Hong Kong Budget 2021

Hong Kong Budget 2021

Hong Kong Budget 2021

On 24th February 2021, Finance Secretary Paul Chan announced the Hong Kong Budget 2021.

The budget suggests a targeted approach as the authorities focus on investing in infrastructure and promoting the development of industries in their bid to optimise strategies.

There is also a significant focus on digitalisation in this year’s Budget, further emphasising the importance of being digitally ready in today’s environment.

If you have any questions relating to any of the information contained in this report, please contact our tax advisors via email or call us at + 852-2598 5234.

Short-Term Relief
Hong Kong Budget 2021 - Short-Term Relief
Long-Term Measures
Hong Kong Budget 2021 - Long-Term Measures
Tax Relief
Hong Kong Budget 2021 - Tax Relief
Digitalisation
Hong Kong Budget 2021 - Digitalisation

Download the Full Hong Kong Budget 2021 Report

Related Business Insights

Does your business survival depend on sustainable cost cuts?

cost-cutting strategies

Does your business survival depend on sustainable cost cuts?

Which costs to cut to secure your business future

Key insights

  • Cost-cutting demands a sustainable approach to operational efficiency and employee wellbeing
  • Efficient management of working capital supports a renewed focus on immediate, medium and long-term impact
  • Smart outsourcing with trusted partners sharpens expertise across critical operations

As the world waits on COVID-19 vaccines, business leaders are managing through a global depression with both the US and European economies continuing to threaten the Asian export market. This is the type of economic downturn that traditionally results in retrenching employees as an immediate cost-cutting measure.

However, the global and personal impact of the pandemic has driven a people-first approach to managing through this unprecedented economic downturn; every business has customers and stakeholders watching how they respond to market challenges to balance people and profit.

Leaders ready to do things differently can look to sustainable cost-cutting strategies to guide your organisation through change with reduced risk:

  1. Smart management of working capital
  2. Employee stock option plans
  3. Outsourcing payroll or improving processes
  4. Outsourcing finance, tax and accounting services
  5. Leverage industry grants and economic stimulus

By prioritising what drives value for your organisation in the long-term, sustainable cost-cutting strategies focus on positioning the company to survive now and to thrive through an economic recovery.

01 Smart management of working capital

Cash flow is critical in a crisis, and minimising investment in working capital — what we spend to get the job done and keep business running — is critical.

2020 has put the focus back on operational efficiencies — and effective working capital management. Growth and development may be temporarily on the backburner, but this is the time to get the business-critical functions of your organisation right. Containing costs to minimise reliance on lenders will position your business to recover strongly as economic conditions bounce back from an unexpected 2020.

A renewed interest in working capital demands a critical assessment of the entire sales pipeline; inventory levels, distribution points, and product viability are all on the table.

Smart leaders are looking at strategies, including:

  • proactive invoicing — offering customer incentives like early payment discounts
  • cash management — paying suppliers when they’re due, not before
  • inventory — lowering stock thresholds to reduce risk, but maintain agreed customer service levels
  • reducing overheads by outsourcing backend services.

Next steps: Assess your working capital costs and financial forecasts to confirm what you can bring inhouse and which backend services are smarter to outsource.

02 Outsource your payroll or improve your processes

Outsourcing backend services like payroll has a poor reputation as being the inevitable result of retrenchment, or a sign of instability. However, payroll processes are crucial to managing through an economic downturn; smooth payroll processes drive employee satisfaction, and it’s likely your HR department is busy by managing people issues in a pandemic.

There two ways to outsource payroll to streamline operations:

  • completely outsourcing the payroll function and services to an external provider
  • using a cloud-based SaaS HR management system (“HRMS”) — freeing up HR from administrative tasks by empowering automatic and self-service tasks.

The approach can also unlock unexpected benefits, and expose the significant opportunity cost of not outsourcing key functions; boosting visibility, streamlining internal processes, and staying compliant across multi-country payroll and tax conditions.

Each model can benefit their corporate objectives while managing costs, cross border functionality, and personal data privacy of employees.

Next steps: Check if payroll outsourcing or SAAS for payroll management suits your business needs.

03 Outsource backend financial support across accounting and tax planning

In an economic downturn, every organisation focuses on the very core of the business; the what and the why. It’s never been more important to have experts aligning your financial processes and procedures with your organisational goals. Your organisation can seek financial help with everything from bookkeeping to redundancy strategies to ensure the business runs smoothly while internal staff focus on business survival and generating revenue.

By choosing a financial services partner equipped to manage your operational and strategic finances and accounting, businesses bring external expertise and new perspectives on long-term accounting and tax planning.
Support for tax planning may include:

  • location planning for tax offset maximisation
  • streamlining cross-border transactions to simplify complex deals
  • minimising and deferring payments while staying fully compliant
  • strategic planning to leverage falling asset values.

An additional unexpected benefit of external support across accounting, tax and financial reporting is the establishment of effective data reporting, analysis and forecasting. This data helps to inform planning, working capital decisions, and support for your enterprise to apply for eligible economic grants and stimulus packages and ensure the governance is in place to stay compliant with funding conditions.

Next steps: Put all your financial operations on the table for expert review. Focus internal skills on long-term planning and get external support for tax, accounting and reporting.

04 Reward people with employee stock option plans

If you don’t have cash on hand but want to reward and retain employees look at an Employee Stock Options Plans (“ESOPs”).
As companies like Slack and Atlassian lead the way in remote-first workforces, competition for skilled employees demands a different way of approaching the employee experience. Employee equity plans have been popular during the COVID-19 pandemic as companies look for a different approach to boost employee engagement, maintain productivity, and keep intellectual property.

Create a purpose-built plan to fit your organisation and employee needs and create a sense of ownership to keep the best and brightest employed in the long-term. Your new stock plan — or updates to your current plan — should:

  • keep liquidity by creating long-term incentives to replace short-term cash bonus or salary increase expectations.
  • reward high performance and employees who increase operational efficiency during an economic downturn.
  • use performance metrics relevant to your organisation — look at total shareholder returns (“TSR”), client retention, and return on equity (“ROE”) and adapt goals to conditions.
  • drive growth by incentivising staff towards a common business goal.

Next steps: Look for an external provider who can manage your Hong Kong-based or global ESOP and keep the workforce focused on revenue-generating initiatives.

05 Access government and industry grants and economic stimulus

Since the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, Asian markets have seen a new range of government, industry grants and other economic stimulus packages.

If your organisation operates across borders or is open to funding to expand operations, you may be eligible for funding support.

Support from government or industry grants demands stringent corporate governance; you may need a guide to accessing, implementing and leveraging new opportunities across borders.

Next steps: Get expert help to find Hong Kong support for enterprise and cross-border funding opportunities, apply for funding, and to stay compliant across jurisdictions.

How sustainable is your cost-cutting in 2021?

Cost-cutting strategies to manage through an economic downturn look different today to the Global Financial Crisis or the dot.com crash; leaders must balance short-term needs with long-term business survival.

It is no longer enough to reduce headcounts, freeze salaries, and scramble to maintain productivity. Smart organisations are taking a new approach to old problems: keeping employees committed with stock options over pay rises, looking for market and industry support, and getting smarter about the benefits of outsourcing.

The right outsourcing partnerships are key; who you choose to support your business can define your organisation and your leadership. Look for providers that support your workforce with administrative and financial expertise that drives business recovery.

Talk to BoardRoom about support for sustainable cost-cutting strategies.

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Five Benefits of Accounting Services

5_benefits_of_accounting_services

Five Benefits of Accounting Services

Five Benefits of Accounting Services

Despite accounting’s position as a critical and essential function in establishing robust financial management for organisations, many business owners are still opting to manage their accounting in-house. In doing so, they waste valuable resources, and increase their susceptibility to non-compliance issues that could lead to unnecessary cost, hefty penalties, and diminish their chances at business success.

According to Forbes, about 90% of businesses fail during their first stage; citing poor financial management as one of the top reasons. By leveraging accounting services from professional accountants, businesses can significantly increase their chances for success. Beyond bookkeeping, professional accountants help to facilitate the financial operations and planning of the company to ensure a steady and healthy cash flow.

Suppose you are looking to outsource your accounting or are currently outsourcing. In that case, you should always evaluate your potential or existing accounting company to ensure that they are the best fit for your needs, which will most likely change over time. Make sure that the existing accounting company is staffed with a team of Certified Chartered Accountants who are experienced in serving businesses of similar nature and scale. It is also crucial that they offer a dedicated account manager to service your account.

In this article, we are sharing how accounting services can significantly benefit your business along with why it is probably best for you to outsource.

01 Save precious resources

Managing your accounts in-house does not necessarily translate to cost-savings or better efficiency. Maintaining an experienced full-time accountant, or two, could set you back thousands of dollars a month. And in the event where your accountants may later choose to advance their careers elsewhere, you would have to embark on a resource-intensive hiring process that would cost you precious time and money.

However, should you choose to engage a professional accounting firm, you virtually eliminate these concerns. You pay a monthly service fee that gives you access to the expertise of an entire team of accountants who are proficient in various areas of accounting – from tax management to bookkeeping. You will never have to worry about varying hiring cost, induction/training programs, and employee turnover!

02 Facilitates ease of business growth

One key benefit of accounting, when done correctly, is its ability to clarify the status of your company’s financial health. Having a clear picture of your company’s finances helps you to make informed decisions when growing your business. It allows you to determine the feasibility of any business plan such as expansion and hiring. It prevents any counterproductive decisions that might threaten or delay your business growth by months or even years.

Credible accounting firms can help you to paint a clear picture of your company’s cash flow and seasonality by critically analysing your receivables and collections. Additionally, should you engage a regional accounting firm, their advisory services and market-analyst will be made available to you. Through them, you can effectively assess your company’s performance and make strategic decisions that will aid in your business success.

03 Ensure total compliance with statutory requirements & regulations

Time is a valuable and finite resource, so it matters what we do with it. As your company grows, more time will be needed to organise paperwork and navigate newly applicable regulatory complexities. From matters such as payroll, tax statements to Profit and Loss statements, a single oversight could result in a compliance infringement that may lead to a hefty financial penalty.

These risks and time cost can be mitigated through a professional accounting firm that is experienced in tax laws and procedures. Often a team of experts will be quick to flag any irregularities and ensure that your accounting records remain immaculate. In short, they will keep your company from any financial pitfalls and allow you to enjoy peace of mind.

04 Greater savings from higher deductions

Navigating Hong Kong’s complex regulations can pose a series of challenges that may result in an oversight of applicable tax breaks and exemptions. Ensure that you are maximising your savings and deductions by engaging professional accountants who are familiar with Hong Kong’s regulations, and can adequately qualify your business for the relevant tax rebates as well as expense deductions.

For companies that conduct business overseas, a professional team of accountants can even prevent issues such as double taxation due to their in-depth understanding of international tax treaties.

05 Digitisation of your accounting

Accounting records can be messy. A decade of records would quickly amount to hundreds of files and thousands of pages. Naturally, this makes the retrieval of data and reference a nightmare. Fortunately, as we transit into a technological age, professional accounting services are offering to store your business accounting records in a digital format on secure platforms with advanced software. These platforms often come with additional modules such as payroll and claims submission. They store their data electronically, together with the accounting records, in a centralised and secure location for maximum confidentiality. Digitising your accounting records also brings about ease of access. Regardless of place and time, you can retrieve records and reports in real-time from anywhere in the world!

Are you looking for a trusted accounting firm in Hong Kong?

BoardRoom is a regional accounting firm in Hong Kong that caters to corporations and fast-growing SMEs. Our expertise extends from tax accounting to managing statutory compliance reporting for companies across Asia-Pacific. With BoardRoom’s extensive accounting solutions, you can regain precious resources and refocus them on what matters – growing your business.

Contact us today or learn more about our accounting solutions here.

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Is Outsourcing Payroll or Cloud-based SaaS Payroll More Suitable for my Business?

Is outsourcing payroll or cloud-based SaaS payroll more suitable for my business

Is Outsourcing Payroll or Cloud-based SaaS Payroll More Suitable for my Business?

Is Outsourcing Payroll or Cloud-based SaaS Payroll More Suitable for my Business?

Payroll is the machinery that keeps a company’s human capital running effectively. Studies indicate that a timely pay-check is a vital requirement for staff satisfaction. In addition, flawed payment systems can lead to employees questioning the financial stability of the organisation which induces low employee morale and in severe cases, can land the company in legal trouble.

Despite the important role that payroll plays in a company, many businesses are still unclear on what solutions are available and how to evaluate them in order to determine the best fit for their needs.

In this article we cover two popular solutions, Outsourcing Payroll and the implementation of an all-in-one HRMS SaaS solution, and the key consideration factors for making the most appropriate selection for your company to administer Payroll.

What is Outsourcing Payroll?

Outsourcing Payroll involves hiring a specialist payroll company to handle some, or all, of your payroll functions. An outsourced payroll provider offers a wide range of services, that allow businesses to select an option that best suits their specific needs. A full list of the various services a Payroll Outsourcing provider should offer are detailed below:

Outsourcing these administrative business activities has proven to streamline operations and create efficiencies for businesses, enabling a shift in resource allocation to revenue generating activities.

However, the choice to outsource your payroll will depend very much on your organisational requirements.

Key considerations for Outsourcing Payroll

  • Time-saving – Payroll is a resource-intensive administrative function, outsourcing it frees more time for your internal teams administering payroll to focus on other activities. If you are currently experience resourcing issues, outsourcing your payroll could be a more effective solution than hiring new staff.
  • Enhanced Security – In a world rife with data security fears, reputable Outsourcing Payroll providers will offer multiple servers, backups, and other security systems and processes that protect employee personal data to grant employers peace of mind. In addition, they will have robust internal processes that adhere to best practice personal data protection rules.
  • Guaranteed Regulatory Compliance – Between countries and even within states of a large country, various regulatory compliance changes can be challenging for in-house HR teams to keep up with, leaving room for compliance risks. By outsourcing your payroll to a reputable vendor, you need not worry about ever being non-compliant to changing local regulations.
  • Visibility over costs – One of the major benefits of outsourcing is that your costs don’t fluctuate significantly. You have complete visibility over how much you will be spending each month, and any additional hires will come at a pre-determined rate, meaning hiring costs can be more easily planned.
  • Possible Inaccuracies in Data – Outsourcing payroll requires transfer & hosting of data off-site, which can result in errors if the correct systems are not in place. No system or process (no matter how technologically advanced) is 100% perfect, meaning when mistakes occur during data transfer it can take extra time to rectify and correct. To mitigate it, we recommend engaging a credible Payroll Outsourcing provider with an experienced team, robust processes and a consistent track record.
  • Limits of Data Access – If cases such as sudden terminations or placement of staff on gardening leave occur frequently, businesses should be aware that the ability to immediately process information could be delayed even with automatic Cloud Connection systems between the payroll vendor and their client.

These are just some of the things you need to consider when thinking about payroll outsourcing. Ultimately, you will need to find the solution which best aligns to your business needs and processes.

Businesses Most Suitable for Outsourced Payroll

A general trend of companies that tend to adopt this service are organisations that exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Non-complex Pay Runs – Standard payroll calculations for companies mostly consisting of full-time monthly salaried staff or casual labour typically find outsourcing payroll to be immensely beneficial as costs tend to be lower than having a full time equivalent (“FTE”).
  • Expanding Businesses – For businesses like technology start-ups or food & beverage chains where growth can be exponential, good Outsourcing Payroll providers can keep up with dynamic and fast changes in staff numbers.
  • Multi-Jurisdiction – These companies benefit from outsourced payroll as they can redirect the resources of the HR team into other business generating activities when they spend lesser time ensuring that they are familiar with the different laws across several countries/states.
  • Compliance Worries – Companies that operate in markets with complex labour laws and regulations such as Malaysia and China might have a lack of access to expert knowledge necessary for them to operate with a peace of mind. Outsourcing payroll to a reliable vendor can help lift the burden of worrying about fines or potential lawsuits resulting from a misunderstanding of the complicated payroll requirements.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list and there are exceptions. As every business is unique, an excellent Outsourcing Service provider should have the ability to customise and advise you on the best solution to meet your needs.

What is a cloud-based Software as a Service (“SaaS”) Human Resource Management System (“HRMS”)?

Another common method of processing payroll is with an all-in-one HRMS SaaS solution which allows a company to retain control of processing payroll internally, with the efficiency of having all the core systems in one ecosystem.

Most frequently adopted by small businesses, the payroll software vendor will take responsibility for data backup and managing software upgrades, whilst the business manages its employee database and payroll processing. The pricing models vary, but mostly the software vendor licenses the customer through a subscription in a ‘pay as you go’ model.

Many businesses choose an all-in-one HRMS SaaS solution because of the convenience and flexibility that this option provides.

As with outsourcing your payroll, your decision to select a SaaS HRMS solution should take into consideration your payroll complexity, business objectives and processes.

Key considerations for adopting an all-in-one HRMS SaaS solution

  • Adaptability to Existing Systems – For companies using their own proprietary software it can be challenging to find a solution that integrates with their current software. If keeping your internal system is important, it’s critical you find an HRMS SaaS solution that adopts an open API framework.
  • Data Protection – Reputable HRMS SaaS vendors often have strong measures in place to ensure that their clients’ personal data remains private. In countries like Hong Kong where data protection laws are strict, HRMS SaaS providers will ensure that their requirements fit with local regulations such as the Personal Data Privacy Ordinance (“PDPO”) to avoid hefty fines. It’s important any vendor your evaluating can demonstrate robust systems, policies and processes to ensure your employee’s personal data remains protected.
  • User-Friendly – Technology has advanced at such a rate that any reputable cloud based HRMS SaaS solution will offer a seamless user experience and user interface. They will also cater to changing habits of employees such as needing to access the HRMS on the go or from a mobile app.
  • Automation of Processes – If your main business goals are efficiency and costs, a HRMS SaaS solution will help to save time and resources as manual processes are now done automatically via the platform which can greatly reduce the propensity for human error.
  • Strong Vendor Reputation – New platforms are everywhere as businesses hop onto the trend of HRMS SaaS solutions. With so many new entrants, credibility must not be overlooked for other attractive factors such as cost of implementation. Less reputable vendors can lead to wasted labour hours and potentially cause downtime which might impact the bottom line, resulting in greater long-term costs.
  • Ability to Act Swiftly on Disruptions to Network – Can the company’s in-house staff react to downtime in its payroll system swiftly enough before it escalates? A HRMS SaaS provider often has its own dedicated team for quick response to downtime that not every business has in place which can reduce time needed for correcting any issues.
  • Internal HR team Well-versed in Compliance – As companies will be handling Payroll internally, they will need to have a strong HR team that are highly responsible and aware of labour regulations. Whether a company is willing to gamble with that risk is often a deciding factor when choosing between payroll outsourcing which can manage compliance or engaging in a HRMS SaaS solution.

Businesses Most Suitable for an all-in-one HRMS SaaS Solution

There is no one size fits all solution when it comes to Payroll, however, we often see companies that exhibit the following characteristics benefiting most from the adoption of an all-in-one HRMS SaaS solution.

  • Start-ups – A HRMS SaaS model can provide a no-frills solution to process payroll for growing companies. An all-in-one HRMS SaaS solution can also offer efficiencies for busy companies, automating and connecting many of the key modules needed to administer payroll such as leave & claims. Modern HRMS SaaS solutions will also cater to the mobile nature of our world and offer a mobile app and the ability to access the system anywhere, anytime.
  • Companies using Offline Administration Methods – A HRMS SaaS model can help alleviate administrative burden for HR teams running manual payroll processing, especially ensuring data accuracy and calculations as the system will do this automatically.
  • Companies with Complex Legacy Systems – Usually companies seek a HRMS SaaS solution when they have a legacy system that is unable to retrieve real-time data efficiently. Modern HRMS SaaS models provide real-time reporting capabilities, ensuring that businesses can leave behind clunky legacy systems and streamline to a more efficient mode of payroll reporting.
  • Businesses with Complex Payroll Processes – The adaptability of a HRMS SaaS software ensures that even the most complicated and complex pay runs can obtain a customised solution, should they select the appropriate vendor.

Summary

There is a wealth of options for processing payroll, the correct solution will boil down to what is most suitable for your business. Your companies’ size, growth strategies, compliance requirements and operating model will all influence the path you choose. Whatever your choice, always ensure that your solutions are in line with your objectives.

BoardRoom – Regional All-in-One Payroll Outsourcing Services & HRMS SaaS Solution Provider

Our regional presence with offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and Australia and experience in dealing with various regional and international clients makes us one of the trusted Payroll Outsourcing partners in the APAC area. Contact our Payroll experts to see which solution best suits your business.

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6 Reasons Why You Should Outsource Your Payroll

6 Reasons Why You Should Outsource Your Payroll

6 Reasons Why You Should Outsource Your Payroll

6 Reasons Why You Should Outsource Your Payroll

Whether you are running a business or leading a team it seems there are more challenges than ever to ensure staff time and resources are being spent on core functions that drive business growth and not back-end administration.

This is why approximately 47% of companies choose to outsource their payroll. Payroll is a critical business function; however, it can also be also time-consuming, complex and largely administrative in nature. You add to this the fact that complexities and risk associated with Payroll compliance increase as your business expands. This is especially true across the Asia Pacific region where there are constant nuances in Payroll Legislation. Yet employees are more mobile than ever and demand the same experience irrespective of where they are in the world.

In this article, we explore why Payroll Outsourcing can be an effective solution for businesses by taking you through the 6 key benefits to outsourcing payroll.

01 Saves HR teams time to focus on business growth

Payroll is a largely administrative function that requires a high level of attention to detail. In short, it is a time-consuming business requirement, regardless of your company be it 50 employees or 5,000, processing payroll is a constant that can quickly drain HR resources.

When you outsource your payroll processing you allow your HR teams to focus on core business activities that drive performance and growth, fundamentally saving the business time.

In addition to this, a professional payroll outsourcing provider will have had a variety of experience processing payroll for companies of all shapes and sizes. This is a direct benefit to your business because it means that irrespective of how you grow or where you grow to, your pay runs will never be in jeopardy and you won’t waste time hiring and training a new payroll administrator each time you experience growth.

02 Unparallel reporting capabilities and expert advice at your fingertips

There is no one size fits all solution for running payroll. Each business has a unique set of requirements that a professional payroll outsourcing firm will not only cater to but recommend best practices processes and systems. Multi-country payroll processing, especially across Asia Pacific can be a daunting task to manage in-house. However, a payroll outsourcing firm will have a multitude of experience across a wide range of industries and will conduct multi-country payroll processing daily, meaning your business will benefit from their years of experience.

 Comprehensive payroll reporting can make a real difference to an organisation, from visibility over annual leave trends for resource planning or assessing overtime reports, payroll reporting can play an important role in business planning. A good payroll outsourcing provider will not only have the platform in place that caters to comprehensive reporting they will also provide regular reporting and insights for your business.

By choosing your HRMS wisely, you guarantee peace of mind for your HR department and free-up resources to focus on other functions such as improving processes and securing a strong talent pipeline. In the words of Elbert Hubbard, let your extraordinary people do extraordinary work and leave the machine to do the ordinary work.

03 Information security & confidentiality safeguards

Personal data protection has never been more important than when in the context of processing payroll. The personal data stored for payroll is highly sensitive and requires a significant investment, not just in infrastructure but also in staff training to ensure companies remain in compliance with local personal data protection laws.

By engaging a credible payroll outsourcing company, the investment and risk associated with compliance failure by your internal teams is mitigated. The payroll outsourcing company will have extensive systems and best practice processes in place to ensure there is no breach.

04 Ensure compliance with changing Government regulations and standards

Running payroll, especially across Asia, brings with it a multitude of local country statutory regulations and standards that need to be met. This goes beyond accurate computations of gross to net salary and moves into the specific statutory deductions required in the country you’re operating.

The intricacies of these reporting standards need to be timely and mistake-free to avoid potential time-consuming audits and penalties. A professional payroll outsourcing company will ensure you always remain a compliant employer.

05 Cost savings

Wherever there is time savings, there is typically cost savings and outsourcing payroll is no exception. It is a common misconception that payroll outsourcing is more expensive than having an in-house team. The truth is, it really depends on your business needs, however, as a general rule you can expect payroll outsourcing to be a cost-efficient solution if you have standard pay runs.

If you require a more complex solution, payroll outsourcing could still be the answer. By outsourcing your payroll, you have a dedicated team at your fingertips who has an array of experience across a diverse range of business needs and challenges. You do not need to worry about hiring and training staff to manage your complex needs.

06 Access to complementary services

A key benefit of outsourcing is the access to a team of highly trained professionals. All of which are dedicated to answering any questions you have and pre-empting and providing proactive solutions to any potential issues that may arise.

In addition to this, many payroll outsourcing companies provide complementary services. BoardRoom is a good example of one such company their team across Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia offering services such as Corporate Secretarial, Accounting and Taxation.

This is a benefit to your business as you can tap into a team of experts that cater to all your back-end business requirements.

Looking For A Trusted Payroll Partner?

At Boardroom, we are experts in helping companies, from corporations to fast-growing SMEs, with their payroll, allowing them to focus on what matters – growth and profitability.

From local payroll services handling to managing substantial payroll obligations for bigger companies spread across Asia-Pacific, we help companies comply with local statutory regulations while ensuring their most valuable asset, the employees, are paid on time.

Contact us today and empower your organisation with greater freedom through our payroll solutions.

Or you can also learn more about our payroll solutions here.

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Hong Kong looks to move towards an Uncertificated Securities Market (USM)

Uncertificated Securities Market (USM) | BoardRoom Hong Kong

Hong Kong looks to move towards an Uncertificated Securities Market (USM)

Uncertificated Securities Market News - Hong Kong looks to move towards an Uncertificated Securities Market (USM)

As one of the world’s leading IPO and securities markets, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange currently follows an electronic as well as paper framework when it comes to securities subscription, shareholding, corporate governance and shares trading. Specifically, paper subscriptions to Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) and shareholding in paper certificate format are still practiced.

In recent years, law makers, regulators and capital market practitioners alike have expressed the opinion that the Hong Kong securities market, should, could and would progress into a paperless, or uncertificated environment, like some of the world’s other leading securities markets.

As a result in January 2019, the Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”), Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (“HKEX”) and the Federation of Share Registrars Limited (“FSR”) jointly issued a public consultation paper on the Uncertificated Securities Market (“USM”) topic and future execution framework.

Uncertificated Securities Market (USM) Framework Implementation

In April 2020, a conclusion paper was published on a revised operational model for implementing an Uncertificated Securities Market (USM) in Hong Kong. While there’s a lot of information in the paper, many details are still far from final. One thing that is clear however, is that the proposed new Uncertificated Securities Market (USM) framework will bring with its fundamental changes to the IPO and securities markets at both primary and secondary market levels.

At the primary market (Initial Public Offering) level, new IPOs will no longer provide a paper-based subscription channel to IPO subscribers, neither will paper based share certificates be provided. The primary impact on the market will effectively be an expedition of the whole process from consolidation and integration of subscription data and funds from all viable channels for an IPO.

At the secondary (trading) level, USM will significantly impact the process flow, time, etc. of securities transactions.  In addition, from a corporate governance point of view, how shareholders choose to own and transact their shares, and with it how shareholder rights are represented will undergo considerable changes. This is important because a core objective of the Uncertificated Securities Market (USM) initiative is to ensure investors have a real option when it comes to deciding whether to hold securities in their own name or not. The current paper-based process can act as an impediment for effecting legal title transfers as it can be cumbersome and time-consuming.

BoardRoom Hong Kong - Uncertificated Securities Market (USM) Initiative

The Uncertificated Securities Market (USM) initiative is going to revolutionize the IPO and securities market and BoardRoom, as one of the active share registrars in the Hong Kong capital market, shared our insights and knowhow on the USM topic in three recent webinar sessions. The sessions were well received by our audience with many clients commenting that the sessions were “very informative” and “saved them the time of having to read the full paper released by SFC”.

As an important industry member who regularly participates in USM discussion, consultation and conclusion process our team is well equipped to answer any questions you may have on this update to the industry and we welcome your queries on the topic. If you would like more information on the Uncertificated Securities Market (USM) initiative, please reach out to our Share registry services experts today.

Please contact:

Kellie Chan, Director, Business Development: kellie.chan@boardroomlimited.com , or

Elaine Liu , Director of Sales, Hong Kong and China Region: elaine.liu@boardroomlimited.com

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More “Small Companies” will be exempt from audit requirements

Hong Kong Budget 2015/16 Synopsis