Over the years, I have realized how many business owners with a Hong Kong company don’t understand their rights and options. It is something we are working hard to solve here at the Global From Asia community.
One of the biggest misconceptions is that business owners think they have to use their company secretary (or whoever set up their Hong Kong company) to do their audit.
We will dig into this today – but the quick answer is – NO – you do NOT need to use the same service provider to do your company audit as your company secretary.
First, let’s discuss what each of these roles are
What’s a Company Secretary?
A company secretary is a requirement by Hong Kong to be your “local representative”. This person (or company) can file forms on your behalf. They can discuss with the Hong Kong government issues on your behalf, they represent you here and have authority to file paperwork.
But they are not an owner in your company. And they have no voting right, and don’t need to attend any annual meetings, etc.
When you register your company, the agency helping you is the company secretary (someone has to be when you register the company).
So what happens is, once you start with a company, you will trust they can help you for all the services following the company setup.
We get it – you want to focus on your own business. You don’t have time to worry about all these various government fees and filing requirements.
But let’s at least define what a Hong Kong CPA is.
What is a Hong Kong CPA?
A CPA, which stands for Certified Public Accountant, has a license in Hong Kong to practice accounting in the region. They can prepare your company audit, and sign off on the paperwork.
This is an important point, as many company secretaries are not CPAs. Only a CPA firm can do the audit, but often times the company secretary has one (or more) CPA firms they have partnered up with. Sure, a CPA firm can also be a company secretary, and a company secretary can apply and obtain a CPA license. So it is confusing to all of us!
It’s Totally Fine To Use a Different Company for Your Audit
So – most of the time when your profit tax return (PTR) comes in the mail – you will ask the company secretary who sent you the mail what to do. Or, if they are on top of their game, they will proactively tell you what it is and how much they can charge you – or what documents they’ll need to do it.
You, as a busy business owner, will just take their price and accept it. Maybe it’s a good price, maybe it isn’t. But you don’t have the slightest idea who else to go to, right?
But the company secretary cannot force you to use their audit service, it is your free choice as a business owner and as a Hong Kong company director of a limited company.
So find some more firms to get prices from. Start your search – but how?
Well, we hope to solve that.
Introducing A Request for Quote Audit Tool
We have been working hard building up a network of CPAs over the years. From our own clients, to friends, to ourselves. There are thousands of CPAs out there – how can you find the right one?
There isn’t just 1 that is perfect for you. Or me. It depends on how you do business – do you deal with a lot of paper? Or online? What software do you use for your books? You want to deal with someone has has worked in your industry before?
Each one of us will have a different preference on a CPA firm – and we want to improve your chances of finding the right one.
Interested in getting a few more choices for your upcoming audit? Then we’d love to have you use our CPA bidding tool here.
Any questions, or comments, please leave them in the comment section below.