As confirmed cases in Hong Kong continue to dwindle and social distancing measures begin to ease, I am grateful for the frontline workers who are tirelessly protecting us as well as all those in society who continue to persevere despite the challenging circumstances of the fifth wave. Nonetheless, it is important we remain vigilant and maintain necessary measures to avoid another wave.
As we slowly get back to some sense of normal in the month of April, I have been busy working with my colleagues to communicate the Institute’s refined strategic aims to our stakeholders, and to create avenues for members to make their views heard on the latest developments in the profession.
Since the Institute set out its vision, strategic objectives, and initiatives in the previous Strategic Plan 2020-2022, there have been significant new and developing changes in circumstances and challenges that need to be addressed.
Needless to say, the pandemic has had a profound impact on society and the profession. This has coincided with a fundamental change in the role and responsibilities of the Institute under the government’s further reform of the regulatory regime of the accounting profession, which will come into effect this autumn. Meanwhile, the growing recognition of the critical importance of climate change and broader sustainability matters is also shaping the future of accounting.
Recognizing these challenges, the Council and management of the Institute have been hard at work identifying necessary revisions and additions needed for the Institute’s strategic plan and objectives to ensure the Institute, the profession and our members remain as recognized and valued contributors to the prosperity and well-being of Hong Kong. I am pleased to report that the Council has approved the latest Strategic Plan 2022. The new plan will identify the Institute’s renewed priorities and direct the allocation of our resources for the rest of the year and beyond.
A new webpage with the details of the new strategic plan has been launched on the Institute’s website. There, you will also find a short video where I introduce some of the highlights of the plan. I encourage you to visit the webpage and find out more about our new objectives and corresponding key action items.
As mentioned in last issue’s message, the government has proposed revisions to the election arrangements of the Institute’s Council. Further details were announced by the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) in the Legislative Council during the Panel on Financial Affairs on 4 April.
The Council election is an important governance provision of the Institute and the proposed changes will affect all members. We considered it to be of paramount importance to consult and collate your views on the government’s proposals.
In this connection, the Institute launched a survey to all members to collect their views between 1 April and 18 April. We received 434 responses to the online survey questionnaire. The responses to these questions have been summarized and made available for members’ viewing on the designated webpage. We thank members for taking the time to respond to the survey and rest assured, your views will be shared with the FSTB for their consideration.
I was also happy to join and give the opening remarks for the four members’ forums held in April which were on the review of the Council election arrangements and the further regulatory reform of the profession respectively.
The recordings of the members’ forums as well as the presentations have been made available on the Institute’s website. If you were unable to attend, I encourage you to watch the presentations to gain a better understanding of how these changes will affect you.
Properly addressing the evolving challenges is essential to ensure that the Institute and the accounting profession in Hong Kong remains sustainable and relevant for the future. As we continue to adjust and reposition the Institute, I look forward to hearing your views on how the Institute can further support and better connect with you.
Loretta Fong CPA (practising)
“I am pleased to report that the Council has approved the latest Strategic Plan 2022. The new plan will identify the Institute’s renewed priorities and direct the allocation of our resources for the rest of the year and beyond.”