorded so you can still hear our update and contribute your views through a survey.
As well as the Members’ Forums, November also features the symposium for small and medium practices (SMP) and the Young Members Conference for our members. This year, as is the new normal, both events will be held virtually – but will still deliver the information members need. At the 2020 SMP Symposium, I will discuss some of the developments at the International Federation of Accountants’ SMP Advisory Group – of which I am a member – and which has been busy with preparing guidance for SMPs. Other speakers will cover important considerations for SMPs, including taxation, accounting standards, licensing regimes and anti-money laundering.
The Young Members Conference will feature a mix of young and seasoned speakers from different fields sharing their experience on working outside Hong Kong or in specialisms besides auditing and accounting. I urge young members to watch the session and consider how it can help your career. As a long-time non-assurance specialist, I extol the virtues of looking beyond auditing! Recruitment consultants will also provide tips on career planning and an overview of the current job market.
The Financial Industry Recruitment Scheme for Tomorrow, a scheme to create 1,500 jobs in the finance industry supported by the government through the Anti-epidemic Fund, received applications from almost 700 companies during its batch application period. Accounting firms comprised a significant proportion, and I hope that our firms will use the support offered by the government to create jobs for our younger generations, many of whom are struggling in the face of an unemployment rate not seen since in Hong Kong the SARS crisis. As business leaders, we have an important role to play in supporting Hong Kong through this challenging time.
The disruption of the past year has impacted us all in many ways. Slowly, the world is learning how to handle the pandemic, and the focus of many is turning to preparing for a better future. For the Institute, 2021 will be an important year in the implementation of our Strategic Plan 2020-2022 and helping Hong Kong to recover. That’s why I urge members to consider nominating themselves to serve on the Institute’s committees or as a co-opted Council member.
Join a committee relevant to your interests or sector and help to build the trust needed for a better tomorrow. Members who are currently on committees must also submit their nominations. Members received an email in October about the nomination process, and nomination forms should be completed before Friday 20 November.
As we head into winter, thoughts turn to our Annual Dinner. Members have been asking me about whether the dinner – one of our most important functions – will go ahead this year, due to the restrictions on group gatherings. As these restrictions have been easing recently, the Institute is working on ways to hold the dinner, and members will be informed when the decision is made.
“For the Institute, 2021 will be an important year in the implementation of our Strategic Plan 2020-2022 and helping Hong Kong to recover.”