The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants issued a revised HKSIR 400 in October 2011, which sets out the requirements and guidance for reporting accountants issuing a comfort letter or taking part in a due diligence meeting with sponsors for an offering of securities in Hong Kong. The revised standard is effective for comfort letters and due diligence meetings in respect of investment circulars dated on or after 1 January 2012.
The main changes in the revised HKSIR 400 are:
- it allows reporting accountants to provide limited assurance (commonly referred to as “negative assurance”) when reporting on subsequent changes in financial information;
- it clarifies that HKSIR 400 covers all offerings, equity and debt, except for offerings in the US; and
- it confirms that when it is not possible for reporting accountants to perform procedures under HKSIR 400, for instance, because the specific criteria in HKSIR 400 are not met, then it is also not possible to perform those procedures and report under a different standard to HKSIR 400, which may not have the same criteria.
For a copy of the revised HKSIR 400, please follow the link: http://app1.hkicpa.org.hk/ebook/HKSA_Members_Handbook_Master/volumeIII/hksir400.pdf