According to the Companies Ordinance of Hong Kong, it is a mandatory requirement for all Hong Kong companies to file a statutory Audited Financial Statements (which is conducted according to Hong Kong Financial Reporting Standards (“HKFRS”) or SME-FRE in the case of Small-Medium Sized Enterprises (“SMEs”)). For taxation purpose, companies incorporated in Hong Kong need submit their audited financial statements with their Profits Tax Return to the Inland Revenue Department.
Statutory Audit is one type of compulsory auditing as mandated by Hong Kong’s Company Law and it is one of the on-going compliance requirements for Hong Kong companies. Every company incorporated in Hong Kong must appoint a qualified and independent auditors to perform yearly statutory audits on their accounts.
For a newly incorporated company may appoint its first auditor at any time before the first Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) which should be held within 18 months from the date of its incorporation.
For public listed companies and larger Multinationals (“MNCs”), these companies must prepare a more comprehensive “Directors’ Report” that includes a “business review”. The business review provides information about the company’s environmental policies and an account of the company’s relationship with its employees.
The auditor must be a Certified Public Accountant (“CPA”) registered under the Professional Accountants Ordinance and must hold a Practicing Certificate issued by the Hong Kong Institutes of Certified Public Accountants (“HKICPA”).
The auditors must report to the company’s shareholders on the audited financial statements audited, including consolidated financial statements (where applicable), laid before the AGM of the company.
The auditors must report whether or not the financial statements show a true and fair / true and correct view, and it is comply with the Companies Ordinance and other laws applicable to certain regulated industries.
The auditors have to comply with certain auditing guidelines applicable to specific circumstance.
For non-Hong Kong companies, the audits of financial statements may be conducted in accordance with international auditing standards.
The auditors must comply with the code of ethics, particularly the independence requirements.
Auditing includes the following procedures: