FAQ

Membership Registration Matters
Register as a CPA
Q1.What are the procedures in applying for membership?
Q2.How much is the joining and member annual fee? 
Q3.How long will it take to process a membership application?
Q4.What are the submission deadlines for applications?
Q5.What is aptitude test? Who is required to take this test?
Q6.How many years of practical experience are required for registration as a CPA?
Q7.What is the experience requirement for registration as a CPA?
Q8.What documents are required to certify my practical experience for membership application?
Q9.Are the prospective members under training required to work for one authorized employer or authorized supervisor? In other words, can the training programme be transferred if the employee is seeking to change employment?
Q10.What can a prospective member do if neither the employer nor the supervisor is authorized?
Q11.Assuming that the main office is in Hong Kong, is work experience gained in the Mainland China or Macau offices regarded as overseas experience?
Q12.I have been working outside Hong Kong since May 2004, will my working experience be accepted for membership admission?
Q13.Is an applicant required to be working in the accounting field when making the membership application?
Q14.Does the Institute tell prospective members about the details of authorized employers or authorized supervisors?
Q15.Can I apply for membership with other overseas accountancy bodies on the basis of my qualification programme graduate status now?
Q16.As an Institute student graduate, I shall submit my membership application within the next few months. Is it necessary for me to pay my student annual fee in the next calendar year or can I get a refund if I have already paid the fee?
 
Membership registration
Q1.I will start a new employment in Shanghai, how can I update my contact details?
Q2.If I will leave Hong Kong for a period of time, do I need to resign from membership?
Q3.Any reduced membership fee for members residing overseas? How can I apply for reduced membership fee?
Q4.How can I become a fellow member of the Institute?
Q5.How can I add my English name to the Institute's membership record?
Q6.I have lost my membership certificate, what should I do?
Q7.How can I get a letter from the Institute certifying my membership status?
Q8.What are the procedures to apply for reinstatement of membership?
 
General
Q1.How can I check the registration status of an individual with the Institute?
Q2.I have lost contact with my friend who is a member of the Institute, please give me his contact telephone number.

 

 Register as a CPA
Q1.What are the procedures in applying for membership?
Ans.

Applicants are required to submit a completed membership application form (form R-3), a crossed cheque or bank draft for the appropriate registration fees payable to the "Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants" and relevant supporting documents as specified in the "checklist for membership applicants" attached to form R-3 for the Institute's consideration.

 
 Q2.How much is the joining and member annual fee?
 Ans.

Applicants are required to pay a one-off application fee and an annual fee for membership admission purpose.

 

With effect from 1 July 2011, applications approved on or after 1 July of the year will only be required to pay half of the annual fee for the current calendar year.

Please refer to fee schedule under forms and downloads section for details.

 
Q3.How long will it take to process a membership application?
Ans.

Applications with full payment and relevant supporting documents submitted according to the deadlines specified for each registration and practising committee meeting will be considered at that meeting. Applications received after the deadline will be processed at the next meeting of the committee. 

 

 

Normally, official result will be available 10 weeks after the submission deadline.

 
Q4.What are the submission deadlines for applications?
Ans.

Please refer to submission deadline under forms and downloads section.

 
Q5.What is aptitude test? Who is required to take this test?
Ans.

Under section 24(1) of the Professional Accountants Ordinance, a person shall be qualified to be registered as an Institute member if he or she proves to the satisfaction of the Institute's council that he or she has passed such examinations in accountancy and other subjects as may be prescribed by the council. 

 

Accordingly, applicants applying for the Institute membership by virtue of their membership with an accepted accountancy body are required to sit and pass an aptitude test to satisfy the examination requirement for membership admission.

 

Please refer to "The candidate" section of the notes to "AT – entry form" for details.

 
Q6.How many years of practical experience are required for registration as a CPA?
Ans.

The prescribed period of practical experience is five years. In the case of a recognized degree holder or graduates of the Hong Kong Institute of Accredited Accounting Technicians (HKIAAT) who do not hold a degree but have passed the Institute's Qualification Programme (QP), or a holder of a diploma in accountancy awarded by an educational institute accepted by the council, it is three to four years as the case may be. 

 

At present, the number of years of experience required for:

recognized degree holders or HKIAAT graduates who have passed the QP (Three years)

recognized accountancy diploma holders (Four years)
holders of other academic qualifications (Five years)
 
Q7.What is the experience requirement for registration as a CPA?
Ans.

You are required to possess three to five years of practical experience for membership admission, depending on your academic qualifications. Practical experience means experience whether in Hong Kong or elsewhere acceptable to the council as an employee of a person practising public accountancy or in the financial or management accountancy department of an organization in industry, commerce or the public service or in a similar department. 

 

 

Under the current policy, within the required length of full time practical experience for membership, an applicant can have up to two employments, each of which is less than 12 months long with the same employer. The rest of the experience must be acquired from employment(s) that lasts for at least 12 months with the same employer. Depending on the academic qualifications of the applicant, the respective requirements are: 

 

 
 Minimum length of full time practical experience for membershipMaximum number of employmentsMaximum number of employments which are less than 12 months each
Approved degree holders or HKIAAT graduates who have passed the QP
3 years
4
2
Approved accountancy diploma holders
4 years
5
2
Holders of other academic qualifications
5 years
6
2

 

The Institute's requirement to gain experience under an authorized employer or authorized supervisor became mandatory for all prospective members with effect from 1 July 2005. This means that the relevant experience in accountancy acquired by a prospective member on or after 1 July 2005 must be gained under an authorized employer or authorized supervisor in order to be counted for membership admission. Please refer to the practical experience framework's support manual for details. 

 

Relevant experience gained by applicants from other recognized bodies, if applicable, prior to 1 July 2005 from non-authorized employer or non-authorized supervisor will continue to be recognized for the Institute's membership admission on a case-by-case basis. 

 

For registered students of the Institute, the above date will be 1 January 2005.

 
Q8.What documents are required to certify my practical experience for membership application?
Ans.

Under the old system (for experience acquired before the mandatory implementation of the practical experience framework on 1 July 2005), prospective members are required to furnish the Institute with official testimonials issued by past and present employers, who may or may not be members of the Institute, to substantiate that they have satisfied the Institute’s practical experience requirements for membership purposes. 

 

For experience acquired from 1 July 2005 onwards, prospective members are required to use the record form in the prospective member's record of practical experience for membership admission to record their practical experience which should be duly signed by their authorized employer or authorized supervisor. No official testimonial issued by an employer is required. 

 

Please refer to the practical experience framework's support manual and/or relevant section in our website from time to time for updates. 

 

Completed experience record of other accountancy institutes is not accepted for the purpose. Please also refer to the checklist for membership applicants attached to the Institute's membership application form R-3 for details of other supporting documents required to certify your practical experience that were acquired prior to 1 July 2005, i.e. before the mandatory implementation of the practical experience framework.

 

For registered students of the Institute, the above date will be 1 January 2005.

 
Q9.Are the prospective members under training required to work for one authorized employer or authorized supervisor? In other words, can the training programme be transferred if the employee is seeking to change employment?
Ans.

Prospective members do not need to be trained by one authorized employer or authorized supervisor for the entire period of practical experience under the same employer, for it to be counted. When seeking to change employment, the prospective member should seek to attain the appropriate type and level of experience from another authorized employer or authorized supervisor.

 
Q10.What can a prospective member do if neither the employer nor the supervisor is authorized?
Ans.

It is the prospective member's responsibility to attain the appropriate type and level of practical experience to the prescribed standards for membership admission. Such experience will only be provided by the authorized employers and authorized supervisors. It is therefore important that prospective members urge their supervisors or employers who are eligible for registration to seek registration with the Institute as soon as possible. 

 

If the prospective members' employers cannot be registered as authorized employers and they cannot find anyone within their organization to act as authorized supervisors, but is engaged in accounting related duties, they are allowed to apply to the Institute for the assignment of an external authorized supervisors such that their experience can be regarded as having been acquired under an authorized employer or authorized supervisor. Applications will be considered by the Institute on an individual merit basis provided that the following basic requirements are met:

they will complete the Institute’s QP in full for membership admission purposes;
they are working full time in Hong Kong and their jobs are accounting-related;
their applications are supported by their employing organizations (sponsoring employer); and

they have a supervisor (sponsoring supervisor) within organization who is able to provide training and guidance to them. 

 

Please visit our website for application requirements and procedures for registration under the external authorized supervisors scheme.
 
Q11.

Assuming that the main office is in Hong Kong, is work experience gained in the Mainland China or Macau offices regarded as overseas experience?

Ans.All practical experience gained outside Hong Kong is considered as overseas experience.
 
Q12.I have been working outside Hong Kong since May 2004, will my working experience be accepted for membership admission?
Ans.
Under the current policy, relevant accounting experience acquired by prospective members before 1 July 2005 in a jurisdiction of an accepted accountancy body may be fully accepted for membership admission i.e. Australia, Canada, Ireland, Mainland China, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Zimbabwe.

Accounting experience obtained in an office not situated in Hong Kong nor a territory under a recognized jurisdiction (overseas office), e.g. Macau, may be accepted in full if:

a.

the overseas office is that of (i) a Hong Kong entity or a branch / subsidiary thereof, or (ii) an entity operating in a recognized jurisdiction or a branch / subsidiary thereof; and

b.the applicant's work relates to the accounting practices of Hong Kong or those of a recognized jurisdiction; and
c.the applicant works under the direct supervision of a member of the Institute or a recognized institute.

If applicants cannot fulfill all three of the above criteria, at the discretion of the council, not more than half of their experience may be recognized up to a maximum of 18 months. However, experience gained in branch office of a Hong Kong CPA practice is considered as satisfying the three criteria for overseas experience. 

 

For accountancy experience gained after 1 July 2005, such experience will only be accepted if it is acquired under the practical experience framework and has been signed by authorized employer(s) or authorized supervisor(s). 

 

For registered students of the Institute, the above date will be 1 January 2005.

 
Q13.Is an applicant required to be working in the accounting field when making the membership application?
Ans.
The current policy does not require applicants to be in the accounting field at the point of application. For registered QP students of the Institute, the practical experience must be acquired within 10 years after the membership applicant's registration as a QP student of the Institute.
 
Q14.Does the Institute tell prospective members about the details of authorized employers or authorized supervisors?
Ans.

Yes, each authorized employer or authorized supervisor registered with the Institute will be awarded a registration certificate. 

 

For the authorized employers, their name, registered office and appointment period are posted in the Institute's website. Their contact details as those listed in the list of CPA practices published in the website are also posted. As for the authorized supervisors, their name, employing organization and appointment period are published in the website.

The list of authorized employers and authorized supervisors are accessible at:
Authorized employers
Authorized supervisors
  
Q15.

Can I apply for membership with other overseas accountancy bodies on the basis of my qualification programme (QP) graduate status now?

Ans.

The Institute members qualified through the QP are eligible for membership of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) under the reciprocal membership agreement (RMA) signed between the Institute and ICAEW.  Please visit our website for information and download the application form, if you have interest in applying for membership from the ICAEW.

 

The Institute has also entered into RMAs with other chartered accountancy institutes in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, Zimbabwe and South Africa, and Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) with the American Institute of CPAs/ U.S. State Boards of Accountancy, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and CPA Australia (CPAA). HKICPA members who qualified by completing the QP are eligible to apply for membership of these bodies without further examination or test (except for the U.S. MRA which requires completion of the relevant aptitude test on local law and practice).

 

In addition, the Institute has signed Agreements for Mutual Examination Paper Exemptions (MEPEs) with Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CICPA) and Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). The Institute’s QP graduated members are also eligible for partial exemption from the professional examinations of CICPA and CIMA.

As such, you must first register as an Institute member. After satisfying the respective requirements of the accountancy bodies concerned, you are eligible to apply for membership with these organizations. Please however note that the RMAs, MRAs and MEPEs only deal with membership admission but not the practising rights. The approval to admit a membership applicant to these bodies under the relevant RMAs/ MRAs/ MEPEs also rests with the organization concerned.

 
Q16.As an Institute student graduate, I shall submit my membership application within the next few months. Is it necessary for me to pay my student annual fee in the next calendar year or can I get a refund if I have already paid the fee?
Ans.
If you will submit your membership application to the Institute on or before the submission deadline in October and opt to have your membership registration effective on 1 January in the next calendar year, the official result of your membership application will be available in late December. Upon approval of your membership application, your name will automatically be removed from the student register. In this connection, you are advised to withhold your payment for the student annual fee in the next calendar year until receipt of the result for your membership application.
In case you will only acquire sufficient practical experience for membership purposes in the subsequent year or after, in order to keep yourself abreast of the latest development of the accountancy profession and any change of the Institute's membership admission policy, you are advised to renew your studentship according to the instruction provided in the annual renewal package that will be delivered to you in December.
Under the current policy, if your membership application is received and approved unconditionally by the Institute on or before 30 June in the same year, the student annual fee paid for this year will authomatically be fully refunded to you.
For graduates who submit their membership application after the second application submission deadline in the current year (in general, it will be set for early March), their membership applications will only be considered by the Institute after June and, as such, they will not be entitled to a refund of their student annual fee paid for the current year.
 Membership registration
Q1.I will start a new employment in Shanghai, how can I update my contact details?
Ans.

With an aim to protect the accuracy of the personal data of its members, the Institute will not act upon email requests for change of correspondence address. While we understand that this practice may cause inconvenience to our members, we hope you will appreciate that since electronic mail is an unidentifiable means of communication as specified under the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, and, as such, the Institute is unable to ascertain the identity of the senders, acting upon email requests for change of personal data may give rise to inaccurate information being kept in the membership records of the Institute. 

 

 In this connection, please update your new employment details in "Profile" under MyCPA in this website. As an alternative, you may write to the Institute or complete and return a duly signed membership record amendment coupon by post to the Institute’s Admission Department or fax to (852) 2575-6852 for change of your correspondence address.
 
Q2.If I will leave Hong Kong for a period of time, do I need to resign from membership?
Ans.
No, you can advise the Institute of your new correspondence address and other contact details in "Profile" under MyCPA or by completing and returning a membership record amendment coupon.
 
Q3.Any reduced membership fee for members residing overseas? How can I apply for reduced membership fee?
Ans.

Under the current policy, all members, irrespective of their employment status and location of residence, are required to pay full member annual fee to renew their membership registration.

With effect from 2012, reduced membership fees are available to long term members when they have reached the prescribed age on 1 January of the year respectively. No application is required in this respect.

 

Please refer to Annual Renewal section under Registration and licensing in this website for full information.

 
Q4.How can I become a fellow member of the Institute?
Ans.
If you can satisfy the requirement for advancement, you may apply for fellow status by completing and returning an application form R-5 along with the application fee to the Institute. Upon approval by the Institute's council, you will be given a new fellow membership number and a new fellow membership certificate/ card will be issued to you.
 
Q5.How can I add my English name to the Institute's membership record?
Ans.
To add your English name to the Institute's membership register and obtain new membership / PC certificate(s) bearing the new name, please send a written notice along with a certified copy of the supporting document such as your Hong Kong identity card or deed poll or a statutory declaration bearing your new name.

A handling charge which is equivalent to 25 percent of the prevailing membership application fee is required for the re-issue of a membership certificate to you.

 
Q6.I have lost my membership certificate, what should I do?
Ans.
Please send a written notice along with a cheque for the handling charge which is equivalent to 25 percent of the membership application fee to the Institute. You will be issued with a replacement certificate in due course.
 
Q7.How can I get a letter from the Institute certifying my membership status?
Ans.
Please send a written request to the Institute's Admission Department providing the detail about where we should send the letter and to whom the letter should be addressed.

No handling charge or postage for this service.

 
Q8.What are the procedures to apply for reinstatement of membership?
Ans.

At present, all former members are required to re-apply for membership by submitting an application form R-3 along with appropriate application and annual fees to the Institute.  The re-application will be assessed in accordance with the rules and requirements prevailing.  As such, applicants are advised to observe the latest membership admission requirements before submission of his/her re-application to the Institute for processing. 

 

While former members are not required to submit documents which are already in the Institute's records, applicants are required to provide additional supporting document(s), where applicable, to complete the current application procedures.   

 

Upon approval by the Institute's council, the date of approval of this application will be recorded as the new registration date. New membership certificate/ card will be issued to you in due course. 

 
General
Q1.How can I check the registration status of an individual with the Institute?
Ans.
The Institute has posted the full list of our members in the online membership list in our website. For information, full name as indicated in the Hong Kong identity card or passport of our members are registered in our membership database and online membership list. If it is your intention to verify the membership status of any person with the Institute, you may carry out the initial checking of the existing membership registration and practising status and specialist designation, if applicable, of an individual directly from our website.

In case written certification is required, under the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance in Hong Kong, the Institute cannot disclose personal details of our members to third parties without his/ her written consent. If a written certification is required, please send a signed written request along with a written consent from the individual concerned, (preferably with his/ her membership number) and a handling charge of HK$50 to us for our processing.

 
Q2.I have lost contact with my friend who is a member of the Institute, please give me his contact telephone number.
Ans.
Under the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance in Hong Kong, the Institute cannot disclose personal details of our members to third parties without his/ her consent.