One of the most rewarding aspects of being president of our Institute is the ability to meet with stakeholders and impart on them the views of our profession.
Mid-month the Institute had the great honour of hosting Dr. Tan Tieniu, Deputy Director of the Central Government’s Liaison Office in the HKSAR, for a discussion on the accounting profession in Hong Kong. Alongside representatives from 18 other accounting bodies with members in our city, we discussed how to develop the profession and the support our accountants can provide the central government’s plans such as the Belt and Road Initiative and Greater Bay Area.
I also met representatives from other national accounting bodies and the management of the International Federation of Accountants at their annual Council Meeting. We discussed how changing regulations and the impact of new technologies are affecting our profession, and the concerns they are causing. I shared how Hong Kong has responded to these changes and dealt with the concerns.
The world is rapidly changing. The rise of China and the increasing importance of Asian markets globally mean we are at the cusp of a new era, and international cooperation is vital for success in this new world. Through these meetings I am able to learn from our international peers, and I try and bring back what I learn to share with all members.
Another group that I want to connect more with is students, through the various mentorship programmes organized by the university accounting associations. This month I was invited to be the guest of honour at the Baptist University Career Mentorship event and I felt humbled at the opportunity to connect with and motivate the next generation of accountants.
We should all work to ensure the next generation have the best chance to succeed in our profession and with that in mind I would implore our veteran members (with seven or more years of experience) to be mentors in the Institute’s Mentorship Programme, which has opened applications for the 2018-19 session. Applications close on 31 December, more details can be found on our website. At the same time, I hope our junior members take the opportunity to be mentees and learn from our experiences.
“We should all work to ensure the next generation have the best chance to succeed in our profession.”
The fifth membership survey has been released and I hope you will take a few minutes from your day to provide your important views on employment prospects, CPA qualification and earning power. The Institute uses the results of the survey to identify the opportunities to better serve your needs so your responses are very important. There are also prizes available, so who knows? You might win a new iPad! The survey closes on 15 December.
The Institute has also recently begun a process of reenergizing the brand. It has been over 10 years since the last update and the world has changed significantly since. As part of the process, the Institute is inviting a selection of members from different sectors, age groups and backgrounds to focus group discussions and in-depth interviews. I hope that if you are asked you are able to join one of the activities and make your views known.
I was interested to read the findings of a report on the revised auditor’s reports, produced by the Standard Setting Department. The new requirements to include key audit matters are a step in the right direction for enhancing the value added of an auditor to investors and stakeholders. You can read a summary of the report in this month’s Source section.
I wanted to congratulate the nine teams of the Institute who completed the Oxfam Trailwalker this month, taking between 17.5 and 41.5 hours. Hiking 100km through Sai Kung and the New Territories over a weekend takes great zeal and determination. The teams should be proud of the money they have raised for good causes, and I am sure donations would still be well received now.
Finally, preparations are well underway for our annual dinner next month. I look forward to seeing many of you there and hope to have fun “sparking the smart era” with you all. The event is a regular highlight in the year.