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Expectations of the accountancy profession for the next Chief Executive of HKSAR government

14 March 2017

(HONG KONG, 14 March 2017) The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants announced today the expectations of the profession for the next Chief Executive of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government as follows:

 

 

1.     Audit regulatory reform

 

Establish a robust, independent, fair and just audit regulatory system in Hong Kong that is internationally recognized and suits local circumstances – strengthening the role of Hong Kong as an international financial centre.

 

Specifically, we call for the government to:

 

  • ensure separation of inspection, investigation and disciplinary functions within the independent oversight body.

     

  • ensure that the independent oversight body includes a sufficient number of people with relevant auditing experience and knowledge.

     

  • provide more details on sanctioning guidelines, and operational cost of the independent oversight body, whose funding should come from investors.

     

  • provide a mechanism for setting, approving and monitoring the independent oversight body's budget to give comfort over its accountability and prudent financial management.

 

2.     Cross-border opportunities

 

The future Hong Kong chief executive should continue to work with the Mainland government to expand the opportunities for our members over the border, including but not limited to:

 

  • allowing Hong Kong CPAs to become non-practising partners of Mainland CPA practices to inject expertise and experience in non-auditing services.

     

  • allowing Hong Kong CPAs to provide tax-related services to Mainland enterprises and residents.

     

  • allowing Hong Kong CPAs who have obtained Chinese Institute of CPAs qualification to establish Mainland CPA partnership or limited liability practices without Mainland CPAs to be majority shareholders or partners or to join CPA partnership or limited liability practices.

 

3.     Professional liability reform

 

A statutory cap on auditor's liability and proportionate liability should be introduced to:

 

  • improve capital market stability.

     

  • create the conditions for more CPAs firms to enter the listed company audit market, so providing more choice and expanding the talent pool.

 

4.     Review of tax system of Hong Kong

 

We welcome the government to set up a tax policy unit which the Institute has been advocating for a number of years. However, more information is needed about the composition as it is crucial in driving the direction of tax policy. The tax policy unit should look at how to:

 

  • enhance the overall competitiveness of Hong Kong's tax regime.

     

  • modernize the Inland Revenue Ordinance.

     

  • address the potential impact of international tax developments.

 

5.     Corporate governance

 

Government should continue to give priority to corporate governance in both private and public sectors to support Hong Kong's efforts to remain a leading financial centre.

 

6.     Introduction of corporate rescue regime

 

Hong Kong still lacks statutory provisions for rescuing financially distressed companies, which puts us at a disadvantage to our competitors in the region.

 

The government should move forward quickly with legislation in this area, which was first proposed by the Law Reform Commission over 20 years ago.

 

It is hoped that the 30 EC members (accountancy subsector) would relay the above to the candidates running for the chief executive election when they meet with them and that they would take these areas into consideration when they discharge their duties as EC members.

 

 

會計界對下一任香港特區首長的期望

 

(香港,二零一七年三月十四日) 香港會計師公會今天公布會計界對下一任香港特區首長的期望,詳情如下:

 

1.     審計監管改革

 

為香港建立堅固、獨立而公正的審計監管機制,務求機制在獲得國際認可的同時,切合本港情況,以增強香港作為國際金融中心的角色。

 

在細節上,我們呼籲政府:

 

  • 確保獨立監察組織內的查核、調查及紀律處分的功能分開。

     

  • 確保獨立監察組織有足夠具備審計經驗和知識的人士。

     

  • 提供處分指引和獨立監察組織營運成本的詳情,而有關經費應由投資者支付。

     

  • 設立機制,以制訂、審批及監督獨立監察組織的預算,確保其問責性及審慎的財務管理。

 

2.     跨境業務發展

 

未來香港特首應繼續與內地政府磋商,為我們會員增加跨境業務的機會,包括但不限於以下事項:

 

  • 容許香港會計師成為內地會計師事務所的非執業合夥人,以引進非審計業務的知識和經驗。

     

  • 容許香港會計師向內地企業和居民提供與稅務有關的服務。

     

  • 容許獲得中國注冊會計師資格的香港會計師在內地成立合夥制或有限責任制會計師事務所,而毋須內地會計師作為主要股東或合夥人,或容許他們加入合夥制或有限責任制的內地會計師事務所。

 

3.     專業責任改革

 

對核數師責任,應設定上限,並引入合乎比例的責任,以便:

 

  • 改善資本市場的穩定性。

     

  • 為更多會計師事務所參與上市公司審計創造條件,從而提供更多選擇及擴大人才庫。

 

4.     檢討香港稅制

 

公會歡迎政府成立其倡導多年的稅務政策組,但需要得知更多有關組成的資料,因為這對推動稅務政策的方向尤為重要。稅務政策組應檢討如何:

 

  • 提高香港稅制的整體競爭力。

     

  • 把《稅務條例》現代化。

     

  • 回應國際稅務發展可能帶來的影響。

 

5.     企業管治

 

政府應繼續在公私營機構優先推行企業管治,以維持香港作為主要金融中心的地位。

 

6.     引入企業拯救機制

 

香港缺乏拯救財務受困的企業的法例,令我們與區內競爭者比較時,處於劣勢。

 

法律改革委員會在超過 20 年前已提議有關的法令,政府應盡快就此立法。

 

公會希望三十位選舉委員會(會計界界別)代表在會見各特首候選人時,轉達以上業界的期望,及在履行選委會代表的職責時,考慮這些要點。

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