Technical news

The latest standards and technical developments

Members’ handbook

Update no. 246 relates to the issuance of Hong Kong Standard on Related Services 4400 (Revised) Agreed-Upon Procedures Engagements. The standard has been revised to respond to the growing demand for agreed-upon procedures engagements relating to both financial and non-financial subject matters.

Financial reporting 

IASB investor perspective article

Issue 21 of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) Investor Update is now available and highlights:

  • COVID-19-Related-Rent Concessions – Amendment to International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 16 Leases issued in May that provides an optional relief for rent concessions arising as a direct consequence of COVID-19; and
  • The IFRS Interpretations Committee’s tentative agenda decision on presentation of reverse factoring arrangements and their related cash flows.

IASB September update  

The September Update newsletter, highlighting the tentative decisions reached at the IASB’s monthly meeting, is now available.

IASB’s second webinar on Discussion Paper Business Combinations – Disclosures, Goodwill and Impairment

The second live webinar by the staff of the IASB on Discussion Paper DP/2020/1 Business Combinations – Disclosures, Goodwill and Impairment took place on 21 October. This webinar covered the IASB’s views on improving disclosures about acquisitions. Members can submit their comments on the paper by 14 November.

September IFRS for SMEs update

The September IFRS for SMEs Update newsletter, providing a summary of news, events, and other information about the IFRS for SMEs standard and related small- and medium-sized entity activities, is now available.

September IFRS Interpretations Committee update

The September IFRS Interpretations Committee Update newsletter, summarizing the decisions reached by the interpretations committee at its September meeting, is now available.

October IFRS Interpretations Committee podcast

The October IFRS Interpretations Committee podcast, highlighting key activities undertaken by the Interpretations Committee to support the consistent application of IFRSs, is now available.

Auditing and assurance

Invitation to comment

The Institute is seeking comments on the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) Discussion Paper Fraud and Going Concern in an Audit of Financial Statements: Exploring the Differences Between Public Perceptions About the Role of the Auditor and the Auditor’s Responsibilities in a Financial Statement Audit by 11 December.

Institute’s submission 

The Institute has submitted comments on the IAASB’s Proposed ISA 600 (Revised) Special Considerations – Audits of Group Financial Statements (Including the Work of Component Auditors).

Institute’s Auditing and Assurance Standards Committee meeting minutes 

Minutes of the 384th meeting is now available.

IAASB’s virtual roundtable

An archive of the IAASB’s virtual roundtable – Fraud in the Digital Age, is now available.

IAASB September virtual meeting

The meeting summary and audio of the IAASB September virtual meeting is now available.

Non-authoritative support material for using automated tools and techniques when performing audit procedures 

The IAASB Technology Working Group’s new publication assists auditors in understanding whether a procedure involving automated tools and techniques may be both a risk assessment procedure and a further audit procedure.

IAASB auditor reporting post-implementation review 

The IAASB is carrying out a post-implementation review on the Auditor Reporting Standards issued in 2015 and has extended the closing date for interested stakeholders to complete an online survey on their experiences and provide feedback to 23 November.

IAASB Staff Audit Practice Alert on climate-related risks

The IAASB Staff Audit Practice Alert on climate-related risks assists auditors in understanding what already exists in the International Standards on Auditing and how it relates to auditors’ considerations of climate-related risks in an audit of financial statements.

Considerations regarding the use of specialists in the COVID-19 environment

Staff of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) and the IAASB jointly releases a publication to assist professional accountants to determine the need to use the services of a specialist to assist in performing specific tasks and other professional activities in the COVID-19 environment.


IESBA September-October virtual meeting

The meeting summary and audio of the IESBA September-October virtual meeting is now available.

lFAC Exploring the IESBA Code 10: Inducements

Pressures that threaten compliance with the fundamental principles (FPs) in the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (Including International Independence Standards) are often due to an intimidation threat. This 10th instalment of Exploring the IESBA Code explores pressure that might result in a breach of the FPs and how to deal with it.


Consultation Paper on Sustainability Reporting 

The IFRS Foundation issued a Consultation Paper on Sustainability Reporting on 30 September. The Institute is seeking comments on this consultation paper by 30 November.

IFRS Foundation Trustee Teresa Ko discusses the consultation paper in a recent article published by the IFRS Foundation.

Extended external reporting 

Reporting of sustainable value creation

The World Economic Forum publication provides a core set of common metrics and disclosures on non-financial factors to help companies to align their mainstream reporting on performance against environmental, social and governance indicators and track their contributions towards the Sustainable Development Goals on a consistent basis.

Corporate finance

Institute’s submissions

The Institute issued a submission in response to the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong’s (HKEX) consultation paper on Proposals to Introduce a Paperless Listing and Subscription Regime, Online Display of Documents and Reduction of the Types of Documents on Display. In the submission, the Institute’s Corporate Finance Advisory Panel (CFAP) indicated its general support for moving towards to a paperless regime, while suggesting refinements to certain specific proposals.

The Institute also issued a submission in response to the consultation paper issued by the HKEX on Review of Listing Rules Relating to Disciplinary Powers and Sanctions.

The CFAP, in principle, supports the introduction of more effective and graduated disciplinary and sanctioning powers by the HKEX. However, the CFAP has concerns about the implications of some of the proposals to lower or remove thresholds for taking disciplinary action, and also about the extent to which the “Relevant Parties” subject to disciplinary actions and sanctions will be expanded to professional advisors, under a form of “secondary liability.”

Invitation to comment

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) launched a consultation on proposals to amend its anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism guidelines. The deadline for submission to the SFC is 18 December. Please refer to the press release for details.


Announcements by the Inland Revenue Department

Members may wish to be aware of the following matters:

  • DIPN 1 (Revised).
  • Profits tax treatment of leases where HKFRS 16 applies.
  • Notify IRD promptly of change of address.
  • Country-by-Country Return XML Schema (version 2.0) and user guide.
  • Financial Account Information Return XML Schema and user guide.
  • Hong Kong-Georgia comprehensive avoidance of double taxation agreement.
  • Stamp Duty statistics.

Legislation and other initiatives

AML notices

The updated list of terrorists and terrorist associates designated by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) was gazetted on 9 October pursuant to the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Ordinance (Cap. 575). See the related UNSC press release.

For the current lists of terrorists, terrorist associates and relevant persons/ entities under United Nations sanctions, members should refer regularly to the Institute’s AML webpage. Other useful documents and guidance can also be found on the same page.

Please refer to the full versions of Technical News on the Institute’s website.

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