Accountancy in Hong Kong


Accountancy in Hong Kong

Accountancy in Hong Kong is regulated by the HKICPA under the Professional Accountants Ordinance (Chapter 50, Laws of Hong Kong). The auditing industry for limited companies is regulated under the Companies Ordinance (Chapter 32, Laws of Hong Kong), and other Ordinances such as the Securities and Futures Ordinance, the Listing Rules, etc.

Accounting standards

The regulating of accountancy, auditing, membership, professional, licensing all falls under the HKICPA. However, in many cases, the HKICPA themselves are helpless in concluding what constitutes properly prepared financial statements. There were some attempts in obtaining external professional legal opinions on behalf of its members (e.g. what constitutes "true and fair") but they are non-binding in court. The ultimate True and Fair / True and Correct of a set of published financial statement falls under the Court system in Hong Kong, which relies on the generally accepted practice in Hong Kong. This is consistent with other common law practices.

In 2005, the HKICPA adopted almost all the most current accounting and auditing standards from the IFAC and its associated standard setting bodies with the additions of a few local written interpretations of these principal based accounting and auditing standards. Local written interpretations try to cater to the unique situations in Hong Kong such as the problem of the remaining land lease.

Prior to the formation of HKICPA in 1972 (or formerly know as HKSA before 2004 September), the auditing industry was loosely regulated. Organizations including The Society of Chinese Accountants and Auditors ("SCAACPA") has helped in standardising recognised auditors for financial statements.

There were also few serious accounting and auditing standards prior to 1986. Before 1972, auditing standards were often upheld by the individual integrity of these professional auditors. Accounting standards were based on the few international firms in the then colony including Lowe, Bingham and Matthews, KPMG, Sanford Yung, etc.

1972 was seen as a turning point for the accountancy profession in Hong Kong. Most international accounting firms (the forebearers of the Big Four accounting firms today) established their presence in Hong Kong within a few years before or after the establishment of HKICPA.

In 1974, the British based accountancy body with a global presence - Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) assisted with setting up the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (formerly named "Hong Kong Society of Accountants") as the local statutory accountancy body in Hong Kong.

HKSA looked upon the exams from 2 accountancy bodies - the aforementioned ACCA from UK and the ASCPA from Australia. At that time university education in the Colony was less common than nowadays. Both accountancy bodies did not require university degree and so HKSA deemed these as suitable for the Hong Kong admission standards.

Around 1985, the HKICPA adopted most of their auditing and accounting standards from ICAEW.

Around 1994, the HKICPA slowly adopted their auditing and accounting standards from the IFAC and its associated standard setting bodies. Full integration was achieved by the HKICPA within 10 years, i.e. in 2005. Senior accountants in Hong Kong may consider this a period of re-learning, adoption of frameworks and principle based standards and a more stringent in governance and regulation of the accounting profession.

Accountancy practitioners

There are no restrictions to call himself an "accountant" in Hong Kong as long as it does not imply that he is actually a qualified accountant or "Professional Accountant". However, non-qualified individuals (including those who were qualified overseas but not registered with HKICPA as an International Associate) who call themselves Professional Accountants, CPA or CPA(practising) in Hong Kong probably will face actions from HKICPA.

After 2004, all Professional Accountants are designated into Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Fellow Certified Public Accountant (FCPA).

Individual CPAs who are licensed by the PAO to sign-off audited reports for financial statements of Limited Companies under Companies Ordinance would be known as Certified Public Accountant (Practising) (CPA(Practising)). To make it more confusing, there are no restriction for CPA(Practising) to call themselves simply as CPA. This "Practising" title appears to be similar in meaning as an "Registered Auditor" (R.A.) in some countries and is seen to be a form of (and the only) professional speciality.

From 1972 to 2004, all Professional Accountants in Hong Kong would call themselves either "AHKSA" (Associate member of HKSA) or "FHKSA" (Fellow member of HKSA). The individuals who were then licensed to sign-off audit reports were known as Certified Public Accountant or Public Accountants ("CPA or PA") prior to September 2004. These peculiar terms appears to be unique in Hong Kong, and has created confusion for the rest of the professions around the world, and even some accountants themselves, as to what AHKSA is. There were accounts for lay persons who cannot differentiate the differences between AHKSA and ACCA.

All the CPA and CPA(Practising) need to pass a set of examinations designated by the HKICPA. CPAs(Practising), in particular, have to go through more rigorous examinations and have to demonstrate that he is competent in local taxation and audits.

Memberships and other Affiliations

Accountancy is a well established and sought after profession in Hong Kong. A functional constituency in the house of legislature in Hong Kong is elected solely by the professional accountants themselves. Function constituency is unique in Hong Kong.

CPAs in Hong Kong has this peculiar phenominon, enjoying cross-membership with other local and overseas professional bodies. (Please feel free to add links to these bodies). Unscientific survey has been collected so far in identifying members with the following bodies.

Local bodies relevant to accountancy:
* The Taxation Institution of Hong Kong (TIHK)
* The Society of Chinese Accountants and Auditors (SCAACPA)
* The Institute of Financial Planners of Hong Kong (IFPHK)
* ITAccountants Associations (ITAA)

Overseas bodies:
* Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
* American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)
* Association of International Accountants (AIA)
* Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA)
* The Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CICPA)
* Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
* Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)
* CPA Australia (CPAA)
* Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA)
* Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
* Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ireland (ICAI)
* New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA)
* Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
* Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ)
* South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA)


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants — The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (Chinese: 香港會計師公會) (HKICPA) is a professional body for accountants in Hong Kong.Its main responsibilities are: *Registration and regulation of profession accountants in Hong Kong. *Issurance …   Wikipedia

  • Hong Kong Baptist University — Infobox University name = Hong Kong Baptist University native name = 香港浸會大學 (浸大) caption = HKBU Emblem motto = 篤信力行 established = 1956 type = Public chancellor = Donald Tsang vice chancellor = Prof. Ng Ching fai city = Kowloon Tong country = Hong …   Wikipedia

  • Hong Kong Chief Executive election, 2007 — Infobox Election election name = Hong Kong Chief Executive election, 2007 country = Hong Kong type = presidential ongoing = no previous election = Hong Kong Chief Executive election, 2005 previous year = 2005 next election = next year = election… …   Wikipedia

  • Lingnan University (Hong Kong) — Infobox University name =Lingnan University native name =嶺南大學 motto =Chinese: 作育英才,服務社會 (lit: Training People for Service to Society) English: Education for Service established =1888 as Canton Christian College type =Public endowment = staff =538 …   Wikipedia

  • List of graduates of Hong Kong Polytechnic University — List of notable graduates of Hong Kong Polytechnic University or the former Hong Kong Polytechnic.Academics* Law Chung King (1965, Cert. in Electrical Engineering) Robert H. Goddard Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Princeton… …   Wikipedia

  • Legislative Council of Hong Kong — 香港立法會 Hēung góng Laahp faat Wúih 4th Legislative Council …   Wikipedia

  • City University of Hong Kong — Coordinates: 22°20′11.12″N 114°10′22.76″E / 22.3364222°N 114.1729889°E / 22.3364222; 114.1729889 …   Wikipedia

  • Democratic development in Hong Kong — Democracy protesters on 13 Jan 2008 demanding universal suffrage by 2012 Participants HK Govt …   Wikipedia

  • City University of Hong Kong — (CityU) Fichier:City University of Hong Kong Logo.gif Nom original 香港城市大學 (城大) Informations Fondation 1984 (as City Polytechnic of Hong Kong) Type Localisation Kowloon, Hong Kong Président …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Université municipale de Hong Kong — City University of Hong Kong (CityU) CityU Logo Nom original 香港城市大學 (城大) Informations Fondation 1984 (en tant que City Polytechnic of Hong Kong) Type Localisation Ville …   Wikipédia en Français