IAPA International Conference 2015, Hong Kong

We are delighted to report on the recent IAPA International Conference, held in Hong Kong, 15-18 November.
Many thanks to Ozgur Demirdoven (MED YMM ve Bagimsiz Denetim A.S., Turkey) who has kindly written the article below.



It’s the time for IAPA’s International Conference, again. This will be the most exciting conference for me since for the first time it is organized in a city where I have never been, the magnificent city of Hong-Kong, or “fragrant harbor” in Chinese meaning. Hong Kong is an autonomous territory on the southern coast of China, well known for its impressive skyline and deep natural harbor. Home to around 7.2 million residents of diverse nationalities, Hong Kong is one of the world’s most densely populated regions. It is one of the three most important financial centres, alongside New York and London, and has developed into a major global trade hub. Above and beyond the business side, this vibrant city offers many different attractions.

The IAPA International Conference offered delegates an appealing and varied programme, combining specialist subjects with animated experience exchanges and knowledge with culinary delights.

Firstly, it was a very good selection of hotel by the IAPA Centre in terms of location, quality, conference facilities and amenities.

The conference started for me with a nice Aqua Luna boat cruise activity to get to know members better with the astonishing view of harbor lights. It was a fantastic chance to see the known faces and meet with new faces in a very relaxing and breath-taking atmosphere of the impressive lights of the harbor skyline. This was followed by a great meal in BLT steakhouse, by the harbor side.

I attended the very well organized meeting of the IAPA Asia-Pacific Regional Event on Sunday afternoon, 15 November, where I enjoyed meeting the friendly Asia- Pacific members. This was followed by an amazing International Conference opening ceremony, combined with cocktails and a welcome dinner, plus an authentic show with harbor view.

On Monday morning, 16 November, IAPA Global Chairman Helmi Talib (Helmi Talip & Co, Singapore) welcomed all members with his warm and well-prepared speech, which was followed by our new CEO Stephen Hamlet’s dynamic speech about his visionary look into the future of IAPA, detailing new features such as IAPA TV, a new website and target countries for recruitment.

Then followed the new members’ presentations and a speed networking session. The speed networking was a great success, offering a fantastic opportunity for us to get to know many new faces within IAPA and the services their firms offer at the start of the event.

Fascinating speaker David Clive Price also attended the conference on Monday morning and delivered a keynote speech on “Doing Business in China” and showed us how we can bend like bamboos, I am still in the form of C letter, hope it helps !

The Monday afternoon session was filled with success stories of members, a marketing strategy presentation by our CEO (top picture), followed by roundtable discussions between members. We ate an unforgettable dinner in The House of Jasmine in the evening that was an exquisite Chinese Banquet enriched with the noodle master show! The master chose “me” and “IAPA Vice-Chairman Jan Huygens (A Audit b-cvba, Belgium)” as his apprentice - thank goodness he did, so we can pursue a second career! Who knows, may be we might even threaten his position in a couple of years!! (Noodle Master below)

 

The annual IAPA Tax and Audit Practice Forums provide a sound platform for IAPA experts to exchange ideas, views, experiences and knowledge. These were enriched in Hong Kong with the workshop sessions on Tuesday morning 17 November, and involved thought-provoking interactive group work.

 

An excellent Transfer Pricing case study was prepared by Mr. Jay Sanghrajka (Price Bailey, UK) who chaired the session along with Mr. Alphons van de Ven (ESJ International, Holland). David Stevens (Ellacotts UK and UK200Group Representative) chaired the Audit Forum, leading group discussions on recent chal-lenges to the profession, including audit regulation in respect of group audits, local compliance issues, audit thresholds, amongst other current topics.

The session ended with useful discussions on how to maximise opportunities for audit work with other IAPA member firms.

A further session of roundtable discussions followed on Tuesday afternoon on the future strategy of IAPA, where members put their ideas on the table for creating a healthy and successful future for the association. The day ended with an exceptional Gala Dinner in “The Aberdeen Marina Club”. All members applauded Mr. Helmi Talib (Helmi Talip & Co, Singapore) and his lovely wife for Helmi's successful 3 years' Chairman period and thanked them sincerely for his continuous efforts to make IAPA as one of the best accounting associations in the world. Members also congratulated and wished luck to Mr. Jan Huygens (A Audit b-cvba, Belgium) for being appointed as the new Global Chairman.

Thanks were also given to the outgoing International Board members whose tenure also came to an end in Hong Kong. Welcome to all new International Board members.

The conference ended with a social day event, where members visited Lantau Island and the Giant Buddha - the world’s largest, seated and outdoor bronze Buddha. This was a great day to unwind and see more outside of Hong Kong City itself, whilst still networking with members in a relaxed environment.

In summary, this international conference was a great and unmissable chance for dynamic exchanges with fellow IAPA members and for discovering the vibrant city of Hong Kong. I look forward to seeing my new and established friends once again next year at one or many of the IAPA events.

A highlights video can be viewed HERE on IAPA TV.