Hong Kong: The Accountancy Profession
Professional Standards and Disputes
The Professional Accountants Ordinance states that one of the objects of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants shall be to preserve and maintain its integrity and status and to discourage dishonorable conduct and practices and, for this purpose, to hold enquiries into the conduct of professional accountants.
The Society has laid down fundamental principles upon which it has based its Ethics Statements. These principles deal with the acceptance of assignments, technical and professional standards and personal conduct.
The detailed guidelines deal with independence, confidentiality, unlawful acts or defaults by clients or members, advertising and publicity, obtaining professional work, changes in a professional appointment, fees, management consulting services, ethics and tax practice, clients' monies, restrictions on providing company secretaries and corporate directors to audit clients and financial and accounting responsibilities of directors.
It should be noted that the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants restricts advertising and publicity and its members may complain to the Society whenever they consider any firm has acted in breach of the guidelines.
The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants investigates complaints against practising members in respect of alleged failure to observe auditing standards. Such investigations are generally carried out by the Disciplinary Committee of the Institute and may result in the suspension of the guilty party's practising certificate.
The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants operates a scheme of Practice Review. A review will be carried out on all firms in practice once every four years or so.