Home' A Plus Magazine : August 2013 Contents 26 August 2013
An Institute of members
Transparency is the core value of the
Institute and the key to rallying support
from its members, says elected Council
member Raymond Cheng
The Institute belongs to members.
Since its founding 40 years ago, ev-
ery cent used to fund its success has
been contributed by members. Therefore, it
is imperative and right that the Council be as
transparent as possible, so that members can
see what is being done for the Institute – their
The Institute has close to 36,000 members,
the most of any profession in Hong Kong. It has
tremendous momentum which has been un-
der-utilized. Our members have contributed
to the success of Hong Kong as an internation-
al financial centre. Yet our profession is expe-
riencing diminishing status as well as a dimin-
ishing sense of belonging from members.
It’s only by giving members back own-
ership of the Institute – by keeping them
well-informed and listening to their views
at every opportunity – will the Institute re-
capture their support and passion. Members
need to be able to see how the Institute is us-
ing its resources to focus on and make a dif-
ference in areas that look out for their inter-
ests and livelihoods.
Every member should have an equal voice.
Elected Council members have been voted
in by members to represent them. Council
members should act consistently with the in-
terest of members, both inside and outside the
That means being transparent. Informa-
tion on the workings of the Council and the
Institute should be released to members.
Council deliberations and Council members’
decisions on Institute matters (with the ex-
ception for certain regulatory and compli-
ance matters) should be made open to mem-
bers. Let members know what ’s going on,
show them that the Institute belongs not to
the Council but to them, and in return they
w ill become more responsive too.
The closed way in which the Council cur-
rently operates means that members are
often left in the dark on important issues or
are made aware when it is already too late.
Recent examples include the criminal sanc-
tions on auditors set out in clause 399 (408)
of the Companies Bill and the increase in
“One member, one vote for president ”
was another example where members were
not fully informed of the issues. As the presi-
dent is the leader of the Institute, he or she
should be selected by members. Even if it is
not the case, why not cut out any perceptions
that the selection of the president is pre-
arranged? Simple, logical solutions include
letting members vote directly for president,
or allowing only elected Council members –
who have the mandate of members – to de-
cide who should lead the Institute.
The profession is at a crossroads, and the
Institute must change. The next pressing chal-
lenge to face the profession is audit regulatory
reform – an issue that has no turning back. It
is only with increased transparency and ac-
countability of the Council and Institute – and
the support and unity from members which
would come about – that our profession can
proceed in the best interests of members.
I strive to exhibit our core Institute val-
ues. Since 1998, I have ser ved the Institute
in 26 different committees. A nd I will con-
tinue to ser ve, focusing on my core beliefs:
ser v ing members, protecting their rights
and interests, and – most importantly – be-
ing transparent and accountable to them.
Raymond Cheng is also managing director
of HLB Hodgson Impey Cheng.
Elected Council member
“It’s only by giving
will the Institute
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