Review system earns plaudits
HAMISH MACLEOD, CBE, JP Financial Secretary
I OFFER my warm congratulations to the Hongkong Society of Accountants (HKSA) on the occasion of its 20th Anniversary.
There are now well over 6,000 professional accountants in Hongkong, providing a wide range of services fundamental to every business.
From the public perspective, perhaps the most notable development within the HKSA over the last two years has been the launching of the Practice Review programme.
Under the Practice Review system - which came into effect last April - the society employs qualified staff to visit the offices of certified public accountants to review quality control and audit procedures.
This enables the society to be satisfied that its members properly perform and record their work in accordance with approved audit standards.
When the concept of Practice Review was first introduced publicly in 1990, it aroused a certain amount of controversy.
Now that the system has been in place, it has won increasing acceptance both within the profession and the community as an effective means of reassuring both the public and the Government that professional standards are being maintained.
It also provides an opportunity for members of the society to discuss and improve working procedures.
The Government has supported this responsible system of self-regulation.
We believe that it will lead to an improvement of auditing standards locally.
Since its 15th anniversary, members of the society have also benefitted by being able to elect a representative to the Legislative Council.
This has served to raise the profile of the accountancy profession in Hongkong, at a time when it is becoming more sophisticated and more publicly accountable than ever before.
I wish the society and its members continued success in the years ahead.