Date
21 September 2017
China's finance ministry is said to have assured that new rules will not prevent Hong Kong accountants from doing audit work in the mainland. Photo: AFP
China's finance ministry is said to have assured that new rules will not prevent Hong Kong accountants from doing audit work in the mainland. Photo: AFP

China reassures it will keep the gate open for HK auditors

China’s finance ministry has reassured Hong Kong accounting professionals that they are most welcome to join their counterparts in the mainland for auditing jobs in China, according to Raphael Ding, chief executive of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA).

The remarks came after officials from the ministry met up with representatives from Hong Kong’s Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau, the HKICPA and a group of 44 small and medium-sized accounting firms, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported Wednesday.

The officials were said to have discussed new rules published by China in April and their potential impact on Hong Kong accounting professionals.

The finance ministry said the rules were aimed at cracking down on offshore auditing firms that practice in China illegally, and that it is not Hong Kong or Macau professionals that are the target, Ding was quoted as saying.

Mainland authorities will continue to allow Hong Kong accounting professionals to practice in the country based on the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement between the two sides, he said.

Some auditing veterans suspect the rules are targeting accountants from firms in Europe, the United States and Singapore who enter China and work on the financial reports of Chinese firms listed overseas and take sensitive accounting materials out of the country, without formal applications.

Authorities from mainland China and Hong Kong will hold further discussions on the details of the implementations of the new rules and their implications.

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VW/AC/RC

Freelance journalist

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