CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
The Institute regards corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability as essential components of its operation. We continued to make substantial progress in our CSR programmes, including the number of beneficiaries served, programmes assisting society, and ongoing initiatives to green our operations and improve the Institute’s sustainability.
New and existing CSR programmes reflect the Institute’s commitment to good corporate citizenship. Throughout the year, over 10,000 members of the public benefited from the various projects and activities our members voluntary contribute to.
Since its establishment in 2017, the Community Services Working Group (CSWG), has been providing advice on developing social service and charity activities to allow the Institute’s members to utilize their professional knowledge and expertise in a meaningful way.
RICH KID, POOR KID
Efforts pay off with financial education award
In 2005, the Institute initiated its flagship CSR programme “Rich Kid, Poor Kid”, which aims to instil in young people proper values about money management through school talks. More than 9,800 primary and secondary school students were taught by the Institute’s Accountant Ambassadors over 57 sessions, and learned basic money management skills this year, bringing the total number of students reached by the programme to over 140,000 since 2005.
This year, the programme was recognized by the Hong Kong Strategy for Financial Literacy as a Financial Education Champion, a new award recognizing organizations that offer high-quality financial education. The award acknowledges the Institute’s contributions and achievements in promoting financial education over the years.
Revamp of the Rich Kid, Poor Kid
To maintain its relevance, we started a programme revamp to develop new components this year. Through collaboration with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Hong Kong Deposit Protection Board, the newly-written comic series features smart tips concerning online and banking security, ATM security, stored value facilities and the Deposit Protection Scheme – all bringing the financial education of the programme up-to-date.
CPA FOR NGO: PROMOTING BEST CORPORATE GOVERNANCE IN NGOS
We advocate best governance practices to board members of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) through our CPA for NGO progamme, which aims to improve the financial reporting and governance of NGOs with CPAs’ expertise. We have reached out to more than 1,350 board members, agency heads and executives from over 300 NGOs since the programme launch in December 2013, through various channels including thematic seminars, advisory service, visits, online resources and publications.
The Chairman of CSWG attended The Hong Kong Council of Social Service’s (HKCSS) NGO Governance Forum to share insights on the status of financial reserves of NGOs and interpret key findings from the Survey on Financial Reserves of Social Service Agencies.
The HKICPA Charitable Fund
We proudly support the HKCSS NGO Governance Platform as its sole strategic partner. In 2018-19, the HKICPA Charitable Fund continued its support to the new series of NGO Directors’ Luncheon. The Institute’s President, Vice-Presidents, Chairman of the CSWG, and Accountant Ambassadors took part in several luncheons, and met over 370 board members and agency heads from 213 NGOs. Guest speakers of this series included David Sun, the then Director of Audit, who spoke on the topic “NGO Governance and Public Trust”; and Paul Lam, Chairman of the Consumer Council, who spoke on “Governance Philosophy and Practice in Statutory Organization”. NGOs receiving lump-sum grants from the Social Welfare Department and non-subvented agencies participated in the luncheons and enjoyed the face-to-face interactions with the guest speakers.
Other events sponsored by the HKICPA Charitable Fund include CPA teams at Oxfam Trailwalker 2018, Ngong Ping Charity Walk 2019, Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2019 Chairman Cup and Corporate Challenge, and 2019 Homeless World Cup (Hong Kong) Fund-raising Tournament.
COLLABORATION WITH VARIOUS ORGANIZATIONS
This year, the Institute kick-started a new initiative in partnership with the HKMA and the Child Education Centre for Teaching and Learning of the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education. The series of parents’ talk on family budgeting runs from June 2019 to April 2020. The talks, part of the Kiddie-Family Moneyland education programme (童心親親理財學堂), feature the Institute’s Accountant Ambassadors explaining family budgeting to parents, and representatives from the HKMA introducing banking tips. We have taken a big leap forward in promoting financial literacy of parents.
Through the continued support for the government’s Future Stars Upward Mobility Scholarship programme provided by the HKICPA Charitable Fund we pursue the objective of nurturing future generations. We awarded 12 scholarships for secondary school students from less privileged backgrounds to encourage them to achieve upward social mobility. Nine Accountant Ambassadors have signed up as mentors for the programme.
OTHER SOCIAL SERVICES
Educational support programme: helping secondary school students better understand the accounting profession and the business world
Caritas School Social Work Service has been our partner for over 20 years. In recent years, through career talks and firm visits, we benefit about 270 secondary students studying Business, Accounting and Financial Studies annually.
This year, the Institute co-organized a career talk with Caritas for nearly 250 secondary school students. Accountant Ambassadors from practice, business, and a regulatory body were invited to share the different roles of CPAs in their respective fields, their working experience and tips on job interviews.
The Institute also organized visits to the Big Four, BDO, Grant Thornton, ShineWing, Moore Stephens and RSM. More than 230 secondary school students participated in the visits and gained insights on the structure and operation of an accounting firm, as well as the working life of a CPA in practice.
Accountant Ambassadors signed up as mentors for the inter-school case competition on the theme “Revitalization of Historic Building” (活化歷史建築) of the Millennium Entrepreneurship Programme, organized by Wofoo Social Enterprises. They led a team of secondary school students to prepare a business plan for the competition. The final took place last March.
Free Public Advisory Service Scheme
The Free Public Advisory Service Scheme offers weekly sessions for members of the public to meet CPAs face-to-face and receive pro-bono accounting-related advice. Service leaflets and application forms are available at 20 Home Affairs Enquiry Centres and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council SME Centre.
A SUSTAINABLE INSTITUTE
As well as our external activities, the Institute ensures it acts as a responsible body through various internal actions.
Use of resources
Steps have been taken to apply energy-saving and sustainability measures and minimize the Institute’s carbon footprint throughout its offices.
To reduce overall power consumption, the Institute continued to replace energy-consuming halogen spotlights with LED lights in the newly renovated office open areas.
Reducing excessive lighting has always been the Institute’s recommended practice. A zone lighting control system was installed in open office area to control the use of lighting and energy consumption. To meet and maintain the Institute’s long-term energy-saving goals, staff members were educated and reminded to turn off the lighting when the rooms are not in use and after work.
To promote environmentally-friendly practices, the Institute continues to encourage members to receive Institute communications electronically. We continued to send out the annual renewal notices by email rather than by post to our members and students. In the financial year, 41,279 members received annual renewal notices by email, compared to 1,833 who received a hard copy by postal mail. The e-renewal system also applied to students, with 17,637 students receiving e-renewal notices while only 114 were sent hard copy notices. Through these efforts, there was a continuous reduction in paper usage, from 3,852 sheets of paper in the previous financial year to 3,666 this financial year for members, and 126 sheets in 2017/18 down to 114 sheets this financial year for students.
Internally, the Institute continues to implement measures to reduce the use of paper in office. We adopted electronic and automated internal administrative processes for leave application, performance evaluation, approval of overtime work and monthly payment processing. In addition to the recommended practice for double-sided printing, we also posted in-house reminders near each copy machine and printer to add efficiency.
This year, we continued to have recycling facilities to collect used paper and plastics such as toner and ink cartridges from printers, and general plastic waste accumulated within the premises. We always ensured adequate paper collection systems are in place and clearly labelled recycling bins near copiers are available. We also reused envelopes collected for internal distribution and provided CMDS recycling bags to collect waste confidential paper upon requests.