Member Support and
The Institute is dedicated to supporting its diverse membership, including members who are small- and medium-sized practitioners (SMPs). Seminars tailored for SMPs help members like Matthew Li (pictured), Co-founder of accounting firm Nova CPA Limited, keep up to date on practice management and new technologies that have an impact on their work and their clients. In this picture, Matthew talks through the accounting and point-of-sale systems that his firm helped to implement at his client’s tailor shop.
The Institute is dedicated to supporting its diverse members throughout their professional lives. As well as catering for their professional training needs, the Institute organizes various networking events, cocktail receptions and visits – to help our members achieve work-life balance.
Continuing professional development
Members need to keep their skills relevant to achieve success in the age of Accounting Plus. To help them, the Institute organizes extensive continuing professional development (CPD) programmes. Over the financial year, the Institute offered almost 2,700 hours of CPD programmes, through a total of 309 face-to-face events, including nine collaborative events, and 318 e-learning programmes, which includes 39 collaborative programmes.
The Institute received 76,790 enrolments this year, up 4% from 73,752 last year. The Institute offers free places at selected CPD events to members in need. During the year, 711 free places were offered. Popular events included the annual update conferences, covering accounting, auditing, taxation and Mainland China tax, attracting average enrolments of more than 700. Throughout the year, participants attended talks on popular topics such as corporate finance; information technology; internal control; soft skills; environmental, social and governance; taxation; valuation; wealth management and independent non-executive directorship. This year, a number of new seminar series were introduced on topics such as investor relations, internal audit and stress management.
The most popular event, similar to previous years, was a series on current affairs attracting around 350 attendees for each seminar. A seminar, delivered by Companies Registry officers, focused on trust or company service providers (TCSP), in light of the new TCSP licensing regime introduced on 1 March 2018 with the new anti-money laundering regulations, attracted over 400 registrations.
A selection of events in high demand have been recorded and made available to members as e-seminars.
Continuing Professional Development Programme (year to June 2018)
Strengthening core skills for the age of Accounting Plus
To help strengthen members’ core skills, over the year the Institute held over 50 technical seminars, workshops, refresher courses and e-learning seminars, as well as the popular annual accounting and auditing updates.
The Institute places great emphasis on providing consistent and ongoing support to members. With this in mind, we renewed arrangements with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), providing members with free access to the ICAEW’s online platform of premium technical resources.
The Institute has also extended its agreement with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, providing members with full access to a pragmatic and scenario-focused e-learning programme that promotes better use of professional scepticism.
Through offering specialist training and qualifications in insolvency and taxation, the Institute is dedicated to helping members hone their skill set in specialist fields, helping them to become Accountants Plus.
This year, Insolvency Preparatory I and Preparatory II received 106 and 84 enrolments respectively. In addition, the Professional Diploma in Insolvency was revamped as two modules, with 31 full programme enrolments and 8 module enrolments in the 2017/18 cohort. As of 30 June 2018, the programme has seen 365 graduates. Members of the Restructuring and Insolvency Faculty remained active in their support for the Institute’s insolvency preparatory courses and the Professional Diploma in Insolvency.
Similarly, practitioners from Taxation Faculty helped strengthen the courses under the Professional Diploma in China Tax and the Professional Diploma in Hong Kong Tax. There were 41 enrolments in the International Tax Course and 57 enrolments in the China Tax Course. As of 30 June 2018, 90 and 81 have graduated with a Professional Diplomas in China Tax and Hong Kong Tax respectively.
Launched in 2016, the Financial Controllership Programme is a 16-day course to train CPAs who are new to the role of financial controller. Last year’s programme ended in November 2017 with a total of 74 enrolments comprising 20 full programme enrolments and 54 module enrolments. This year’s cohort commenced in June, with 22 full programme enrolments. As of June 2018, there were 45 graduates of the full programme.
The annual China Taxation and Hong Kong Taxation Update conferences were held in May and July, and attended by 550 and 800 members, respectively. Both conferences included an expert panel discussion featuring case studies, exploring the different possible tax exposures. At the China Tax Conference, a senior tax official from the Shenzhen State Taxation Bureau shared the latest developments on anti-tax avoidance and transfer pricing in China.
The e-newsletters The IP’s Voice, Tax Link and Forensic Update continued to keep members up to date with the latest developments in their respective specialist areas. Meanwhile, we ensured new and revised standards and technical updates were communicated to members in a timely manner, by coordinating input from the Institute’s various departments for the monthly technical bulletin TechWatch.
As of mid-2018, the Restructuring and Insolvency Faculty and Taxation Faculty had 475 and 900 members respectively. The two faculties organized numerous professional development seminars and cocktail or networking events for members.
Professional interest groups
As well as supporting members through CPD and specialist training and development, the Institute runs a number of professional interest groups, in response to professional needs across a range of sectors.
The Corporate Finance Interest Group held six seminars, which received an average of 240 enrolments. The seminars covered how FinTech disrupts the corporate finance ecosystem, suitability for listing, and the manager-in-charge regime and guidance on corporate advisory work on valuations. Hong Kong Stock Exchange consultations were also discussed during the seminars, on a proposed new board, capital raisings by listed issuers and delisting framework, and a listing regime for companies from emerging and innovative sectors.
The Financial Services Interest Group held two seminars, attracting an average of 170 enrolments. One seminar discussed an update on regulatory developments in the funds industry, while the other explored how artificial intelligence can enhance the alpha of consumer loans portfolio. In addition, a cocktail reception and talk on the topic “What does the Trump tax revolution mean for Asia?” took place in February.
Among other events, the Forensic Interest Group hosted the popular spring cocktail event, which included a light-hearted debate, where the members discussed whether more or less regulation would be beneficial to society. Since 2017, the group has been free-of-charge for Institute members, in line with other professional interest groups.
The annual information technology conference with the theme “Grasping opportunities in the age of everything-as-a-service” took place in October 2017. The conference explored new technologies and business models accountants could leverage to increase opportunities and reduce costs. The conference attracted over 500 attendees. Meanwhile, a site visit to the Hong Kong Science Park, as well as a FinTech tour of Cyberport, attracted an average of 45 enrolments each.
The Mainland Business Interest Group held two seminars, attracting an average of over 160 enrolments. One seminar, held jointly with the Property, Infrastructure and Construction Interest Group, discussed China’s retail real estate market. The other seminar focused on the internationalization of renminbi and the opening of China’s financial markets. A cocktail reception and talk held in May 2018, spoke on “Generating revenue through integration of arts and science: How does Meitu’s unique business model fit into the China market?” The group also organized a study tour to Shenzhen and Dongguan in November 2017.
Property, infrastructure and construction
The Property, Infrastructure and Construction Interest Group held two seminars, attracting an average of over 220 enrolments. Held jointly with the Young Members Committee and the Mainland Business Interest Group, the groups discussed Hong Kong’s record property prices and China’s retail real estate market. The group held a talk in November 2017 on “Good health and stress management from the perspective of Tai Chi.” In that same month, and held jointly with the Young Members Committee, the group visited Hong Kong International Airport. A cocktail reception and talk took place in May 2018 addressing the tales of Hong Kong street names.
Small and medium practitioners
In November 2017, 340 small- and medium-sized practitioners (SMPs) attended the annual SMP symposium, featuring relevant topics such as financial reporting updates, the anti-money laundering regime, what SMPs need to know in regards to technology, cybersecurity and data privacy, as well as practice review and compliance updates. In June 2018, two lunch seminars took place, providing a total of 540 attendees with practical tips on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing compliance. In the same month, close to 270 members attended a seminar on compliance matters tailored for SMPs.
Professional accountants in business
Over 130 members attended the annual conference for professional accountants in business (PAIBs), held in September 2017. With the theme “CPAs beyond the horizon”, the event included a panel of speakers who shared insights on the diversity of PAIBs and advice on how members can become effective leaders in business. It also explored challenges faced by members working in a wide range of industries.
The Mentorship Programme, now in its fourth year, reflects the Institute’s ongoing focus to prepare members for the future. It provides an opportunity for young members to learn from seniors through regular consultation and experience sharing for the purpose of their career development. More than 150 mentors and mentees attended the ceremony and briefing session of the 2018-19 programme in April 2018. A record of 229 mentor-mentee pairs were created under the 2018-19 programme.
Throughout the year, young members had ample opportunities to socialize through events such as mooncake making classes, autumn hiking, jazz night and training courses on public access defibrillation.
In April, the young members embarked on a three-day course in Guangzhou to learn about the Mainland’s national development and governance, further enhancing their understanding of political, economic and diplomatic affairs. A two-day study tour to Shenzhen and Foshan also took place in September 2017.
The annual career conference in November 2017 examining the career development opportunities for young members attracted 145 participants.
Events such as the whisky and chocolate workshop organized jointly with the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, and an indoor war game organized together with The Hong Kong Institute of Architects and The Hong Kong Institute of Chartered Secretaries, helped to expand the network of young members beyond the accounting profession.