Important
Notice

Further to the resumption of counter services early this month, we are pleased to re-open our library facilities with effect from 21 September 2020 (Monday). The library opening hours are 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon on Saturday.

close
spacer
search icon cross white
spacer bookmark cross
search icon
Search Tags

  Total: Bookmarks

 Bookmark(s) Click icon to add bookmark(s) to my profile

  •  Local Bookmark is Empty

 User Profile Bookmark(s)

  •  Profile is Empty
MENU
spacer
bookmark cross white
A
search icon cross white
search icon
Search Tags

  Total: Bookmarks

Click icon to add bookmark(s) to my profile

 Bookmark(s)

 User Profile Bookmark(s)

close

Forgot password / username Re-send activiation email Register an account

HKICPA urges boards to commit to good disclosure and ensure robust risk management in times of uncertainty

06 July 2020

The 20th anniversary of the Best Corporate Governance Awards calls for entries

 

(HONG KONG, 6 July 2020) Good corporate governance has long been seen as a foundation for sustainable organizations, which underpins the investment value of listed companies. This year, Hong Kong’s prestigious benchmark of corporate governance excellence – the Best Corporate Governance Awards (BCGA / Awards) – are celebrating their 20th anniversary. Organized by the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA), the Awards are now open for entry until 10 August.

Times of uncertainty, such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, create challenges for the operations of organizations. At such times, for listed companies in particular, corporate governance plays an especially important role in protecting investors’ and stakeholders’ interests. The HKICPA is urging boards of directors to ensure that companies review their risk management and reporting system.

“COVID-19 has challenged the disaster preparedness of businesses, and forced them to adapt and to address a range of issues, from staffing and logistics, to cybersecurity and communications. How well companies have been able to address these questions could make the difference between success and failure. Going forward, some companies may need to look at modifying their business models and operating practices,” said Mr. Johnson Kong, President of the HKICPA and Chairman of the Judging Panel of the Best Corporate Governance Awards 2020. 

“Companies with effective corporate governance and sustainability practices are in a better position to get through these difficult times, because they have boards that encourage frank and open discussions, and the ability and willingness to engage all their stakeholders,” said Mr. Kong. 

In terms of COVID-19-related disclosures, the HKICPA notes that, in the April issue of its Listed Issuer Regulation Newsletter, the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (HKEX) encouraged listed companies to provide quantitative measures of the financial impact, and assessments of cost measures and liquidity positions; as well as to update investors on material developments and disclose any new business opportunities with factual information in a clear and balanced way.  

“We would echo those sentiments on the need for transparency at this time,” Mr. Kong added. Looking at the annual reports for the year ending 31 December 2019 of Hang Seng Index constituents – even though the pandemic did not take hold until after the reporting period – the HKICPA observed that around 30% of them included more extensive COVID-19-related information, such as discussing the impact of this crisis and the underlying measures, while a few also indicated that they have sufficient liquidity. This is something that the HKICPA will look at in more detail during the review stage of this year’s Awards. 

Mr. Kong explained that the gatekeeper role of auditors can be particularly important during an economic downturn. Companies could have a greater incentive to engage in financial misconduct and fraud during difficult times. Auditors exercising their professional scepticism can help to identify potential gaps in an organization’s financial reporting and internal control systems. 

“Boards should also ensure that listed companies review their business contingency planning to ensure that it addresses how to maintain effective operations in different scenarios, such as when facing major resource constraints or increased vulnerability to cyberattacks. This is equally true for major public sector organizations providing essential services, such as health services,” said Mr. Patrick Rozario, Chairman of the Review Panel of the BCGA 2020. 

Over the two decades since the inception of the Awards, corporate governance has developed and the bar has been raised steadily and progressively in Hong Kong. “Nowadays, investors, particularly institutional investors, are increasingly concerned about the sustainability practices and the disclosures of companies. More asset managers are considering a company’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices when assessing its investment potential during their risk assessment process. Some asset managers believe companies with strong profiles in terms of addressing material sustainability issues will outperform those with poor profiles. On sustainability, the judges of the BCGA recommend companies to develop clear strategies and objectives from the top down, as well as undertaking ongoing benchmarking with key performance indicators and concrete targets to monitor how they are performing,” explained Mr. Rozario. 

“For the past 20 years, the BCGA has promoted and highlighted the value of good governance, identified those listed companies and public sector organizations that represent best practices in Hong Kong, and encouraged others to follow suit. The Awards judging criteria look beyond the minimum legal and regulatory requirements to identify voluntary disclosures and practices that demonstrate that good corporate governance has become part of the DNA of a company or organization,” said Ms. Loren Tang, Chair of the Organizing Committee of the BCGA 2020. 

“The Awards have established a recognized benchmark for Hong Kong’s corporate governance and sustainability and social responsibility reporting standards. The HKICPA is now inviting listed companies and public sector and not-for-profit organizations to enter the BCGA 2020.” Ms. Tang explained that the HKICPA puts considerable effort into reviewing around 500 annual reports and a similar number of standalone sustainability reports, as well as related information on websites, in the belief that a culture of good corporate governance and sustainable business practices can enhance investor and public confidence in the Hong Kong capital market. The aim is ensure that Hong Kong’s market continues to attract high-quality investment in a very competitive regional and global environment. 

This 20th anniversary of the BCGA is supported by media sponsors Hong Kong Economic Times, The Standard and ET Net. For more details of the Awards, please visit: 

https://www.hkicpa.org.hk/-/media/Document/APD/BCGA/2020_pamphlet.pdf

 

市道不明朗 卓越企業管治成關鍵
香港會計師公會倡董事會實踐優良披露及風險管理

 

「最佳企業管治大獎」20周年 現接受報名

 

(香港,二零二零年七月六日)優良管治向來被視為企業可持續發展的根基,而可持續發展更是上市公司投資價值的基礎。香港會計師公會主辦的「最佳企業管治大獎」今年20周年,是公認的卓越企業管治基準。大獎現接受報名,截止日期為八月十日。

各種不明朗因素,如新型冠狀病毒疫情帶來的衝擊,令企業的營運面對重重挑戰。在逆市中,企業管治對於保障投資者及持份者的利益發揮着重要作用。香港會計師公會倡董事會確保企業謹慎檢討風險管理及報告系統。

香港會計師公會會長兼「最佳企業管治大獎2020」評審團主席江智蛟先生說:「新冠疫情為企業的危機應變帶來挑戰,迫使公司作出即時反應,應對調配人手、後勤支援以至網絡保安及通訊等營運事宜。公司解決營運問題的能力是成敗關鍵所在。為應付未來的需要,公司更可能要考慮改變業務模式及營運方法。」

江先生說:「若企業具備有效的管治及可持續發展實務,董事會能開誠佈公地溝通,並積極有效聯繫所有持份者,會擁有較有利的條件渡過難關。」

就企業披露新冠疫情的影響,公會留意到,香港聯合交易所有限公司於四月刊發的《上市發行人監管通訊》中,鼓勵上市公司提供可量化的財務影響措施、評估成本措施及流動資金狀況、向投資者公佈重大發展,並以清晰及持平的方式披露新業務機會的真確資料。江先生表示,公會認同企業面對目前逆境需保持高透明度。

以恒生指數成份股中於二零一九年十二月三十一日年結的公司年報為例,即使疫症於年結期後才蔓延,依公會的觀察,約有三成的年報披露了較詳細的疫情相關資訊,例如公司受疫症危機的影響及應對措施,有些公司更表明流動資金穩健。公會於今屆大獎的評審階段會特別留意這方面的披露。

江先生解釋說,在經濟低迷時期,審計師作為把關者的角色份外重要。經營困難的公司或會鋌而走險進行財務不當行為及欺詐,審計師的專業懷疑有助找出機構的財務匯報和內部監控系統中的潛在漏洞。

「最佳企業管治大獎2020」遴選委員會主席羅柏達先生表示:「董事會應確保上市公司檢討業務應變計劃,務求公司於各種情況,例如是主要資源方面受到限制及面對網絡攻擊風險增加時亦能有效運作,而公營界別如醫療服務機構亦應採取同樣的應對。」

自大獎設立的20年間,本港的企業管治長足發展,管治水平亦逐步提升。羅先生解釋說:「時至今日,投資者,尤其是機構投資者,日漸重視公司的可持續發展實務及披露。愈來愈多資產管理機構在評估投資風險時,會考慮公司的環境、社會及管治(ESG)實務以評價其投資潛力。有些資產管理機構認為,在應對重大可持續發展事宜時實力較強的公司,表現會跑贏實力較弱的對手。就可持續發展方面,大奬評審團建議公司從上而下制訂明確的策略及目標,並按關鍵績效指標及具體目標持續進行對比,以監察表現。」

大獎籌委會主席鄧苑儀女士說:「在過去20年,大獎一直提倡良好管治的價值,表揚實踐卓越管治實務的本港上市公司及公營機構,鼓勵市場提高管治水平。大獎的評選特別注重優於最低法定及監管要求的自願披露及實務,嘉許管治精神深厚植根的公司及機構。」

「大獎為本港樹立了卓越企業管治、可持續發展及社會責任報告的楷模。本年度大獎現接受報名,公會誠邀上市公司、公營及非牟利機構參與。」鄧女士解釋說,公會會審閱年報及獨立可持續發展報告各約500份,並參考機構的網上披露,才選出得獎者。公會深信優良企業管治文化及可持續發展實務,有利增強投資者及公眾對香港資本市場的信心,並有助確保香港市場面對區內及環球激烈競爭,仍能吸引高質素的投資。

「最佳企業管治大獎2020」的傳媒合作夥伴包括香港經濟日報、英文虎報及經濟通。有關大獎的詳情,請瀏覽:https://www.hkicpa.org.hk/-/media/Document/APD/BCGA/2020_pamphlet.pdf

gotop