Cloud Accounting with Xero and BoardRoom – Make it work for you

Cloud accounting with Xero and BoardRoom

Cloud Accounting with Xero and BoardRoom – Make it work for you

Cloud Accounting with Xero and BoardRoom – Make it work for you

Cloud accounting platforms like Xero are well recognised for their benefits such as saving time, money and effort for companies in Hong Kong – big and small. It can improve your finance team’s productivity and speed up processing of payments and invoices, which means your company is getting paid faster.

Even so, there are still companies hesitant to make the switch from traditional accounting to a cloud accounting system.

A common concern is the set up and migration of existing financial data into Xero which can be difficult, particularly so for companies with complex structures. This can make implementation time-consuming and hinder your company from realising the full benefits of Xero.

The solution? By working with the right Xero partner like BoardRoom, your switch to Xero cloud accounting solution can be a seamless and rewarding experience. Our Xero accounting experts will advise and guide you through the process on how you can best optimise Xero to your benefits.

Leave traditional accounting behind today

Cloud accounting uses online software and stores the data from your accounts in the cloud. ‘The Cloud’ is a network of remote servers storing vast amounts of data. In contrast, traditional software is installed locally on your computer with data stored on a hard drive or a server on-site.

While traditional accounting has its benefits such as not requiring an internet connection and having full control over your security levels and access, it is heavily dependent on ensuring that updates and data backup are done continually. When in comparison, the benefits of cloud accounting far outweigh those of traditional accounting.

Cloud accounting makes it easier for your team to access and collaborate, all without the need for additional hardware costs and software expenses. It also offers your company a real-time snapshot of business performance while providing data security and protection. But, maybe most importantly, cloud accounting helps you save time and improve accuracy, which assists your company run more efficiently. This is why many companies use cloud accounting, like Xero.

Xero implementation made easy with the right partner

The complexities of Hong Kong’s regulation make changing to a new accounting system challenging. However, with a team that’s experienced in implementing a new accounting system such as Xero for companies in Hong Kong, organisations can avoid potential pitfalls such as misplaced data or accidentally limiting essential user access.

Finding the right affiliate can be as simple as looking at the partners that are certified as a Xero consultant. BoardRoom for one is a XeroTM Gold Champion Partner that has consistently showcase our expertise in implementing Xero for a wide range of company profiles.

We’re experienced in transferring your company’s data from your existing accounting system to Xero. Once you have provided us with the necessary data, we will work in the background to set up your Xero file setup according to your needs. This means minimal downtime for your team while they continue working as per normal.

Our support does not just end at set-up – we also ensure that your team is confident in fully optimizing the Xero platform. This includes training and support services to facilitate the change management process for your team. We’re also just an email, phone or video conference call away to support your team with any Xero enquiries.

Challenges of Xero set-up and migration for complex company structures

Data migration and change in accounting platforms are especially tricky for companies with a complex structure. Strategic planning is often needed to ensure your company structure is reflected correctly in Xero and that it meets any regulatory reporting requirements in Hong Kong.

Companies may risk errors, issues and potentially expensive faults when switching accounting platforms. Improper set-up and migration of data may lead to long-term problems such as not being able to meet regulatory reporting requirements. Having a partner with the right qualifications like BoardRoom can help avoid these pitfalls and save you time further down the road.

Our Xero data migration services ensure a complete data migration, comparative balances migration and porting over of last closing balances. Additionally, our online training modules will guide your team through purchase, sales, bank and reconciliation, inventory, reports and other advanced features.

accounting software

Making Xero right for you

How do you get the most out of Xero, especially with limited resources? With thousands of apps and integration available on Xero, BoardRoom helps to cut out the guesswork by recommending the right ones that best suits your company needs.

We also customise your chart of accounts or report templates, incorporate your logo into financial documents, or set-up tracking categories and contacts – plus more. Most importantly, we’ll provide the necessary training to ensure that your team is set towards success.

Grow your business with BoardRoom’s regional expertise

When you partner with BoardRoom, you’re not working with a regular accountancy firm. As professional services experts, we operate across multiple jurisdictions and offer a wealth of knowledge on all aspects of company administration. This means that no matter where your offices are located, whether Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, China or Australia, we can assist you to seamlessly integrate all of your accounts functions through your Xero accounting system.

In addition to Xero set-up and migration, we also provide incorporation, share registry, company secretarial, payroll, plus many other administrative services. Therefore, by partnering with BoardRoom, your company gains access to our wide range of skills and expertise to assist your administration and accounts teams operate more efficiently.

xero implementation partners

Xero consultations are available for full scale migration, set-up or integration of systems – such as payroll or point of sale. No matter the complexity of your company structure or which accounting system you’ve been using, our team of experts are always ready to provide support through every step of the way.

Find out more today on how partnering with BoardRoom can save you time and money for your Xero implementation needs.

Related Business Insights

Hong Kong Corporate Tax Guide: Improve Your Tax Planning

corporate tax planning

Hong Kong Corporate Tax Guide: Improve Your Tax Planning

Improve Your Tax Planning with our Hong Kong Corporate Tax Guide

Hong Kong is world-renowned for its business-friendly taxation and regulatory environment, with corporate tax rates that are considered some of the lowest in Asia.

However, some companies still pay more tax than they need to. Effective corporate tax planning maximises tax benefits while maintaining compliance. To help your company improve its tax planning, we have created a guide to corporate tax in Hong Kong.

How to pay corporate tax in Hong Kong

Corporate tax is known locally as ‘profits tax’ in Hong Kong. It applies to all profits (excluding capital asset sales) that are:

  • sourced in Hong Kong; and
  • generated by corporations, sole proprietors, partnerships, trustees and bodies of persons carrying on any trade, profession or business in Hong Kong.

For corporate tax purposes, no distinction is made between resident and non-resident companies. This means no tax is levied on profits arising abroad, even if they are remitted to Hong Kong.

The standard profits tax rate is capped at 16.5% for corporations or 15% for unincorporated businesses. However, a two-tiered profits tax rates regime applies, which lowers the rate on the first HKD 2 million of assessable profits to:

  • 8.25% for corporations; or
  • 7.5% for unincorporated businesses.

Assessable profits above HKD 2 million are subject to the standard profits tax rate.

Typically, the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) issues profits tax returns annually on the first business day of April. After calculating how much tax your company owes, file your profits tax return within one month of the issue date (subject to any extension applications).

When your company receives the IRD’s notice of assessment, you must pay a provisional tax. If your company ends up under- or overpaying your provisional profits tax, you can subtract or add the amount to your payable tax for the following year.

business tax advisory

Why business tax planning is important

Effective corporate tax planning is all about analysing your company’s finances to ensure that you pay the lowest tax possible while staying compliant. Prioritising tax planning is vital to your business success because implementing the right strategies could ultimately save your company thousands of dollars.

How your company could benefit from expert business tax advisory services

Navigating Hong Kong’s complex tax regulations can be challenging. Without expert tax accounting support, it can be easy to miss out on tax breaks and exemptions that your business is entitled to. The best way to maximise your company’s savings and deductions is to work with professional accountants who understand Hong Kong’s regulations.

Our tax experts at BoardRoom are not only well versed in local tax regulations but also have in-depth knowledge of international tax treaties. With their advice, your organisation can avoid any double tax issues. Moreover, our team will help you to apply for any extra tax incentives that could benefit your business.

Additionally, as your company grows, so too does the complexity of your tax reporting obligations. If you fail to meet your tax filing obligations, you may experience costly penalties. Our corporate tax accountants help countless businesses in all industries and sizes across Hong Kong and the APAC region to stay tax compliant each financial year.

Looking for trusted tax advisory services in Hong Kong?

Contact our taxation specialists today to discover how they could help your company stay compliant and maximise tax benefits.
We also offer a range of other corporate services all under one roof, including:

These make it easier for you to get on with business while we take care of the time-consuming, operational tasks.

Related Business Insights

Setting up a company in Hong Kong: what you need to know

Setting up a company in Hong Kong: what you need to know

HOW TO: Setting up a company in Hong Kong

Thinking of establishing a company in Hong Kong? Expanding into a new international market is exciting for any business, but it also presents its own set of significant challenges. For many executives, the first hurdle is understanding how the company formation regulations and processes work in the new jurisdiction.

Our guide below makes it easier to take the leap with an overview of everything you need to know about setting up a company in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Market Profile

Hong Kong is an important financial hub within the Asia Pacific (APAC) region that is renowned for its business-friendly taxation and regulatory environment. Some of the key characteristics of the Hong Kong market include:

  • Office rental pricing: Average monthly rent for grade A office space in Hong Kong’s central district was $HK 1,807 per square metre for the first quarter of 2021.
  • Average office space density: 1sq m per person
  • Fixed internet download speed: 59 megabits per second in July 2021
  • Mobile internet download speed: 06 megabits per second in July 2021
  • Gross Domestic Product US$ bn: 344.7
  • Population: 7.5 million
  • Official languages: Chinese, English
setting up a company in hong kong

Benefits of setting up a company in Hong Kong

As one of the largest financial centres in Asia, Hong Kong offers many benefits to companies looking to establish a presence in the region, including:

  • Strategic locational advantages: Hong Kong’s central location is beneficial for companies that want to enter the mainland Chinese market or expand their business within the APAC region.

The Hong Kong market also has many cultural similarities to mainland China, making it ideal for foreign investors to develop a footprint in the Chinese market.

  • Attractive tax structure: Hong Kong’s corporate tax rates between 8.25% and 16.5% (subject to the amount of profit earned) are considered some of the lowest in Asia.

In addition, Hong Kong has no capital gains tax, sales tax, consumption tax, value-added tax, estate duty or withholding tax on dividends and interests.

Further, the ‘territorial source’ concept applies, meaning that residents pay no tax on incomes earned beyond Hong Kong’s borders. Income earners within Hong Kong are taxed at between 2% and 17%, depending on salary. This is considered significantly lower than other jurisdictions in the West.

  • No foreign ownership restrictions: 100% of the shares of incorporated companies in Hong Kong can be owned by foreigners or foreign companies. The market also operates on free trade principles, with no onshore or offshore investment restrictions, import or export tariffs and foreign exchange controls.
  • Bilingual business communication: in Hong Kong, English is widely used in a business context, making it easier for foreign investors to establish companies within the region.

How to establish a company in Hong Kong

To help you start enjoying all of the above business benefits, we have compiled a step-by-step process for how to create a company in Hong Kong:

Step 1 - Choose a company type

The two most common company types for businesses operating in Hong Kong are:

  1. Limited Liability Company: This entity type means that a business is set up as its own legal entity. Foreign investors often prefer this type because it offers limited liability for business owners. Companies can be limited by shares or by guarantee.
  2. Foreign Company Office: Foreign companies can register in Hong Kong as either a representative office or a branch office. Neither option creates a separate legal entity, however, so all liability extends to the parent company.
Step 2 - Give your company a name

Your company name must not:

  • be the same as a name already approved on the Companies Register; or
  • infringe upon any third party’s intellectual property rights.

You can search the register for free using the Companies Registry search sites: Cyber Search Centre or Company Search Mobile Service.

The name you choose must comply with the Guideline on Registration of Company Names for Hong Kong Companies, which states that:

  • Company names can be registered as either an English name, a Chinese name or both. However, combining English words/letters and Chinese characters is prohibited.
  • An English company name must end with the word “Limited”, and a Chinese company name must end with the characters “有限公司”.
  • A Chinese company name should contain traditional Chinese characters (繁體字) that can be found in the Kang Xi Dictionary (康熙字典) or Ci Hai Dictionary (辭海) AND also in the ISO 10646 international coding standard. Simplified Chinese characters are not acceptable.
Step 3 - Set up your company structure

An essential part of Hong Kong company formation is determining the structure of your company per the following requirements:

  • Directors: a minimum of at least one person. One director needs to be a natural person (ie. an individual). Directors do not need to be residents of Hong Kong, but they must be aged 18 or older.
  • Shareholders: a minimum of at least one shareholder. They can be either an individual aged 18 or older, or a corporate. 100% of shares can be foreign-owned. Sole directors can also act as shareholders.
  • Company secretary: a sole director must not act as the company secretary. To register a company in Hong Kong, you must appoint a company secretary who is either:
    • a person who lives in Hong Kong; or
    • a body corporate with a registered office or place of business in Hong Kong. We provide expert company secretarial services so that your company can meet all of its statutory obligations in Hong Kong.
  • Share capital: no minimum share capital is required. However, most companies choose to issue at least one ordinary share to one shareholder. Bearer shares are not permitted.
  • Registered address: must be a physical address in Hong Kong, not a P.O. Box. If your business does not yet have local office space, professional service firms like BoardRoom can provide your company with a registered office location.
hong kong company formation
Step 4 - Submit company registration documents

You must submit the following registration documents to the Companies Registry:

  • the Incorporation Form;
  • a copy of the company’s articles of association; and
  • a copy of the Notice to Business Registration Office.
Step 5 - Make other permit and business licence applications (if applicable)

You may need to apply for other permits and business licences, depending on the type of business you operate. Find more information about permits and licences here.

how to register a company in hong kong

How to successfully open a business in Hong Kong

While it can be complex, the process of opening a business in Hong Kong as a foreigner doesn’t have to be difficult. Our team of company incorporation experts at BoardRoom can guide you through every step of the incorporation journey to make it as smooth and seamless as possible.

Not only can our team help you incorporate with ease, but we can also take care of your company secretarial needs. Our comprehensive range of company secretarial services helps you to ensure that your company remains compliant with all legal and regulatory requirements in Hong Kong. As a result, you have more time to focus on what really matters: growth and profitability.

Speak to one of our specialists today to get started in setting up your business in Hong Kong.

Related Business Insights

5 Ways accounting outsourcing services add business value

5 Ways accounting outsourcing services add business value

5 ways that accounting outsourcing services can help your business to grow

Many companies outsource their tax and bookkeeping responsibilities, but still use in-house teams for all other accounting functions. If your company is among them, it may be worth reconsidering. What if you could outsource all of your accounting functions in a way that not only reduces costs and minimises risk, but also increases revenue growth potential?

An expert accounting services provider can help you do just that by offering strategic accounting services.

Specifically, here are five ways that outsourcing accounting services can help your business to flourish.

01 Facilitate business growth and expansion

Outsourcing accounting services can help to clarify your company’s financial health status. A complete picture of your company’s finances enables you to make more informed decisions. This becomes critical when you are planning for business growth and expansion.

Our team of professional chartered accountants at BoardRoom can help by painting a clearer picture of your company’s current cash flow and seasonality. They have the expertise to critically analyse your receivables and collections, so you can more effectively assess organisational performance. With this information, you can then make the best strategic decisions to achieve greater success for your business.

02 Identify all the tax breaks your company may be entitled to

Navigating Hong Kong’s complex regulations can be challenging. Without expert accounting support, it can be easy to miss out on the tax breaks and exemptions your business is entitled to. The best way to maximise your company’s savings and deductions is to work with professional accountants who understand Hong Kong’s regulations. 

Our team of tax experts at BoardRoom are not only well versed in local tax regulations, but they also have in-depth knowledge of international tax treaties. With their advice, your organisation can avoid any double tax issues. What’s more, our team will go the extra mile to apply for any tax incentives that could benefit your business.

outsourcing accounting

03 Flag potential risk oversights

As your company grows, the compliance regulations only become more complex. A single oversight in payroll, tax statements or your company’s profit and loss statements could result in hefty financial penalties.

Mitigate these risks and reduce your team’s administrative burden by working with a professional accounting firm that has extensive experience in Hong Kong’s tax laws and procedures. Your company will gain access to a team of experts who will flag any irregularities to ensure compliance.

In short, your business will avoid any costly compliance pitfalls, and you will get to enjoy greater peace of mind.

04 Store and organise your data

Accounting generates a lot of paperwork. When records are still analogue (paper-based), they can quickly overrun your office storage space. This can also make efficiently finding and retrieving data difficult.

The good news is that you can take advantage of outsourcing accounting services to guide your company’s digitisation efforts. As well as storing your accounting records electronically, many full suite firms offer complementary services that can assist you in digitising your company’s payroll and claims submission functions.

As a result, staff will be able to easily find records, submit expenses and locate the reports they need in real-time from anywhere across the globe.

05 Free up resources by reducing salary overheads

Having one or two experienced full-time accountants in-house can cost many thousands of dollars a month. Then add to that the costs involved in hiring, inducting and training these employees.

By contrast, outsourcing accounting functions to a professional services provider like BoardRoom means you might not need an in-house accounting team at all. Reducing salary overheads frees up company resources that could be better spent elsewhere in the business.

Not only that, but your company will also gain access to an entire team of accounting experts. Our team can do it all for you, from providing strategic advice on sustainable cost-cutting strategies to managing bookkeeping and tax.

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

BoardRoom is a regional accounting firm in Hong Kong that caters to large corporations and fast-growing SMEs. Our expertise extends from strategically outsourcing accounting services to managing statutory compliance reporting for companies across the Asia-Pacific Region.

Speak to one of our accounting experts today about how your company can regain precious resources and refocus them on what matters – growing your business.

Related Business Insights

5 advantages of outsourcing payroll services in Hong Kong

advantages of outsourcing payroll services

5 advantages of outsourcing payroll services in Hong Kong

5 advantages of outsourcing payroll services in Hong Kong

Delivering a critical business function like payroll in-house can be challenging. There’s no room for error. Employees must be paid accurately and on-time. The company must remain compliant. All in all, it can be a very time-consuming process to manage payroll in-house.

As companies grow, managing payroll can become even more of a challenge. In-house HR teams may be stretched and not have enough capacity to stay up-to-date with compliance.  This is especially relevant in Hong Kong and the APAC region, where payroll regulations are complex and ever-changing.

The benefits of outsourcing payroll services add up significantly when you consider the costs involved in managing it in-house. After all, time is money. Increased efficiency makes a substantial difference to the bottom line.

While time and cost savings are key advantages of outsourcing payroll services, your company also stands to gain five other considerable benefits from outsourcing payroll.

Here are those advantages:

01 Continuity in payroll expertise

Professional payroll outsourcing vendors have extensive experience in processing payroll across a wide range of industries, and for companies of all sizes. This means that even if your company is growing rapidly or expanding into new countries, the accuracy of your pay runs will never be in jeopardy, and they will always be fully compliant with local labour regulations.

An expert payroll services provider will remove the need to waste time hiring and training a new payroll administrator every time your company experiences growth, or if one of your team members resigns. Instead, you can gain peace of mind from knowing that your employees will be paid on time, every time, by a consistent and dedicated team.

02 Access to unparalleled reporting capabilities

Comprehensive payroll reporting can make a real difference to an organisation. Having greater visibility into resource planning information, such as annual leave trends and overtime reporting, can be a game-changer for business planning.

In addition to having a platform capable of producing comprehensive reporting, a good payroll outsourcing vendor will provide regular reports and valuable insights for your business.

how to outsource payroll

03 Enhanced data security and protection

The personal data stored in payroll systems is highly sensitive. Keeping this data secure and compliant with local personal data protection laws requires a significant investment, not only in infrastructure, but also in cybersecurity and personal data protection training for staff. Reliable payroll outsourcing service providers store their data on highly secure cloud-based servers to deliver maximum data security and protection. At BoardRoom, we look to operationalise, not just tick boxes when it comes to securing and protecting your data. It’s why:

  • our team members participate in regular cybersecurity training sessions, as well as data protection training sessions every year;
  • our data centres have achieved ISO27001; and
  • our cloud hosting was awarded SOC 2 certification.

04 Minimised compliance and regulatory risks

In Hong Kong and throughout the APAC Region, HR teams need to factor in a multitude of compliance and regulatory risks when processing payroll. This complexity goes beyond calculating gross net salary correctly, extending to whether or not your company meets specific statutory deductions.

Complexity, coupled with intricate reporting standards, makes it challenging for even the most experienced in-house team to stay compliant. Payroll needs to be done on time and error-free every time to avoid time-consuming audits and costly penalties. A professional payroll outsourcing provider minimises your exposure to these compliance and regulatory risks.

05 Expert advice at your fingertips

One of the key advantages of outsourcing payroll services is gaining access to a team of highly trained payroll professionals. They can answer any questions you have and provide proactive solutions to any potential issues – all without the price tag of maintaining this level of service in-house.

Your company can also benefit from working with a payroll outsourcing vendor that offers a variety of integrated, value-add corporate services, including:

outsource your payroll

Gain the advantage: partner with an established payroll provider

At BoardRoom, we are experts at helping companies to gain an advantage through efficient, accurate and compliant outsourced payroll services. Letting us manage these services enables you to focus on what matters most in your company: growth and profitability.

Whether you are a large multinational corporation or a fast-growing SME, our team makes processing your payroll in Hong Kong easy. From local payroll services handling to managing substantial payroll obligations across the Asia-Pacific Region, we ensure your company remains compliant and that employees are paid on time, every time.

Speak to our payroll experts today about how to outsource payroll services for your company.

Related Business Insights

5 ways outsourcing accounting can boost financial health

Outsourcing your accounting can save your business time and money

5 ways outsourcing accounting can boost financial health

5 ways that outsourcing your accounting function can boost your company’s financial health

“Essential but not efficient”…

If that sounds like an accurate description of your company’s accounting function, it might be time to consider outsourcing to a specialist accounting services provider.

Not only will you gain more time to focus on business growth, but it can also be a more efficient use of your company’s resources. Perhaps the idea of outsourcing your accounting, tax and bookkeeping responsibilities sounds appealing, but you wonder how to make it work for your company’s unique needs.

If so, this article will take you through the top five ways that outsourcing your accounting function can boost your company’s financial health.

01 Get access to expert accountants without increasing salary expenses

Instead of accumulating overheads with an in-house accounting team, you will create cost savings by outsourcing to an expert services provider.

This gives you access to a team of accounting professionals without needing to spend on recruitment, training, wages or employee benefits.

Our team of professional chartered accountants at BoardRoom can streamline your accounting function while ensuring you meet all of your compliance obligations.

02 Gain clearer insights to support your business growth

Outsourcing to a credible accounting firm can help you better understand your company’s receivables, credits and collections. This, in turn, can generate a clear picture of your cash flow and revenue seasonality.

Understanding this information can then create clarity around your company’s overall financial health, providing greater insights into specific areas of growth potential. As an end result, you can make smarter, more informed decisions about your company’s future direction.

For example, those newfound insights might suggest that the time is right to open another local or overseas branch or hire some new employees. In either case, as the leading corporate and advisory services provider in the Asia-Pacific Region, the BoardRoom team can help:

  • Our setup and incorporation experts can help you to establish a new branch, either locally or across the region, including in Singapore, Malaysia or Australia.
  • Our payroll experts can assist you in automating your company’s payroll management to more effectively manage your human capital.
Gain clearer insights when outsourcing accounting

03 Avoid costly penalties by staying compliant

Running a large, multi-national company can be time-consuming and expensive. As your company grows, so too does the complexity of your tax reporting obligations. The last thing you want is to be in breach of the Hong Kong Inland Revenue Department’s (IRD’s) compliance requirements. At best, that may result in an audit. At worst, you could incur significant financial penalties.

For example, failing to meet your tax filing obligations can result in costly penalties. If you mistakenly leave some tax unpaid in Hong Kong, the IRD considers the outstanding amount to be a tax default. As such, it will take recovery actions and add a 5% surcharge onto the unpaid tax balance. The second instalment will then be due immediately if the first instalment is late. After six months, the IRD will impose an additional 10% surcharge on any outstanding balance.

However, a professional firm like BoardRoom is well-versed in tax law compliance. Outsourcing your accounting function to our team of taxation specialists can help your company to avoid any costly pitfalls.

04 Maximise savings with the tax breaks your company is entitled to

Your company is probably entitled to several tax breaks, but you may not be aware of all of them, they are also ever-changing so it can be hard to stay up-to-date. For example, businesses in Hong Kong with an annual profit of less than HK$ 2,000,000 need only pay a tax of 8.25%. That is half the regular corporate tax rate.

The IRD also released several business tax measures in its 2021-22 budget, including profit tax reductions and registration fee waivers. Hong Kong has signed a number of double tax treaties, the benefits to Hong Kong companies are numerous.

Read more about the Hong Kong Budget 2021-22 Report

Tax experts at a specialist accounting services provider like BoardRoom can help you to take advantage of all of these tax breaks – and more – while staying compliant. Our team will also go the extra mile and apply for any tax incentives that could benefit your company.

Efficiency of accounting

05 Increase efficiency with an organised, automated accounting flow

To increase efficiency, your company must have digital accounting records. This makes your data easier to analyse, which can help you to identify more insights into the most profitable areas of your business to drive growth.

Our team of professional accountants at BoardRoom can set up a secure, cloud-based financial management system for your company. We can also integrate payroll and claims submissions into the platform to further streamline your accounting flow and improve efficiency.

How our expert accounting services can boost your company’s financial health

Accurate, reliable accounting is at the core of every successful company. However, outsourcing your accounting function to expert service providers like BoardRoom removes the need for an in-house team. This helps you to save on employee overheads while still maintaining access to a professional team of chartered accountants.

To maximise your company’s financial health, our accounting experts will help you to:

  • stay compliant;
  • maximise your tax benefits;
  • keep you organised; and
  • offer you clearer insights into your company’s growth potential.

Get in touch with our professional chartered accountant team today to learn more about how they can help to boost your company’s financial health.

Related Business Insights

What to look for in company secretarial services in Hong Kong

Company secretarial services in Hong Kong

What to look for in company secretarial services in Hong Kong

5 qualities to look for when choosing a company secretarial service provider in Hong Kong

The pressure of complying with the ever-evolving schedule of corporate legislative requirements in Hong Kong can be overwhelming. The pace of change is relentless, and corporate compliance obligations are only becoming more complex.

This evolution is necessary in ensuring companies operate safely and fairly. Yes, it’s a short-term inconvenience – but there are multiple benefits for your company in the long run.

Outsourcing your company secretarial functions to an expert provider can relieve your team of the time-consuming administrative burden of corporate compliance in the here and now. It can also reduce overheads by freeing up key staff to focus on the core functions of your business.

However, there is a caveat. Failing to meet statutory obligations can have severe legal, reputational and financial ramifications for your company. That is why partnering with an experienced, qualified and knowledgeable corporate secretarial service provider is so essential.

To help you find the right solution for your company, here are the top five qualities to look for when selecting a company secretarial services provider in Hong Kong.

01 Corporate governance qualifications and experience

In Hong Kong, every company must appoint a company secretary. This secretary must be either a resident of Hong Kong or a company whose registered office or principal place of business is in Hong Kong.

In private companies, a director may take on the role of company secretary, unless they are the sole director. Putting a director to work as your company secretary can initially be an attractive option from a cost perspective. However, as your company grows, so too do the corporate governance requirements.

This is why so many private companies choose to outsource their company secretarial duties, the role requires the specialist knowledge of a professional, but often doesn’t justify creating another role within the company. Although not a necessity, outsourcing is often the most efficient and cost effective option here.

For publicly listed companies, requirements regarding who can perform the company secretary role are stricter. The chosen person or company must either have suitable professional or academic qualifications or relevant experience to be acceptable under the Hong Kong Stock Exchange Listing Rules (“Listing Rules”).

corporate governance in corporate secretarial

The professional or academic qualifications considered ‘suitable’ under the Listing Rules include being:

  • a member of The Institute of Chartered Secretaries;
  • a solicitor or barrister under the Legal Practitioners Ordinance; or
  • a certified public accountant under the Professional Accountants Ordinance.

Experience that is considered ‘relevant’ under the Listing Rules includes the proposed company secretary’s:

  • length of employment in the company;
  • previous company secretary roles;
  • familiarity with the Listing Rules and other relevant laws;
  • planned or completed relevant training (the minimum training required is 15 hours per financial year); and
  • professional qualifications in other jurisdictions.

Clearly, experience and qualifications matter when choosing a corporate secretarial services provider. Our expert BoardRoom team has solid experience and members are all suitably qualified to proactively manage even the most complex corporate governance challenges.

02 In-depth local knowledge and global expertise

A company secretary with detailed knowledge of the local regulatory landscape is an invaluable asset to your company. Equally important is an understanding of the subtle nuances of local cultures, traditions and customs.

At the same time, if your company is international – or even global – you need a company secretary that is familiar with your international legal obligations who can work alongside your legal or compliance agent.  The subtle changes in both law and best-practice throughout different regions can be too easily overlooked without the correct resources on your side. Engaging the right people could help you avoid financial implications, large or small.

The Corporate Secretarial team at BoardRoom brings together both in-depth local knowledge and international expertise. We can seamlessly guide your company across multiple markets while managing all of the cross-border complexities of tax, trade, currency conversion and contractual rules.

03 A wide service offering that meets all of your corporate needs

As your business grows, outsourcing non-core functions to a single corporate expert provider can save key staff members time and allow them to focus on business strategy and performance.

At BoardRoom, we offer a full range of corporate services all under one roof. We make it easier for you to get on with business while we take care of the time-consuming, operational tasks.

We can help you by accurately and efficiently:

04 Dedicated, personalised customer care

An excellent company secretarial services provider will assign a dedicated company secretary for your organisation. This is essential to give you a single point of contact who understands the exact needs of your business.

Having a dedicated company secretary also reduces your risk of non-compliance. It is all too easy for an inexperienced company secretary to miss important corporate governance milestones. Non-compliance means costly penalties for your company.

You can feel confident working with the team at BoardRoom, knowing that we are dedicated to ensuring you meet all your compliance obligations in relation to corporate secretarial matters.

05 Ability to evolve with you as your company changes

What is your vision for the future of your company? If going public is on your agenda, your corporate secretarial services provider will need the expertise to guide you through Hong Kong’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) process.

Alternatively, suppose you are thinking of evolving your corporate structure. In that case, you need to be aware of the many specific compliance requirements involved. You also need to prepare for the significant administrative work needed to make the change happen.

Whichever direction you choose to take your company, look for a corporate secretarial services provider that offers an extensive range of corporate services. Only with this offering breadth can the provider adapt to your company’s changing needs and evolve with you.

Looking for quality company secretarial services in Hong Kong?

Save yourself from the worry and time-consuming nature of corporate compliance by outsourcing your company secretarial functions to our expert BoardRoom team.

We have a proven track record of helping companies, from large multinational corporations to fast-growing SMEs, to stay compliant. Ultimately, we will save you time and money by letting you get on with growing your business.

Get in touch with one of our specialists today to learn more about how they can help you with your company’s corporate secretarial and compliance needs.

 

Related Business Insights

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.

Related Business Insights

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.

Related Business Insights