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Message from the

Dear members,

It is my privilege to address you once again in this year’s annual report. I am honoured to have served an additional year as the President of the Institute under the transitional arrangements of the revisions to the Institute’s Council election arrangements passed in July 2022. This extension has allowed me to preside over the Institute’s 50th anniversary celebrations, a truly momentous occasion.

The three flagship events to celebrate our golden jubilee symbolize our vision and aspirations for the Institute as we conclude the first year since the further regulatory reform of the profession.

The first event, the 50th Anniversary Cup horse racing event in early June 2023, represents our excitement and enthusiasm as we burst through the gates on this new journey with a redefined role. The second event, the CPA Congress held in July 2023, demonstrates our commitment to embracing the future and equipping our members to thrive in a rapidly changing world. The third event, the 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner in December 2023, recognizes the achievements of the accounting sector over the past five decades and reminds us of the strong foundation upon which we stand. These events embody our hopes to thrive amid change, seize opportunities for our members, and to honour and build upon the Institute’s significant legacy.

Cementing our role

Indeed, the leaders who came before us have laid a strong platform, and now it is our turn to take the leap forward and create our own legacy for future accountants.

Following the regulatory reform that came into effect on 1 October 2022, the Institute remains steadfast in its commitment to advancing the accounting profession as the statutory body for registering CPAs. We continue to provide training and development opportunities for accountants in Hong Kong through our Qualification Programme (QP) and ongoing professional education. We also play a vital role in setting professional standards and supporting our esteemed members. Throughout the year, the Institute has been working diligently to implement its strategic goals to reinforce its identity, as outlined in the Strategic Plan 2023.

Attracting talent and nurturing a pipeline of highly skilled CPAs, who are globally recognized as leaders in the profession, remains a top priority for the Institute. The QP plays a pivotal role in this journey, offering an esteemed international qualification pathway for CPAs and aspiring business leaders. This programme contributes significantly to Hong Kong’s success, and we are actively renewing reciprocal membership agreements with international accounting bodies. We are committed to ensuring that the QP meets international standards and that fair and mutually beneficial recognition agreements are maintained to maximize our members’ impact. The Institute fully intends to equip our CPAs with the necessary professional competences as the needs of the market continue to evolve, making the QP the programme of choice for a career in both practice and business.

The issuance of the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards by the International Sustainability Standards Board in June 2023 was an important milestone for the profession globally and for the Institute. The Institute is resolute in its plans to become the standard setter for sustainability and climate disclosures in the city. In anticipation of these standards, the Institute enhanced efforts throughout the year in education and training, raising awareness, advocating for sustainability assurance by professional accountants, and implementing our own internal sustainability practices. We will continue to collaborate with authorities to move forward with our plans and contribute to Hong Kong’s sustainability journey, always keeping the interests of the accounting profession and the public good in mind.

We also actively seek opportunities within the Greater Bay Area (GBA) and across Mainland China and advocate for the profession, with the goal of facilitating our members’ success beyond Hong Kong. Our Council and management engage with various stakeholders to foster these opportunities. In May 2023, we visited Beijing for the first time in three years and held meetings with representatives from the Ministry of Finance’s Accounting Department, the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the China Securities Regulatory Commission. During these meetings, I had the pleasure of sharing updates on industry reform in Hong Kong and reporting on the Institute’s key focuses for the future, as well as the strategic priorities for 2023. Additionally, the Institute’s GBA Field Visit Series to Nansha and Dongguan provided valuable opportunities for engagement with stakeholders.

The expertise of our members is essential for the long-term growth of businesses. It is vital that we cultivate a positive reputation in the public sphere, highlighting the indispensable role and valuable contributions of the accounting profession. We will persist in seeking recognition from stakeholders for the Institute’s work and the esteemed standing of the profession. We are dedicated to upholding and advancing local and international standards, while also fostering open and effective communication channels with the public and our members. It is our commitment to ensure that stakeholders are well-informed about our latest endeavours and progress.

Looking to the future

As we commemorate our past achievements, we must also look to the future. The world is undergoing unprecedented change, and the accounting profession, along with the broader business landscape, must adapt accordingly.

The Institute will persist in providing value to our members’ continuous professional and personal growth, making a positive impact on the profession and the communities we serve. We are committed to supporting our members in their professional and personal development, equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed to navigate the evolving landscape of the accounting profession.

I would like to express my gratitude to all our members for their dedication and contributions to the Institute. It is through your efforts and expertise that we can continue to advance the accounting profession and uphold its integrity. I would also like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my two Vice-Presidents, Roy Leung and Edward Au, all Council members, committee members, and staff of the Institute for their hard work and commitment throughout the year.

Let us embrace the opportunities and challenges that lie before us as we reflect on the past year and look ahead to the future. Together, we will continue to build a strong and vibrant accounting profession that serves the needs of our members, our profession, and our society.

Thank you once again for your unwavering support, and I look forward to another year of progress and success for the Institute.

Loretta Fong