It is my greatest pleasure to be your Institute President for 2021. It is a great personal honour for me, after having served on Council for over 10 years, and on various committees since 1998. I look forward to working closely with my two Vice-Presidents, Rosalind Lee and Ken Li, and our fellow Council members to apply our experience to the important task of leading our profession.
This last year has been one of disruption, and while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect Hong Kong, with dozens of cases daily, the arrival of vaccines from next month brings hope that we will soon turn the corner and begin the recovery.
As the Leadership Team set out in our “First Letter to Members” issued in December after the election, the Institute has an important role to play in helping our members to recover from the challenges of the pandemic and harness new opportunities in the future. To effectively help you, we must know your issues and concerns. We must communicate openly and plainly with you, listen to you, and respond to your needs.
“The Institute has an important role to play in helping our members to recover from the challenges of the pandemic and harness new opportunities in the future.”
When I was inaugurated as President of the Institute, I laid out 10 focus areas for the Institute for 2021 and we will work diligently on those areas, which are: implementation of ‘‘one member one vote’’ for the election of the President and Vice-Presidents; anti-money laundering compliance issues; the membership admission process for registration as CPAs; implementing the new Qualification Programme examinations; investigating long working hours; the digitalization of the profession; branding of the profession; global recognition of the Institute and our members; legal and compliance issues for accountants; and career development for members.
It’s a long list, but one we are raring to tackle. Indeed, we’ve already made progress on some of these issues. This month, for example, we have clarified the membership admission process by amending the membership application form. Council has also already set up one new task force, the Task Force on Legal and Compliance for Accountants, to help tackle some of these issues, and there are more new task forces on the way.
I was interviewed for A Plus this month and discuss more about what we need to do in the year ahead. I hope you will read the interview to better understand what we have planned.
It is not only the profession that needs to prepare for the recovery. This month I took part in a press conference announcing the Institute’s 2021-22 budget proposals ahead of the Financial Secretary’s Budget Speech in February. The proposals include 21 measures under the appropriate theme ‘‘Preparing for the recovery,’’ across four areas: preparing for the recovery; adapting to the new normal through more extensive digital transformation; public finance and taxation; and environmental measures. You can read more about the proposals in the Source article.
With the year of the ox around the corner I wish you all good fortune, a happy, a healthy and a prosperous year ahead! I hope that the characteristics of the ox, being diligence, perseverance, and a symbol of strength, will lead to a calmer and safer year for all of us. I recorded a video celebrating the Chinese New Year, and the new appointments to the Institute’s committees for the year ahead. The video is available along with some e-fai chun messages and WhatsApp stickers for sharing with your family and friends on the Institute’s website.