December has come about very quickly. It feels like the year has passed in a second. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2020.
Although it has been my last month as President, it was still a packed one.
I attended the HKICPA Business Case Competition held in Shenzhen on 30 November and in Hong Kong on 1 December as head adjudicator and was pleased to see the finalists presented professionally. By joining this competition, tertiary education students can gain an early experience of the skills needed to become successful Accountants Plus. Congratulations to the two overall winning teams from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and United International College.
The Institute’s annual dinner is a highlight of the year. Bringing together almost 500 members and guests, we enjoyed a fun night, “coming together to shine,” as was the event’s theme. When we build our profession together, we are stronger and shine brighter. We were honoured to welcome the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, the Honourable Mrs. Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor as our guest of honour – demonstrating the importance of our profession to Hong Kong’s continued prosperity.
This year’s Best Corporate Governance Awards concluded with a record number of awards – 26 – being handed out at the presentation ceremony held on 5 December as well as a number of new winners, including in the new category Self-nomination Awards – Commendation on Corporate Governance Improvements, and featured James Lau Jr, Secretary for Financial Services, as guest of honour. I was honoured to chair the judging panel of this annual event as good corporate governance is important for maintaining Hong Kong’s reputation as a leading global financial centre, and the awards help to promote this through recognizing the performance of companies and organizations.
I enjoyed attending and supporting the Institute’s two teams at the annual cross-border competition held on 8 December in Shenzhen. Our teams did well against tough competitions, winning the badminton competition, and the football team finished third. I congratulate them for their success.
It has been a busy year, and before I close out my final message I wanted to focus on some highlights.
I am pleased with the introduction of new outreach activities such as the members’ forums and the AC Fun Run. These events are the start of a new approach to engagement and provided a way of connecting with members. The members’ forums enabled inform members about the activities of the Institute, and offered attendees the opportunity to put their questions to us interactively.
The AC Fun Run is also an activity under this new partnering approach to outreach. Jointly organized with the Society of Chinese Accountants and Auditors and the ACCA, over 500 people, predominately accountants and their families, came together to race or take part in family runs. Connecting with other members of our profession in Hong Kong is a way to promote connectivity and inclusiveness across our home.
We’ve also engaged with the media through television interviews and media luncheons to promote the profession, and the concept of Accounting Plus, to the public.
Turning to reviewing the key tasks set out in my message in January. We recruited Margaret Chan as the Chief Executive and Registrar. I believe Margaret will lead the Institute to a new and better future for its members. A Greater Bay Area (GBA) Committee was set up to support our members across the GBA area. To further develop the Accounting Plus theme and ensuring the profession is ready for the opportunities ahead, the Institute rolled out the new Qualification Programme (QP) and offered various new continuing professional development (CPD) programmes. A new HKICPA Events App was released, enabling members to more easily find and enrol in the Institute’s events and CPD programmes, check in and out of events, ask questions and download presentation materials. The Financial Reporting Council (Amendments) Bill became effective this year. The Institute and the FRC have met often to ensure a smooth handover of responsibilities.
Communication with members and other stakeholders is important. To meet as many members and other stakeholders and exchange views, I attended various sporting and professional development events, including the Belt and Road Forum held in Beijing organized by government, QP Top Students Awards Ceremony, PAIB Conference, New Members Cocktail, SMP Symposium, members’ forums and AC Fun Run.
It has been my privilege to serve as your president, and I feel honoured to have been a part in the Institute’s development and look forward to sharing in its future success. I want to thank the two Vice-Presidents, Johnson Kong and Nelson Lam, the Immediate Past President, Eric Tong, the other Council and committee members and the Institute’s management for their dedication and support.
“It has been my privilege to serve as your president, and I feel honoured to have been a part in the Institute’s development and look forward to sharing in its future success.”