During the month of March, the Institute worked hard to champion the needs of the profession in face of the fifth wave of COVID-19 cases locally. We have been maintaining ongoing communications with authorities to relay the concerns and challenges faced by our members and the profession under the prevailing situation.
For instance, the Institute has been communicating with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) and requested extensions of upcoming profits tax, salaries tax and other filing due dates, and asked for clear and early guidance on flexibility around other tax deadlines. We were therefore pleased to share with our members that the IRD responded favourably to some of the main requests made by the Institute and other stakeholders, and announced arrangements for certain longer extended tax due dates. Communications about announcements made by the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, the Securities and Futures Commission, and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority can all be found on the Institute’s COVID-19 – CPA Information Centre webpage.
While we will continue to explore possible ways to help members, we also seek to give back to society where we can. In the past month, the Institute donated approximately HK$1 out of each member’s membership fee to, jointly with other accounting bodies, offer financial support to local community service groups that are working hard to help the underprivileged fight against the pandemic. As an organization that represents this prestigious profession, we do not take our privilege lightly.
On 9 March, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) launched its Engagement and Consultation Paper on the further reform of the accounting profession to provide an explanation of its regulatory principles and approaches, and has invited interested parties and the public to share their views on or before 4 May. As these changes are expected to have a profound effect on members, the Institute is jointly organizing three members’ forums on 4, 7 and 11 April with the FRC, Hong Kong Association of Registered Public Interest Entity Auditors Limited, and Society of Chinese Accountants and Auditors respectively for different groups of audiences. Visit the Institute’s website for more information.
We will also be hosting a members’ forum in light of the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau’s proposal to revise the election arrangements of the Council of the Institute. The proposals include legislative amendments in three aspects:
(a) Raising the nomination threshold for election to the Council;
(b) Aligning the election cycle for the 14 elected Council members from an annual cycle to a biennial cycle; and
(c) Enhancing the administrative procedures of the Institute.
A new webpage has been set up on the matter, which will bring together relevant information to help members keep abreast of the recent developments, and the Institute will host a members’ forum on 8 April, where Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Joseph Chan, and the Legislative Councillor of the Accountancy Functional Constituency, Edmund Wong have been invited to discuss the preliminary proposals. We will also be launching a members’ survey to gauge your views on the matter very soon.
It is paramount that members’ views are adequately consulted and relayed as we implement these important changes. I would encourage our members to make sure they are sufficiently educated on the matters and seize the opportunity to voice their opinions through the members’ forum and upcoming survey.
How we handle change is a great litmus test for our character, and we hope the culture of the profession and Institute can shine through collectively. The Institute will continue to monitor the various evolving situations and we will listen to your thoughts. Please continue to stay tuned to the Institute’s communications and thank you for your support.
Loretta Fong CPA (practising)
“It is paramount that members’ views are adequately consulted and relayed as we implement these important changes. I would encourage our members to make sure they are sufficiently educated on the matters and seize the opportunity to voice their opinions through the members’ forum and upcoming survey.”