A disciplinary committee of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants the name of Edward Yeung (membership number A08786) be removed from the register of certified public accountants for a period of five years with effect from 29 June 2011, for his failure or neglect to observe, maintain or otherwise apply professional standards.
In addition, Yeung was ordered to pay the costs of the disciplinary proceedings amounting to HK$66,000.
Yeung was an adjudged bankrupt from 20 March 2003 to 19 March 2007. During this time, he applied to renew his practising certificate for 2005, 2006 and 2007 and, in doing so, falsely declared to the Institute that he was not a bankrupt. Yeung's bankruptcy would have disqualified him from being issued a practising certificate under section 30(7) of the Professional Accountants Ordinance. As a result of his false declaration, Yeung renewed his practising certificate and continued in public practice during the three years.
In a separate matter, Yeung's sole proprietor practice, Kwong Tat & Co., was selected for a practice review in January 2010 under the Institute's quality assurance programme. Yeung failed to give reasonable assistance to the reviewer in gaining access to records and documents of his practice, which was required of him under section 32E of the PAO. As a result, the review of Yeung's practice could not be completed.
After considering the information available, the Institute lodged complaints against Yeung regarding the two matters under sections 34(1A) and 34(1) of the Professional Accountants Ordinance. A Disciplinary Committee was constituted in October 2010.
The Disciplinary Committee held a hearing of the complaints on 30 April 2011, which Yeung did not attend. On the evidence, the Disciplinary Committee found that Yeung was in breach of the Fundamental Principles of Statement 1.200 "Professional Ethics – Explanatory Foreword" and the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.
Having taken into account the circumstances of the case, the disciplinary committee made the order as stated above against Yeung.
Under the Professional Accountants Ordinance, Yeung may give notice of an appeal to the Court of Appeal within 30 days after he is served the order if he is aggrieved by the order made by the Disciplinary Committee under section 35(1) of the ordinance.
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