A Plus

Institute news

November 2018



First digital annual report launched

The Institute released its annual report 2018 this month, including the first mobile-friendly digital version.

The theme of this year's report is the future of the profession and Accounting Plus, a concept that reflects the varied career options open to Institute members, how CPAs embrace innovation and are able to take on challenges and opportunities of the future. It features photos of members in areas beyond traditional accounting.

The digital version features a video of President Eric Tong talking about the highlights of the past year for the Institute, and Accounting Plus. Visit annualreport.hkicpa.org.hk to experience the new report and find the pdf version.

Council election

Exercise your right to select seven candidates to join the Council and cast your votes either by ballot paper or by e-voting, but not both, by 5:30 p.m. on 10 December. Click here to learn more.

AGM

The 46th annual general meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. on 13 December at the Institute's office. After the AGM, the new president and vice-presidents will be elected.

New website launched

The Institute's new website launched with a responsive, modern design to improve the user experience of navigation.

CPAs for CPAs Mentorship Programme 2019-20

The 2019-20 Mentorship Programme is now open for application. Members with less than seven years post-qualification experience (PQE) are eligible to apply as a mentee. Members with PQE of seven years or more – and who are enthusiastic about nurturing young professionals – are encouraged to join as mentors. Interested members should register online by 31 December. 

Career Survey 2019

The Institute is conducting its annual Career Survey with the aim of better serving members' needs, the survey covers employment prospects, new technologies and earning power. Those who complete the survey can enter to win one of 15 prizes, including an Apple iWatch. The survey closes on 22 December.

Position Paper on Changes to Practical Experience Framework

The Institute issued the Position Paper on Changes to Practical Experience Framework. The revised framework enhances the flexibility of the practical experience requirements, strengthens the quality assurance of the Authorized Employer and Authorized Supervisor system, and promotes communication through an online system.

New report on key audit matters released

The Institute has released its second-year report into the communication of key audit matters and the effects it has had on users of financial reports, to determine how the profession could better respond to stakeholders' needs. Read the full report here.  


Resolution by Agreement

Law Ka Lok, CPA (practising) and Latitude CPA Limited

Complaint: Failure or neglect to observe, maintain or otherwise apply Hong Kong Standard on Quality Control 1 Quality Control for Firms that Perform Audits and Reviews of Financial Statements, and Other Assurance and Related Services Engagements.

Latitude CPA Limited audited the financial statements of two private companies. Law is the managing director of Latitude and was the engagement director of the relevant audits.

In response to the Institute’s enquiries, Latitude claimed that there had been unauthorized deletion and consequent permanent loss of the audit documentation which was kept in electronic form in the practice’s computer server. The Institute’s review of Latitude’s policies and procedures revealed that it had failed to design and implement proper control policies to ensure the integrity and retention of audit documentation.

Regulatory action: In lieu of further proceedings, the Council concluded the following action should resolve the complaint:

  1. The respondents acknowledge the facts of the case and their non-compliance with the relevant professional standard;
  2. They be reprimanded; and
  3. They jointly pay an administrative penalty of HK$40,000 and costs of HK$10,000.

Lee Po Chi, CPA (practising) and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

Complaint: Failure or neglect to observe, maintain or otherwise apply Hong Kong Standard on Auditing (HKSA) 500 Audit Evidence.

Deloitte audited the consolidated financial statements of Culturecom Holdings Limited, a Hong Kong listed company, and its subsidiaries (collectively, group) for each of the years ended 31 March 2013 to 2016 and expressed unmodified auditor’s opinions. Lee was the engagement partner in those audits.

The financial statements for 2014 and 2015 included an impairment loss of HK$29.6 million on the group’s investment in a listed company. This loss was inappropriately recorded, as the market value of the investee’s shares was greater than their carrying amount in the two years. As a result, the group’s net assets were understated in those financial statements. In the group’s 2016 audited financial statements, the impairment loss was retrospectively reversed.

Regulatory action: In lieu of further proceedings, the Council concluded the following action should resolve the complaint:

  1. The respondents acknowledge the facts of the case and their non-compliance with the relevant professional standard;
  2. They be reprimanded; and
  3. Each of the respondents pay an administrative penalty of HK$50,000 and they jointly pay costs of HK$10,000.

Disciplinary findings

Chin Oi Lin, Irene, CPA (practising)

Complaint: Failure to respond to the requests of the Institute’s Quality Assurance Department (QAD) which amounts to professional misconduct.

Chin was a practising CPA since January 2006, running a part-time practice. In January 2015, Chin's practice was selected for a practice review. However, the review could not be carried out because Chin refused or neglected to cooperate with the QAD by providing the information necessary for conducting a practice review.

Chin failed to respond to QAD's repeated requests to submit information required in relation to the practice review, including a direction issued by the Institute's Practice Review Committee. Chin also did not respond to the Institute's correspondence sent to her registered office, the maintenance of which was required by section 31(1) of Professional Accountants Ordinance (Cap. 50) (PAO).

The Disciplinary Committee agreed that Chin's behaviour demonstrated wilful disregard of the Institute’s attempts to establish communication with her, which violates the spirit of section 31(1) of the PAO. Further, as a practising CPA, Chin should know the statutory function of a practice review is to uphold the quality of the profession. Her continuous neglect to respond to QAD’s requests not only caused significant delays to the practice review process, but also demonstrated a blatant disregard for the direction and repeated requests for cooperation from the Institute, which amounts to professional misconduct under the PAO.

Decisions and reasons: Chin was reprimanded. The practising certificate issued to Chin in 2018 is to be cancelled, and her name be removed from the register of CPAs for three years. In addition, Chin was ordered to pay a penalty of HK$30,000 and costs of the disciplinary proceedings of HK$60,943. When making its decision, the committee considered the particulars in support of the complaint, including Chin's unprofessional behaviour.

Leung Kin Sun, Sunny, CPA (practising) and Sunny Leung & Company

Complaint: Failure or neglect to observe, maintain or otherwise apply HKSA 260, HKSA 320, HKSA 500, HKSA 550, HKSA 580 and the fundamental principle of Professional Competence and Due Care in sections 100.4(c) and 130 of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.

Leung is the sole proprietor of Sunny Leung & Company which expressed an unmodified auditor’s opinion on the financial statements of Ting Wai Monastery Limited, an approved charitable institution, for the year ended 31 March 2009. The audit procedures contained deficiencies relating to audit materiality, related party transactions, bank confirmations and certain income and expenditure items. The respondents also failed to adequately document communication with those charged with governance on some audit issues.

Decisions and reasons: The respondents were reprimanded. They were also ordered to jointly pay a penalty of HK$80,000 and costs of disciplinary proceedings of HK$60,956. When making its decision, the Disciplinary Committee considered the deficiencies identified, the seriousness of the case, the respondents’ conduct throughout the proceedings, and the parties’ submissions.


Details of the disciplinary findings and guidelines for the Resolutions by Agreement are available at the Institute’s website: www.hkicpa.org.hk.