Mainland and International

Mainland and

Ricky Wong (centre), Chief Financial Officer at Alipay Payment Services (Hong Kong), is one of the Institute’s many members working in the FinTech industry. With his skills as a CPA, he is helping AlipayHK to become one of Hong Kong’s preferred method of payment. Wong has also seen how FinTech developments are changing the finance function. In June, AlipayHK launched the world’s first digital wallet-to-wallet blockchain remittance services between Hong Kong and the Philippines, providing a low cost, secure and efficient fund remittance solution for the Filipino expatriate community in Hong Kong.


The international experience of Hong Kong CPAs shapes the profession. It is what allows them to play a vital role in running and advising a wide range of global organizations. Our members are also highly regarded and relied on for their Greater China expertise. Through ongoing communication with Mainland authorities and regulators, the Institute focuses on helping members stay on top of developments, and ensuring that their views are heard and addressed. Our presence in the Mainland and international forums strengthens Hong Kong’s role as an international business and financial centre, and in connecting the Greater China market on a global scale.

The Mainland

Creating business opportunities

With the development of the Greater Bay Area, it was essential for us to conduct dialogue with relevant stakeholders to ensure our members play a key role in helping businesses capitalize on the opportunities arising from the initiative. In December 2017, the Institute oversaw the formation of the Hong Kong and Guangdong CPA Practices Alliance, with a total of 54 small- and medium-sized practices from Hong Kong and Guangdong Province agreeing to form an alliance to expand their connections and explore business opportunities and potential collaboration under the Greater Bay Area initiative.

The first meeting of the alliance was held in June 2018, with the Institute collaborating with the Guangdong Institute of CPAs to organize the event. Almost 30 Hong Kong delegates were joined by over 40 Guangdong counterparts at the meeting. It featured a seminar on “the Greater Bay Area Initiative and the Development of the Accounting Profession” and a roundtable discussion on further collaboration between the alliance firms.

The Institute also organized and joined a number of other events in the Mainland.

In March 2018, a cocktail reception hosted in Guangzhou drew over 120 members and guests from Mainland government and regulatory authorities, professional and business organizations, universities and professional firms.

The Institute joined a visit organized by the Hong Kong Coalition of Professional Services to Guangdong in June, which provided an opportunity for direct dialogue between Hong Kong professionals and the Guangdong government, and a platform to exchange views on the further opening of the Greater Bay Area.

In September 2017, the Institute’s president led a Hong Kong delegation to attend the two-day 2017 Cross-straits, Hong Kong and Macau Accounting Profession Conference in Ningxia, which attracted more than 200 accounting professionals from the Mainland, Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong. The conference focused on topics such as digital innovation in the accounting profession, new audit reporting standards, the role of accountants in anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing, and the development of SMPs.

In August 2017, we received representatives from the Beijing Municipal Commission of Commerce and Union of Beijing Business Services to enable them to explore potential collaboration opportunities with us. We also received a 17-person delegation from Zhejiang SMPs in the same month, to exchange views with Hong Kong SMPs regarding the expansion of non-assurance services and practice management. A delegation of Beijing firms, part of the Beijing-Hong Kong SMP Alliance, met with Hong Kong SMPs for an annual meeting in September 2017.

The Institute’s leadership, convenors of the Mainland Business Interest Group, and the Working Group on Co-operations with Mainland SMPs, visited Beijing in February 2018 to attend the Belt and Road forum and gala dinner, arranged by the Belt and Road General Chamber of Commerce, which was set up to promote closer relations and trade between Hong Kong and Southeast Asian countries. Participants of the events included senior government officials of both the Mainland and Hong Kong, including the Hong Kong Chief Executive.

With many of our members working across the border and engaged in cross-border business, the Institute’s priority is to effectively support them by working closely with Mainland authorities and accounting bodies. Over the year, the Institute provided input to the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) initiatives, and liaised with relevant authorities to resolve issues relating to the implementation of CEPA measures. We also worked with the Foreign Affairs Office of Guangzhou Municipal People’s Government, and discussed the challenges of implementation under CEPA arrangements, as well as the difficulties faced by Hong Kong CPAs practising in the Mainland.

Fostering productive relationships with Mainland partners

Throughout the year, we undertook various efforts in order to maintain good relationships with Mainland regulators. In November 2017, representatives from accounting organizations in Hong Kong met with Tan Tieniu, Deputy Director of the Central Government’s Liaison Office in the Hong Kong SAR, and exchanged views on the development of the Hong Kong accounting profession. Meanwhile, a nine-person delegation from Guangzhou Tianhe District Business and Finance Bureau visited the Institute to discuss and promote Tianhe District’s investment environment and relevant supporting policies.

Zheng Yaji, Deputy Director of the Budget Working Committee of the Standing Committee of the Guangdong Provincial People’s Congress, met with Institute representatives in December 2017 to better understand service trade developments between Guangdong and Hong Kong, since the introduction of the Regulation on the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone.

In May, the Institute received a delegation led by Shao Min, Deputy Director-General of Department of Accounting, the Ministry of Finance (MoF). The delegation met with Institute representatives, Hong Kong CPA firms and MoF-appointed advisors, to discuss proposed revisions to China’s Law on Certified Public Accountants and Accounting Law. The Institute shared with the delegation the latest developments of the Hong Kong profession, including the new Qualification Programme and audit regulatory reform.

Representatives of the China Tax Subcommittee held its seventh annual meeting with the State Administration of Taxation in Beijing in June 2018, where issues relating to Mainland and cross-border taxation affecting Hong Kong were discussed. Members of the subcommittee also held annual liaison meetings on technical matters with the state and local taxation bureaus of Guangdong and Shenzhen in December 2017.


Our influence as an accounting body extends far beyond Greater China. We have actively participated in many forums and arenas at the international level throughout the year to ensure the voices of our members were heard and taken into account.

Our voice was impactful in various areas beyond the standard setting, with our participation in international groups and organizations such as the Global Accounting Alliance (GAA), International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Professionals (INSOL International) and Asia Oceania Tax Consultants’ Association (AOTCA).

At INSOL International, we participated in the meeting of member associations at the INSOL New York Annual Regional Conference in April 2018. As one of its the 10 largest membership bodies, the Institute is eligible to nominate a director to its board, and Mat Ng, previous chair of the Institute’s Restructuring and Insolvency Faculty Executive Committee is serving a three-year term which commenced in October 2016. We also participated in the AOTCA’s AGM and tax conference, while two representatives of the Taxation Faculty Executive Committee served as advisors to the association’s technical committee.

Our representative attended two meetings of the GAA’s Tax Directors Group, which were held in London in October 2017 and Washington in April 2018, and also participated in periodic teleconferences. There will be a meeting later this year in Brussels and Hong Kong is proposing to host the subsequent meeting in the first half of 2019.

The Institute’s representatives and technical advisors took part in the International Federation of Accountants’ (IFAC) Professional Accountants in Business Committee and Small and Medium Practices Committee, as well as participating in various IFAC projects, working groups or task forces.

Persons nominated by the Institute to serve on international organizations at 30 June 2018

International Federation of Accountants

International Forum of Accounting Standard Setters

IFRS World Standard Setters (financial reporting)

Asian-Oceanian Standard-Setters Group (financial reporting)

Global Accounting Alliance (GAA)

International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Professionals (INSOL International)

Accounting for Sustainability (A4S)

Asia Oceania Tax Consultants’ Association

Chartered Accountants Group of Executives

Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales