I am thrilled to have been elected as President of the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs. 2022 is a critical year for the Institute – it’s a year where we have to rethink what we do, reposition ourselves as a body, rebuild our image in society, and reinforce our members’ trust in us.
The regulatory reform this year will transform the Institute. We will work hard with the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau and the Financial Reporting Council to ensure that the reform is implemented smoothly and efficiently, so that the profession can be confident in the new regime.
The reform is a good opportunity to reposition the Institute, to refocus on supporting members with more technical matters, and provide a new level of support and have more flexibility in what we do. Although the Institute will be changing, we will still remain the profession’s voice in Hong Kong, and Hong Kong’s voice on the international stage, reflecting the views of our members to government and standard setting bodies. On the international stage, the development of the International Sustainability Standards Board under the IFRS Foundation will provide the profession the opportunity to contribute to this important area.
Our Qualification Programme (QP) has trained generations of accountants for over 20 years. After the Capstone was sat for the first time in the December 2021 examination session, the new QP, which reflects our key stakeholders’ demands for what they need from professional accountants, is fully introduced. The QP will be training the future generation of Hong Kong’s accountants in the technical and soft skills necessary for success.
In order to reposition the Institute, the Council must work closely with the various committees, working groups and advisory panels to ensure that our strategic initiatives are implemented efficiently. We must clearly communicate in order to develop and implement our plans that support the profession.
As the President in the 49th year of our Institute, I aim to lay a good foundation so that we can celebrate our 50th anniversary, our golden anniversary, from a position of strength.
You can read more about me, and my plans for the year ahead in my interview with A Plus here.
Advocating for a better future for Hong Kong and improvements to the business regime is an important task that the Institute undertakes.
In mid-January, we held a media briefing on our budget submission for 2022-23. Under the theme “Building a Sustainable Future for Hong Kong, its Economy and Community,” the submission includes more than 40 measures, both immediate and longer-term. These are aimed at maintaining the city’s competitive edge, ensuring a sustainable tax system, rolling out relief measures to help businesses and citizens ride through these challenging times, and helping Hong Kong achieve the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. You can find the submission on the Institute’s website, and there will be a budget response after the financial secretary delivers his budget next month.
As professional accountants we all know the importance of maintaining work-life balance. Yoga is important to me and what keeps me balanced. I’ve been practicing yoga for over 10 years now, and find that it helps me to de-stress after a busy day and stay fit and healthy. It allows me to calm down and have a moment of clarity, refreshing my mind and enabling me to concentrate again on my work. To encourage members to give this activity a go, I helped to lead an e-seminar in mid-January organized by the Sports and Recreation Committee on some simple yoga poses that I find help me to relax my tight muscles and ease pain in your neck, shoulders and back after a long working day.
I recorded a video to celebrate the Chinese New Year, and set out the Institute’s tasks for the year ahead. You can find it via the Institute’s website and YouTube channel. The year of the tiger will be a transformative year for the Institute. During my presidency, I intend to imbue in the Institute the attributes of the tiger: power, determination and adaption, so that we can succeed.
With Chinese New Year just ahead, I wish you all safe times, good health, and prosperity.
Loretta Fong CPA (practising)
“As the President in the 49th year of our Institute, I aim to lay a good foundation so that we can celebrate our 50th anniversary, our golden anniversary, from a position of strength.”