Speech by FS at Accounting and Financial Reporting Council Launch Ceremony (English only) (with photos/video)
Kelvin (Chairman of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), Dr Kelvin Wong), Marek (The Chief Executive Officer of the FRC, Mr Marek Grabowski), friends, fellow accountants, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Good evening. It is a great pleasure to be here, to join you in celebrating the launch of the Accounting and Financial Reporting Council, AFRC.
This auspicious occasion marks more than a fresh brand identity. It heralds the beginning of a new era in the regulatory regime of our accounting profession.
The evolution and progress of the Financial Reporting Council began with its launch in December 2006. In October 2019, the Council assumed full responsibility for the regulation of public-interest entity auditors. Then, this time last year we introduced the accounting profession's regulatory reform, further expanding the Council's ambit.
Tonight, we take another professional leap forward. With the establishment of the new AFRC, the Hong Kong accounting profession welcomes an independent regulator.
Accountants and auditors are gatekeepers of financial reporting in Hong Kong. They play a critical role in underpinning the credibility of our businesses and financial markets. And, hand-in-hand with the new AFRC, they will ensure that the profession, and its regulation, aligns with international standards and developments, serving the best public interest.
I understand that FRC has held some 50 meetings, webinars and media interviews to engage the profession, and other key stakeholders, in advance of the expanded regulatory functions.
FRC and the Hong Kong Institute of CPA (Certified Public Accountants) recently signed an updated Statement of Protocol on oversight arrangements in preparation for the new regime.
With that cooperation framework in place, I expect to see a coordinated approach and smooth division of work between the two bodies when it comes to the accounting professions regulation and development.
I am also pleased to note that AFRC will also take on the essential mission of promoting the profession's development. The recent establishment of AFRC's Advisory Committee will strengthen communication between the Council and the sector.
I am sure it will soon reach out to you all. Working together, I'm confident that we will find ways to develop talent for the profession. That AFRC will reinforce the strengths of our professionals, helping Hong Kong's accountants seize the boundless opportunities, there for them, in Hong Kong, the Greater Bay Area and well beyond.
Indeed, the singular advantages we enjoy in our deepening economic integration with the Mainland are bountiful for accountants and alike. The National 14th Five-Year Plan, the Greater Bay Area Development and the Qianhai-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Modern Service Industry Co-operation Zone are creating myriad opportunities for companies and professional services providers in Hong Kong.
The continuing development of Hong Kong as an international financial centre, flourishing financial connectivity between the Mainland and Hong Kong, the soaring development of fintech, and other cross-boundary financial initiatives will boost Hong Kong's standing as the bridge between our country and the rest of the world and as a premier services platform for people coming to raise funds and develop their businesses. On this, I think our fellow accountants are all well poised to benefit.
Thanks to the new regime, and your unwavering commitment to the profession, I trust we will seize the enormous opportunities ahead, not only for the accounting sector but also for the Hong Kong community as a whole.
Once again, my sincere congratulations on the establishment of the AFRC. And now, the show is over to you, Kelvin. Thank you.
Ends/Thursday, September 29, 2022
Issued at HKT 20:12
Issued at HKT 20:12