DEVELOPMENT & EVENTS
The Institute endeavours to provide a variety of services to its members. These range from continuing professional development (CPD) events and programmes, which help members to enhance their technical knowledge and professional skills, to leisure activities, networking events and visits – all to help members achieve work-life balance.
CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Training for accountants does not stop after they complete the Qualification Programme (QP). Regular professional development is vital to honing skills and learning new ones. To help its members, the Institute organizes a wide range of CPD events – including seminars, workshops and conferences.
In the financial year ended 30 June 2019, the Institute organized close to 360 face-to-face events (including nine collaborative events) and offered around 500 e-learning programmes. To enable members to gain more in-depth knowledge and understanding on various subject areas, the Institute held 156 workshops this year, compared to 96 workshops in 2018 (63 percent more). In addition, events in high demand by members such as the update conferences were recorded and offered as e-seminars. The Institute received over 91,000 enrolments this year as compared to 76,790 in 2018, representing a 19 percent increase. To assist members in need, the Institute offers free places at selected CPD events. During the year, 825 free places were taken.
Throughout the year, the popular topics that attracted higher attendance were anti-money laundering (AML); fintech; corporate finance; tax; China development; internal audit; business start-up; practice management for small and medium practices (SMPs); independent non-executive directorship; enterprise resource planning implementation; and workshops for listing on Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The Institute also introduced new series of seminars covering business start-ups, China today, company secretarial practices, fintech, and investment and practice management for SMPs.
With the amended Anti-money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (AMLO) which came into effect on 1 March 2018, a webinar delivered by SWAT UK to guide members through the AML Procedures Manual for Accountants, published in June 2018, attracted over 340 registrations. Its e-recording also accumulated close to 1,000 enrolments up to 30 June 2019.
In support of the Institute’s efforts in promoting good corporate governance, the Institute organized a series of member forums on corporate governance and sustainability. At the events, regular award winners from the Institute’s Best Corporate Governance Awards, including speakers from Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd., CLP Power Hong Kong Ltd. and the Airport Authority Hong Kong, shared their knowledge, experience and organizational values.
The Institute also collaborated with other accounting bodies to offer members specialist training. In partnership with the Institute of Internal Auditors, the Institute offered the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) Challenge Exam for the first time. The exam is a fast track route for Institute members to gain the CIA designation and received more than 250 applications.
Throughout the year, the Institute also collaborated with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) to offer the Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) Program a number of times to Institute members who have qualified through QP.
Through its specialist training programmes and qualifications in insolvency and taxation, the Institute’s members are able to hone their skills in specialist fields. This helps them on their journeys to becoming true Accountants Plus.
The Financial Controllership Programme, launched in 2016, is a 16-day course to train CPAs on how to become an effective financial controller that adds value to their employer’s business. The 2018 cohort of the programme was completed in December 2018 with 84 enrolments, comprising 22 full programme enrolments and 62 module enrolments. As of June 2019, there are 70 graduates of the programme. The 2019 cohort started in June 2019 with 19 full programme enrolments.
This year, Insolvency Preparatory I had 92 enrolments and Insolvency Preparatory II had 65 enrolments. The revamped Professional Diploma in Insolvency 2018-19 ran from November 2018 to June 2019 with 23 full programme enrolments and 12 module enrolments. The diploma has 383 graduates to date.
The International Tax Course had 35 enrolments, and the Advanced Hong Kong Tax Course had 28 enrolments. As of June 2019, there are 107 graduates of the Professional Diploma in China Tax and 84 graduates of the Professional Diploma in Hong Kong Tax.
THE SPECIALIST FACULTIES
As both interest and advocacy groups, the two specialist faculties covering restructuring and insolvency and taxation organize training events and advocate for best practices relevant to their fields in order to raise standards. The faculties also act as the professional and public voice of the Institute.
Restructuring and Insolvency Faculty
The Restructuring and Insolvency Faculty (RIF) had 480 members at the end of the financial year. The Institute publishes an e-newsletter for faculty members, The IP’s Voice, and organizes monthly seminars and events for members. This year, the faculty invited different judges from the Mainland’s Intermediate People’s Court to meet members and share views on developments in Mainland and cross-border bankruptcy and insolvency issues at two lunch seminars, held in November 2018 and June 2019.
Members of the RIF also share their time and knowledge in support of the specialist insolvency courses.
The Taxation Faculty (TF) had 700 members at the end of the financial year. This year, over 40 seminars and other events were run on tax issues. As for the RIF, there is a specialist e-newsletter for TF members called Tax Link.
The major annual China Taxation and Hong Kong Taxation Update conferences were held in May and July 2019, with enrolments of around 700 and 960 respectively. At the China Tax Update, a senior tax official from the Guangdong Provincial Tax Services, State Taxation Administration shared with members the latest developments on the individual income tax reform in China. Both conferences included an expert panel discussion, covering tax and policy issues in the Greater Bay Area and contemporary transfer pricing issues in Hong Kong, respectively.
TF members contribute their time and expertise to the Institute’s tax training programmes.
As well as the specialist faculties, advisory panels and interest groups, there are three committees covering specific groups of members.
The 2019-20 Mentorship Programme was the fifth running of the successful programme. This year it paired over 250 mentors-mentees. More than 170 mentors and mentees attended the ceremony and briefing session on 13 March 2019 which marked the end of the 2018-19 programme and the beginning of the 2019-20 programme.
The young members’ career conference held in November 2018, titled “Young Accountants @tech”, attracted over 120 participants.
A study tour to Yangtze River Delta Economic Circle – Shanghai in October 2018, and a three-day course on China’s national affairs in Guangzhou in March 2019 enhanced members’ understanding of China’s political, economic and diplomatic affairs.
As well as the professional events there were a host of social activities with peers, including steamed cupcake making, autumn hiking, sake tasting, as well as course on wine manner. Site visits to Cathay Pacific City, the Hong Kong International Airport, the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, and theDesk, a co-working space, attracted over 130 enrolments.
The Institute jointly organized the following activities with other bodies to help expand young members’ network beyond the accounting profession:
Hong Kong Bar Association, The Hong Kong Institute of Architects, The Hong Kong Institute of Planners, The Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors and The Law Society of Hong Kong (October 2018) – Beyond the Stage of Cantonese Opera.
Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and The Hong Kong Chinese Enterprises Association (November 2018) – Joint Happy Hour for Young Professionals – A taste of the local and original culture of Hong Kong.
Small and medium practices
The Institute organized a range of events for SMPs. These included the annual SMP symposium held in late November 2018 covering regulatory, technical and practice management updates which was attended by 340 practitioners.
There were two seminars in June 2019 concerning compliance. Close to 240 members attended a seminar on compliance matters tailored for SMPs. The second was a lunch seminar arranged in collaboration with the Hong Kong Police Force, where the impact of the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulatory regime on accountants was reviewed. It attracted over 260 enrolments.
A delegation of around 30 SMPs visited Huizhou in June 2019 after a previous delegation of around 30 SMPs visited Jiangmen and Zhongshan in July 2018. These visits allowed SMPs to learn the latest economic development in the Greater Bay Area and explore possible business and cooperation opportunities brought by the initiative. They also helped to strengthen the relationship between Hong Kong CPA firms and their counterparts in Mainland China.
Professional accountants in business
The annual PAIB Conference 2018 was held in September 2018 with the theme “The Day After Tomorrow: A Reality Check for Accountants Today”. The guest of honour was Laurence Lu-jen Li, Chairman of the Financial Services Development Council, who together with other renowned speakers, shared their insights on key challenges that professional accountants in business were facing and the opportunities ahead with over 220 members working in the business sector.
PROFESSIONAL INTEREST GROUPS
The Institute’s professional interest groups serve members in various important sectors, providing specialized training and networking events.
The Corporate Finance Interest Group held two seminars, which attracted an average of over 230 enrolments. The seminars covered new economy companies under the new listing rules in Hong Kong, a comparison of new and old rules and matters requiring attention, and Hong Kong IPO offering structures and GEM placing guideline.
To welcome the new year, a cocktail reception and talk on the topic “Predicting investor behaviours by blood type” took place in January 2019. The interest group also organized a seminar on the topic “Fintech for you”, which attracted 320 enrolments.
The Institute organizes regular events for Forensics Interest Group (ForensIG) members. Events this year included a popular lunch event at which internationally renowned market analyst and short seller, Soren Aandahl, spoke about the use and misuse of market research data, and a networking and cocktail event at which Thomas Atkinson, the executive director responsible for enforcement at the Securities and Futures Commission, was the guest speaker. ForensIG members also receive a specialist e-newsletter, Forensic Update.
At the request of the Commercial Crime Bureau of the Hong Kong Police Force, a member of the interest group’s management committee spoke to officers on topics including the latest techniques and tools to effectively detect fraud-related red flags.
The annual information technology conference carrying the theme “Impact of Fintech and Artificial Intelligence to the Accountancy Profession” was held in October 2018 to examine new technologies that accountants should be aware of and their impact on the profession. The conference attracted over 600 attendees. There were also two seminars, which attracted an average of close to 180 enrolments, on intelligence automation for finance and accounting, and how opportunities for Hong Kong small- and medium-sized enterprises can grow through cloud technology.
In November 2018, 50 members of the interest group also visited HKTVmall’s Logistics Centre.
The Mainland Business Interest Group organized a half day joint seminar with the Financial & Accounting Affairs Steering Committee of the Hong Kong Chinese Enterprises Association on the topic “Impacts of Greater Bay Area development on accounting professionals” in May 2019, which attracted 180 attendees.
The interest group held two seminars attracting an average of over 270 enrolments. One seminar discussed money laundering cross-border commercial crimes, while the other covered the impact of the trade war between China and the United States on customs and other relevant issues.
Property, infrastructure and construction
The interest group organized four seminars over the year, with an average of over 230 enrolments at each. The seminars covered the impact of Hong Kong Financial Reporting Standard 16 Leases on property, infrastructure and construction industries, developing next generation clinical systems by leveraging cloud technologies, introduction to the Reverse Mortgage Programme, and the trend of office rentals.
The interest group also organized a site visit to Asiaray, a leading out-of-home media company, with over 30 members in attendance.
As well as the professional development events the Institute organizes a range of networking and leisure events, and has 15 sports and recreation interest groups that participate in competitions in Hong Kong and the Mainland.
The Institute hosts six major corporate events each year – five in Hong Kong and one in Guangzhou.
The National Day Dinner, jointly organized with the Society of Chinese Accountants and Auditors, held in September and celebrates the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Over 700 guests from the governments of Hong Kong and the Mainland, academia, businesses and members attended the event in 2018.
The President’s Dinner gets together the past presidents and other key stakeholders of the Institute, including Council members, committee chairs and senior management. Last year, Norman Chan, Chief Executive of Hong Kong Monetary Authority, was guest of honour.
The Annual Dinner, held in December, is the Institute’s flagship event. The theme of the dinner is in keeping with that of the annual report – last year, this was the concept of Accounting Plus. Almost 600 members and guests attended the dinner, held on 3 December 2018, with Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, Chief Secretary for Administration as guest of honour.
The Guangzhou and Hong Kong Spring Cocktails, held on 14 and 15 February 2019 respectively, saw guests from the governments, businesses, and regulators join the Institute’s new Council and committee members in celebration of the new year. Over 100 guests attended the Guangzhou cocktail and 300 the Hong Kong event.
The New Members Cocktail, held in May 2019, welcomes the Institute’s new members who have gained their CPA designation over the preceding year. This year, over 100 members met with Council, committee and sports and recreation group members, to learn about the Institute and the services it provides its members.
Our members also represented the Institute in the following competitions: