Hong Kong Company Audits - The Concise Guide For Beginners

Are you a business owner in Hong Kong and unsure about how to perform an audit for your company? Look no further! In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about auditing for Hong Kong companies. From the standards on auditing to the process itself, as well as tips on hiring an auditor, we've got you covered. So let's dive in and demystify the world of auditing in Hong Kong.

Overview: Hong Kong Audit

According to the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance, all companies registered in Hong Kong are required to have their annual financial statements audited by a practising Hong Kong Certified Public Accountant (CPA). This is to ensure compliance with disclosure requirements and tax obligations. But what exactly is auditing and why is it necessary?

Auditing is a systematic examination of a company's financial records and reports conducted by an independent party. It provides assurance to stakeholders that the financial statements are accurate and reliable. The audit report is an essential document for investors, creditors, and other interested parties as it gives them confidence in the company's financial health.

In Hong Kong, there are two types of audits: statutory audit and non-statutory audit. Statutory audits are mandatory for all companies, while non-statutory audits are voluntary and can be performed at the request of the company's management or shareholders.

Auditing Standards in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA) is the regulatory body for auditors in Hong Kong. They issue auditing standards that must be followed by all practicing CPAs. These standards are based on the International Standards on Auditing (ISA) issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB).

The HKICPA has adopted the ISA as Hong Kong Standards on Auditing (HKSAs). These standards provide guidance on the responsibilities of auditors, the conduct of an audit, and the form and content of the audit report. They also cover specific areas such as fraud, going concern, and related party transactions.

In addition to the HKSAs, the HKICPA has also issued Practice Notes and Statements of Auditing Standards (SASs) to provide further guidance on specific auditing matters. It is essential for auditors to stay updated with these standards and guidelines to ensure compliance and maintain their professional competence.

Auditors in Hong Kong: What Role Do They Play?

Auditors play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity and transparency of financial reporting in Hong Kong. They are responsible for providing assurance to stakeholders that the financial statements are free from material misstatements. This involves conducting an independent examination of the company's accounting records, internal controls, and financial statements.

The auditor's objective is to express an opinion on whether the financial statements present a true and fair view of the company's financial position and performance. To achieve this, they must follow the auditing standards and perform their work with due care and professional scepticism.

Hong Kong Auditing Process: How It Works

Now that we have a basic understanding of auditing and its importance, let's take a closer look at how the process works in Hong Kong. The following are the key steps involved in auditing and tax filing for companies in Hong Kong:
  • 1
    Appointment of an Auditor:
    As mentioned earlier, all companies in Hong Kong are required to appoint a practising CPA as their auditor. The auditor must be a member of the HKICPA and hold a valid practising certificate.
  • 2
    The auditor will meet with the company's management to understand their business, operations, and financial reporting processes. They will also assess the risks associated with the company and plan their audit accordingly.
  • 3
    This is where the auditor performs their tests and procedures to gather evidence about the company's financial statements. This includes verifying transactions, reconciling balances, and testing internal controls.
  • 4
    Once the fieldwork is completed, the auditor will prepare an audit report expressing their opinion on the financial statements. If there are any material misstatements, they will be reported in the audit report.
  • 5
    Tax Filing:
    In Hong Kong, companies are required to file their tax returns within three months after the end of their financial year. The auditor's report is a crucial document for the tax filing process as it provides assurance to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) that the financial statements have been audited by a qualified professional.

Preparation for Audit and Tax Filing

Preparing for an audit and tax filing can be a daunting task, especially for first-time business owners. However, with proper planning and organisation, the process can be smooth and hassle-free. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your audit and tax filing:
  • 1
    Keep Accurate Records:
    It is essential to maintain accurate and up-to-date accounting records throughout the year. This will make the auditing process more efficient and reduce the risk of errors and misstatements.
  • 2
    Understand the Requirements:
    Familiarise yourself with the auditing and tax filing requirements in Hong Kong. This will help you understand what is expected of you and ensure that you are compliant.
  • 3
    Plan Ahead:
    Give yourself enough time to prepare for the audit and tax filing. Waiting until the last minute can lead to mistakes and delays, which can result in penalties and fines.
  • 4
    Engage a Professional:
    Consider hiring a professional accountant or bookkeeper to help you with your accounting and tax preparation. They can also assist you in liaising with the auditor and preparing the necessary documents.

How to Choose an Auditor in Hong Kong

As mentioned earlier, all companies in Hong Kong are required to appoint a practising CPA as their auditor. But how do you go about hiring one? Here are some factors to consider when choosing an auditor for your company:
  • 1
    Qualifications and Experience:
    Make sure the auditor is a member of the HKICPA and holds a valid practising certificate. It is also essential to check their experience in auditing companies similar to yours.
  • 2
    Look for an auditor with a good reputation and track record. You can ask for recommendations from other business owners or check online reviews.
  • 3
    The cost of auditing services can vary depending on the complexity of your business and the scope of work. It is advisable to get quotes from multiple auditors and compare them before making a decision.
  • 4
    Choose an auditor who communicates effectively and keeps you updated throughout the audit process. This will help build trust and ensure that any issues are addressed promptly.


In conclusion, auditing is an essential process for all companies in Hong Kong. It provides assurance to stakeholders that the financial statements are accurate and reliable. As a business owner, it is crucial to understand the auditing requirements and prepare for the audit and tax filing process. By following the tips mentioned in this guide and engaging a professional auditor, you can ensure a smooth and successful audit for your company. Remember, compliance with auditing standards is not only a legal requirement but also a sign of good corporate governance. So make sure to prioritise auditing for the long-term success of your business in Hong Kong.