Kung Hei Fat Choi! I wish you and your families good health, happiness and fortune in this year of the pig. The pig is an auspicious year, symbolizing luck, wealth and good fortune. Feng shui masters expect that this year of the earth pig will be particularly auspicious and I hope they are correct!
The Institute kicked this auspicious year off with our annual spring cocktail event, welcoming over 300 guests including the Council and members of the Institute’s various committees and working groups, as well as special guests from government and business, to celebrate the year of the pig and prepare for the vital work over the year ahead to prepare the Institute for the future.
We have many major changes ahead of us this year, including the new Qualification Programme, recruitment of a new chief executive and registrar and beginning the Seventh Long Range Plan. You can read about my views on these and other issues in my interview with A Plus this month, which can be found here.
On Valentine’s Day we organized a special evening in Guangzhou for our members and guests from local government, regulators, professional organizations and firms. This annual event is one of our key events in the area, and I expect the importance of our relationships with our colleagues across the border to continue to grow, especially in light of the central government releasing the long-awaited Greater Bay Area blueprint, which cements Hong Kong’s role as an international financial centre and seeks to expand our role in asset management and risk management.
After the plan was released I attended an event hosted by Carrie Lam, the Hong Kong Chief Executive, with representatives from governments and professional bodies across the region, where the plan was discussed in detail. I am confident that our members’ skills in Hong Kong and the other Greater Bay Area cities will play an important role in the success of the project.
“We have many major changes ahead of us this year, including the new Qualification Programme, recruitment of a new chief executive and registrar and beginning the Seventh Long Range Plan.”
We talk a lot about how new technologies will change the way we do business, without seeing many results in practice. That’s why I found this month’s article on drones and their use in audit particularly interesting. Accounting Plus will require us to be able to use new technologies like drones, and it’s interesting to think how we can use them in our own work. You can find the article here.
Another major development in Hong Kong this year is the expansion in the powers of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), and the transfer of responsibility for the regulation of auditors of listed companies from the Institute to the FRC. The Financial Reporting Council (Amendment) Bill 2018 was passed by the Legislative Council at the end of January, and gazetted mid-February, and we now move on to helping the FRC prepare for its newly expanded role. We will be working with the government and FRC to ensure the outstanding issues are resolved before the new regulatory regime becomes effective. This development caps over 10 years of work by the Institute, and will help to maintain Hong Kong’s competitiveness as a global financial market.
I took part in the 10km Chairman Cup at the Standard Chartered Marathon Hong Kong 2019. I enjoyed representing the profession against other bodies (and racing many ex-Institute presidents!) and even ran a better time than last year. It was good to meet so many successful CPA runners after my race, and welcome them into the Institute’s tent after their hard races. If you’ve ever thought about putting on your running shoes, getting out of the office and racing, I would encourage you to go for it. Exercise is a good way to maintain work-life balance, and I find that hitting the trails or Bowen Road helps me to clear my mind of distractions and reduce stress.