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Ensuring Audit Compliance: Navigating Financial Requirements for Companies in Hong Kong

In the bustling financial hub of Hong Kong, understanding the intricate web of audit and financial reporting requirements is paramount for businesses aiming to thrive while staying compliant. Let's delve into the nuances of these standards and regulations, demystifying the process for companies operating in this dynamic environment.

Audit Requirements for Companies in Hong Kong

Requirements under the Companies Ordinance (CO)

Type of audit

Yearly statutory audit

Mode of submission

To the company members at the company AGM or other general meeting

Timeline for submission

Within nine months after the company’s financial year-end


All companies, excluding dormant companies

Requirements under the Inland Revenue Ordinance (IRO)

Type of audit

Statutory audit for PTR filing

Mode of submission

Along with the PTR to the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department

Timeline for submission

Within one month from the date of issue of the PTR; or, if granted an extension


All corporations, excluding dormant companies; Companies incorporated in a jurisdiction that doesn’t require audited financial statements; and Hong Kong branches of foreign companies (provided certain information is provided with PTR)

Auditing and Assurance Standards



Hong Kong standards on quality control/management (HKSQCs/HKSQMs)

Establish fundamental principles and essential procedures while offering guidance on a firm's quality control and management responsibilities per Hong Kong engagement standards

Hong Kong framework for assurance engagements

Consists of various standards for auditing historical financial information, reviewing historical financial information, assurance engagements involving subject matters other than historical financial information, investment circular reporting engagements, and related services

Bookkeeping requirements

According to Part 9 of the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance, companies incorporated in Hong Kong must maintain proper books of accounts and satisfy statutory audit requirements annually

Financial Reporting Requirements

Statutory reports are required annually for companies incorporated in Hong Kong. The reports must contain audited financial statements for the current year, with corresponding amounts for the preceding year, including a balance sheet, profit and loss account, and a cash flow statement.

For foreign companies with a presence in Hong Kong, compliance involves registering as a foreign company with the Registry and adhering to the financial reporting regulations of their incorporated jurisdiction.

The Audit Process

The audit process entails meticulous planning, testing, evaluating internal controls, analyzing results, and reporting. Certified public accountants registered with HKICPA conduct audits, ensuring accuracy and adherence to regulatory standards.

Key Steps in the Audit Process:

  1. Planning: Understanding business risks and formulating an audit plan.

  2. Testing: Obtaining and evaluating audit evidence, testing internal controls, and verifying financial information.

  3. Internal Controls Evaluation: Assessing the effectiveness of internal controls.

  4. Analysis and Opinion: Analyzing audit results and issuing opinions on financial statements.

  5. Reporting: Reporting internal control deficiencies and aiding in improvements.

Understanding Audit Reports

Audit reports serve as crucial documents, communicating the auditor's findings and opinion regarding the accuracy and reliability of financial statements. Two main types of audit reports exist:

  1. Unqualified Report (Clean Report): Issued when financial statements are free from material misstatements.

  2. Qualified Report: Issued when specific issues or limitations are identified in the financial statements.

In conclusion, navigating the audit and financial reporting landscape in Hong Kong demands meticulous attention to detail and a thorough understanding of regulatory frameworks. By adhering to these standards, businesses can foster transparency, build trust among stakeholders, and ensure long-term sustainability in this vibrant global market.

Can Woodburn help you?


Woodburn Accountants & Advisors is one of China’s most trusted business setup advisory firms.

Woodburn Accountants & Advisors is specialized in inbound investment to China and Hong Kong. We focus on eliminating the complexities of corporate services and compliance administration. We help clients with services ranging from trademark registration and company incorporation to the full outsourcing solution for accounting, tax, and human resource services. Our advisory services can be tailor-made based on the companies’ objectives, goals and needs which vary depending on the stage they are at on their journey.


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