Whether or not accountants should be adding to the voices in Hong Kong’s recent demonstrations appears to be in question. The Wall Street Journal reported that on August 23 “an estimated 5,000 people took part in an accounting industry protest in Hong Kong’s business district.” The Big Four firms employ thousands of people in Hong Kong and a newspaper ad was published that was critical of the firms for supporting business interests over the staff members’ support for the demonstrations.

PwC sent out this media statement: “In response to an advertisement in Hong Kong by a group of unnamed individuals claiming to be employees of the Big Four accounting firms, PwC emphasizes that the advertisement does not represent the firm’s position. We firmly oppose any action and statement that challenge national sovereignty. The rule of law and the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle are the foundations of maintaining stability and harmony in Hong Kong. We condemn all violent and illegal activities, and misleading statements. We urge the society of Hong Kong to work together to address the challenges ahead, and safeguard the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong.”

The NASBA/AICPA International Qualifications Appraisal Board (IQAB) is working with the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs on the renewal of their current mutual recognition agreement. The HKICPA has changed its training program and that is being carefully reviewed by IQAB.

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