An Interview with
Wilson C Kwok
LKKC CPA LIMITED
Founded in 1982, LKKC CPA Limited (LKKC) is a professional firm of Certified Public Accountants based in Central, Hong Kong. We help our clients in the areas of accounting, audit and assurance, corporate finance advisory, real estate financial advisory, taxation, and other business services. Recognized by Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, our team has more than two decades of experience serving clients with interests in Hong Kong, the rest of China, and globally.
30 August 2021
Tell us about your background, and how you came to found your company?
My formal academic training stands apart because in 1986 I was one of the first Hong Kong graduates coming from the University of Aberdeen, in the UK. I received a Masters with a Joint Honours degree in Accountancy with Economics, as well as a prestigious prize from Ernst & Young (EY), the international accountancy firm, for being the top student in my accountancy class. After graduation, I joined KPMG in Edinburgh, Scotland where I completed my Chartered Accountancy training, for which I qualified in 1989.
I then returned from the UK to Hong Kong, establishing my first public practice in the early 1990 by forming a partnership practice with a number of Hong Kong CPA practitioners . Always moving and expanding my efforts, I grew into the role of Managing Director of the Hong Kong-based LKKC CPA Limited, where I am now the current Chairman.
Simultaneously from 2004, I was also appointed as a Director of International Services at the leading Global Accountancy Firm Baker Tilly for their China’s offices until my retirement in 2016. I remain as a consultant for Baker Tilly Hong Kong and Baker Tilly China offices since my retirement. Through those years, I have also founded several other professional services companies in Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Shanghai.
I also believe in giving back to the community, either through my involvement as a Founder, appointment of Directorship, appointment as Honorary Auditor or membership in various professional associations and charitable organisations. I have been a Founding Member for the CEPA Business Opportunities Development Alliance, Institute of Financial Technologists of Asia, Institute of Financial Planners of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Institute of Financial Analysts and Professional Commentators, China Real Estate Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong & International Limited. I’ve also been a School Board Member of the Pok Oi Hospital Tang Pui King Memorial College, and I’ve also been a director at Pok Oi Hospital for the past six years
What is most important to you and your organization – mission, vision, or core values? Why?
I am very proud of my team, track record, and history of serving Hong Kong’s business community. Although humble and hardly a flashy member of the professional services sector, LKKC CPA Limited has a strong history of being client-centric and a dependable partner for our clients. Given our expertise, experience, and commitment from our team, we make it a point to deliver a supportive, high-value service to all our clients.
One of our core values is to be responsive and adaptable. We make sure to remain a dependable source of advice and timely, accurate support. Our mission is to deliver comprehensive financial services to individuals, large and small businesses, and other organisations.
All accounting firms aim for high-quality service. That much is a given. Yet how we stand apart and make it our mission to stand apart is by providing specific, relevant, and insightful advisory services that let all our clients make informed financial decisions. We also believe in continuous learning and development, so we have weekly, internal professional development lunch-&-learn sessions that keep us all on the same page when it comes to industry news and developments.
Can you explain briefly how your service(s)/product(s) works?
All limited companies incorporated in Hong Kong must follow regulatory requirements and statutory audits of their financial statements. This is the law. LKKC provides high-value audit services to our clients that meet Hong Kong’s regulatory requirements. We also offer high-value independent reports to shareholders by reflecting accurate results and the financial position through the company’s financial statements.
Added to this, we provide high-level management services so companies can better uncover hidden issues and strategically relevant solutions to move forward.
Moreover, as needed, our tax team can help clients deal with cross-border tax matters between Hong Kong and China, as well as internationally.
We also support clients with their planning around managerial processes and risk assessments. This includes governance and other processes affected by the company’s operating environment. As part of our one-stop-shop solution mindset, we mobilize the right team and services needed to help clients navigate today’s complex financing environments.
How has the industry been changing in recent years?
Broadly speaking, the accounting and more specifically the CPA-associated industries have become a lot more regulated. In Hong Kong at least, we have seen a lot more controls and regulations being applied around financial reporting.
The Hong Kong Financial Reporting Council (FRC) was initiated on 1 October 2019. Since then, the FRC has assumed responsibility for regulation of audits of Public Interest Entities (PIE), which cover companies listed in Hong Kong. For two years now, the FRC has had the mandate to inspect, investigate and discipline PIE auditors.
Putting that aside, the industry has definitely become a more competitive place, with clients being a lot more price-conscious. As ever, we sometimes see a race to the bottom, where in order to cut costs or save on the cost of keeping good accounts, some companies have let best practices slide.
Since the pandemic hit and erupted across society, we’re seeing almost all companies becoming very focused on simple survival. Sometimes, this has forced companies to restructure or find new ways to operate, and sometimes it has forced companies to cut costs to the bare minimum – with many unfortunate casualties along the way. On a more operational level, there’s no surprise that many companies are exploring ways to use their IT assets to find new solutions or create new revenue channels. On a more macro level, what the industry’s facing is a crunch around accounts receivables and liquidity.
What makes you different from what’s currently available in the market?
I’m proud to be heading a team that now has a 30-year track record. Looking back at the peaks and crashes across three decades, I’m so happy my team and I have managed to pull through.
The biggest difference we find comes from the classic reminder that we’re only as strong as our people. I’d like to think the team takes its example from my tireless, I might even say ‘crazy’ energy. Given that my formative years were set in Scotland, working for leaders like KPMG, and set with a Western mindset that’s as disciplined as it was liberal, I like to think that I bring an easygoing approach that has served me very well.
For clients, what I always try to bring is an attentive, listening approach. On top of that, I believe we stand apart because of the large network of contacts I have across various social and non-commercial arenas, platforms, associations and charities.
What does the future hold for your company?
One thing that COVID-19 has shown us is that holding on too tightly to a vision of the future may not be the best approach. Maybe it’s better to be more willing to adapt, change, and take advantage of opportunities that come up.
For the next year, we will continue to specialize as a Hong Kong-focused CPA firm. Things have worked so well and consistently that remaining independent and agile will probably be our guiding vision.
Naturally and as for all companies in these challenging times, maintaining our steady growth, providing our stable pool of support services, and holding to our large pool of dependable assets will probably protect us from new shocks or threats.
On the operational side, we continue to develop our tax investigation services and will continue to grow our property-linked and corporate-linked financial advisory services. These latter services were launched in September 2020 and they are important additions for our growth and profitability.