The Accounting and Financial Reporting Council (AFRC) has issued its 2023
Oversight Report on HKICPA’s Performance of Specified Functions covering the assessment period from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023.

This is the first oversight report covering the expanded specified functions of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (the HKICPA) added to the purview of the AFRC’s oversight after the Further Reform of the regulatory regime of the accounting profession, which came into effect in October 2022. The specified functions under the expanded scope of oversight include (i) the registration of CPAs, (ii) standard setting, (iii) the provision of training to CPAs, (iv) setting continuing professional development requirements for CPAs, and (v) arranging for mutual or reciprocal recognition of accountants.

The Report identified eleven findings and provided a set of observations for the
HKICPA to drive improvement, covering the following themes:

a) Embracing a holistic approach;
b) Optimising resource utilisation; and
c) Enhancing quality control.

The Report also provided further recommendations for each of these findings based
on a thorough analysis of their impact. These recommendations are intended to
address the underlying causes of the issues identified.

AFRC head of policy, registration, and oversight, Mary Leung, said: “The AFRC
maintains a constructive, consistent, and forward-looking approach to our oversight
responsibilities. We aim to provide strategic, relevant, and high-level guidance to the HKICPA to enhance its implementation of specified functions.”

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AFRC acting CEO, Janey Lai, concluded: “The HKICPA plays a pivotal role in
continuously raising the standards of the accounting profession. As the independent
oversight body of the HKICPA, the AFRC has confidence that the HKICPA will make
progress in the respective areas towards the overarching objective of propelling the
sustainable development of the profession.”