Outstanding achievements by two individuals were recognised when the Chief Executive of ACCA, Helen Brand, visited Pakistan recently.
Helen Brand presented the ACCA Achievement Award to Mr Shehzad Yousuf, Deputy Chief Financial Officer with the Karachi Electric Supply Company, for his contribution to the accountancy profession in Pakistan. She also awarded a gold medal to ACCA student Aqsa Waseem for achieving the highest marks in the world in ACCA’s final professional level examinations.
This is the first ever gold medal and Achievement Award in Pakistan. The awards were presented at Indus Hall, Avari, on 31 January, 2013.
Mr Shehzad Yousuf, who received the ACCA Achievement award for his outstanding contribution to the accountancy profession in Pakistan, is the Deputy Chief Financial Officer at the Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC).
He has been working closely with the management and has been instrumental in the turnaround of KESC. Prior to this he was working as Chief Internal Auditor Pakistan State Oil Co. Ltd (PSO).
Mr Shehzad is a qualified member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP), where he has won a gold medal for his outstanding academic performance.
In making the presentation to Mr Shehzad, Helen Brand said:
“Not only has Mr Shehzad achieved a great deal in the field of accountancy, but he has always strived to ensure that others get the opportunity to excel in the profession.
“ He is a great believer in capacity building and has been a key player at setting up training regimes at both PSO & KESC. He is currently managing the training scheme at KESC which is providing opportunity for 80 young finance professionals.
“ His experience, achievements and dedication to supporting the next generation of finance professionals makes him a worthy recipient of this award,” said Helen Brand.
Helen Brand also presented the ACCA Gold Medal to Ms Aqsa Waseem, who achieved the highest combined marks in the final professional level papers in the ACCA examinations in June 2012. In total, Aqsa Waseem, who lives in Lahore, achieved the highest marks worldwide for five out of fourteen ACCA exams.
She thinks accounting is a wonderful field for someone who is career oriented, and is grateful to financial management professor Sir Atiq Riaz, in helping her to succeed in the ACCA exams.
Helen Brand said; “I am delighted to have been able to make this presentation to Aqsa, since I am well aware of the hard work and ability which is required to excel in the ACCA examinations,
“We make no apology for making the exams demanding, since that ensures we meet the needs and expectations of employers around the world, who recognize the value of our examinations and can be sure that those who qualify with us will be of the highest standard.
So, for someone to excel in these examinations indicates they are a special individual and I am sure that Aqsa has a glittering career ahead of her.”
Its a huge and a good news – For IBA studetns, for ICAP and more importantly, for HR Departments of Corporate Sector in Pakistan.
According to a press release, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) will be signing a partnership agreement with the Institute of Business Administration (IBA),Karachi, on February 12.
As a result of this alliance, BS Accounting and Finance graduates’ of four year programme from IBA will have a unique opportunity to pursue Chartered Accountancy studies with an exemption of four modules (12 subjects) from CA curriculum, said an ICAP statement here on Thursday.
It said this is the first time in history that ICAP has given an exemption to any university.
By virtue of this arrangement, the IBA will give a novel option to its students whereby their academic degree will lead to a strong professional qualification and ICAP will recruit quality graduates with university exposure and sound academic background.
“This is a remarkable alliance between a top ranking business school and the leading accountancy body of the country and will make a positive contribution to the economic and business sector of Pakistan,” the ICAP statement added.
The agreement will be signed by Dean and Director IBA, Dr Ishrat Husain, and President ICAP, Ahmad Saeed at the IBA Main Campus, University Road, Karachi, on Feb 12.
The SECP is introducing eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), a user-friendly online language that makes the analysis and exchange of corporate financial information easier, i.e, financial statements.
What were We Doing Before?
Traditionally, the financial statements filed with the SECP are prepared by the companies in conventional word processing, spreadsheet or portable document formats, rendering analysis and comparison of such statements difficult.
The XBRL transforms financial reporting process by creating an Internet-based global reporting language that permits the investors, analysts, and regulators to review and evaluate financial data more easily and efficiently.
XBRL is a data-rich dialect of eXtensible Markup Language (XML), which is the universally preferred language for transmitting information via the Internet.
Through this language, tagged data can be automatically searched and analyzed thereby greatly reducing the chances of error.
The SECP has already held various brainstorming sessions for setting out the milestones in a way to implement mandatory filing of corporate financial information in XBRL format for designated classes of companies.
ICAP will Help SECP
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) has already been taken on board for developing the IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) taxonomy as a prerequisite, which define elements and relationship of financial data based on the regulatory requirements. Using the regulator-approved taxonomy, companies would map their reports and generate a valid XBRL instance document.
The XBRL is a globally accepted standardized business reporting tool, which will help not only the SECP in easily dissecting the bulk of corporate financial information without delay but will also facilitate other regulatory authorities, bourses and the investors in analyzing the corporate financial data in order to make an informed decision.
Moreover, the current economic crisis has depleted investors’ confidence in the capital markets. Greater transparency in business and financial information is critical to the economic recovery. In the medium to long run, XBRL is poised to move from the early adopter phase to becoming the generally accepted way of reporting business information.
The Association of Certified Charted Accountants (ACCA) Pakistan and Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of co-operation on Monday evening.
The MoU was signed by Head of ACCA Arif Masud Mirza and President KCCI Mohammad Haroon Agar on behalf of their respective organisations.
The object of the MoU is to facilitate business and industrial community of Karachi for good governance, fair business practices and capacity building of individuals, / businesses concerns.
Both parties will exchange ideas information, research, publications, proposals, and suggestions to improve economy, trade and businesses. ACCA may provide volunteers to KCCI wherever it desires to conduct any survey, compile research paper on economic, business and trade issues.
Both parties may cooperate in arranging conferences, seminars and workshops on budget, fiscal matters, taxation affairs etc, in Karachi.
ACCA Pakistan shall allow KCCI members to attend ACCA Pakistan’s continuing professional development events. KCCI shall allow ACCA Pakistan members to attend KCCI continuing professional events, other for non-performance of any service under this MoU to the extent that any such performance would result in the breach of applicable laws and regulations.
The parties will identify suitable research opportunities and undertake joint research and publications. ACCA Pakistan shall also provide technical support and assistance to KCCI by engaging its network panel (Volunteers) depending upon their availability. Details of such provisions will be discussed and agreed upon throughout the duration of this MoU.
With More than 200 Management Accountants, industry experts and analysts from varying industries stands with each other for Pakistan’s National Anthem – it was clear that CIMA has decided to stay long and stay strong for Pakistan’s corporate sector.
The event was hosted by CIMA Pakistan in honor of its president Gulzari Lal Babber and was primarily aimed for market professionals as an interaction and networking session.
Gulzari Lal Babber, who is a British Indian and was born in Lahore before partition, was elected as the President of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) on 9 June 2012.
This visit was first of its kind for Pakistan’s Accountancy fraternity since CIMA becomes the first foreign qualification whose President Visited Pakistan, despite security concerns and a negative travel advice. Many industry experts and professionals highly appreciated this fact during dinner conversations and comparisons were made with other foreign accountancy qualifications whose President or CEO never bother to visit Pakistan despite Pakistan has been proved as an attractive market for foreign qualifications.
“We Know this as a fact that Pakistan is a great country with a lot of talented people”, Gulzari Lal started his speech with.
Addressing at CIMA President’s’ Dinner, Gulzari Lal said that CIMA was helping people and businesses to succeed, adding that the institute had three offices in Pakistan, including Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.
“CIMA is very different from other institutions. We are not in audit business – We don’t do audit. Our job is way more than that. Our members help companies run their operations. Our job is mainly to teach management accountancy,” he said, adding that management accountants from Pakistan had proven their mettle all over the world.
He also said that the global financial crisis had occurred because of shortcomings in corporate governance. “Pakistan’s industry badly needs CIMA-qualified accountants,” he suggested.
He said that last year, 29,000 students had enrolled with CIMA with one third coming from Asian Region where Pakistan stands third. “We are expecting a lot of growth in this region”, he added.
Dr Arul Sivagananathan,the Managing Director of Rayleys Business Solutions International (Pvt) Ltd of Sri Lanka gave a short presentation on ‘Transformation of Finance Function’.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) launched Directors’ Training Programme duly approved by Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) on January 21, 2013. 33 participants of listed companies are attending the Programme.
Abdul Rahim Suriya, Chairman CPD said in 1998, a conference was organized by ICAP on the subject of Good Corporate Governance. Later in 2002, SECP adopted almost all of these recommendations.
He put forward three comments. Code of Corporate Governance does not specifically require what to be covered for corporate reporting. Therefore in order to further strengthen transparency and accountability, SECP may include the corporate reporting criteria developed by the Joint Committee of ICAP and ICMAP as a part of CCG. CCG requires directors to annex the statements with the Directors’ Report and Financial Statements are as per IFRS and System of Internal Control is sound etc.
CCG requires that 2/3 directors should be non executive. In this circumstance it is not logical to bound Non Executive directors to certify and take so much exposure and responsibility.
In few countries these confirmations are expected from CEO and CFO under a separate statement called “Responsibility Statement”iii. The CCG also requires, wherever necessary few information to be annexed to the Directors’ Reports, for example: key operating and financial summarized data of last six years;
He suggested SECP to make these as a part of the annual report instead of making it as a part of Directors’ Report so that the responsibility remains with the Operational Management, CFOs and & CEOs.
Director, SECP, Akif Saeed congratulated ICAP for conducting DTP. He said that what is written in code should be implemented in later and sprit.
E-Voting, E-IPP, E-Dividered are being considered by SECP.
Ahmed Saeed, President ICAP said that Shareholders role is to appoint Director’s & Auditors. ICAP appreciates efforts of SECP in promoting Corporate Governance and providing adequate grounds for Directors Training.
The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has imposed a fine of PKR 2.5 Crore on the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) for prohibition imposed by the institute on the training of non-ICAP accountancy students (ACCA and ICAEW) by their approved training organisations.
In this connection, the CCP here on Thursday issued an order by a three-member bench of CCP comprising Ms Rahat Kaunain Hassan, Chairperson, Abdul Ghaffar, Member (Cartels and Trade Abuses) and Dr Joseph Wilson, Member (Mergers and Acquisitions and International Affairs).
According to the order, the Commission has declared ICAP’s prohibition to be in contravention of Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2010 and, hence to be without any legal force, fined ICAP PKR 2.5 Crore for the violation, and restrained ICAP from issuing similar directives to its members in the future. As per the order, the relevant course of action for affectees would be to pursue compensation from courts of competent jurisdictions.
Earlier, CCP had issued a show cause notice to ICAP for the prima facie violation of Section 4 of the Act. This section prohibits, inter alia, decision taken by association of undertakings that have the object or effect of preventing, restricting or reducing competition in the relevant market.
The show cause notice had alleged that ICAP’s Directive dated 4 July 2012 (the ‘July Directive’), which prohibited ICAP’s members and their accountancy firms from offering training opportunities to non-ICAP accountancy students, amounted to an anti-competitive decision of an association of undertakings in relation to the market for the professional training of accountancy students.
The bench has held that when ICAP issued the July Directive, it acted as an association of undertakings and that the July Directive was in violation of Section 4 of the Act. The bench observed that the July Directive forecloses, shuts out, and precludes not only a large but the most valuable segment – the public practice accountancy firms – of the relevant market for the non-ICAP students. The order stated that it was important to recognise that training through a public practice accounting firms was a valuable form of training for accountancy students and while there were other avenues such as in-house training at commercial concerns in public or private sector, accountancy firms offered a greater exposure and experience to students on a broader range of subjects which was not substitutable to any training or experience offered by other approved employers.
The Bench further observed that the ICAP directive also acted as an entry barrier for the ancillary market of accountancy services that is crucial to the business environment and the economy as a whole. CCP observed such a prohibition, issued by ICAP to protect its own economic interests, would stunt the growth in the accountancy services sector and reduce choices available in the market.
The bench observed that ICAP ought not to discourage, discriminate or otherwise unequally treat growing number of a human resource essential for a vibrant economy. As a natural corollary of competition in the market, the increase in the number of such professionals in the past has provided and should continue to provide, the businesses and other consumers not only with a greater choice but also improved quality and reduced costs for accountancy services.
It observed that while it appreciated that ICAP could regulate its own students and the quality of training imparted by its approved accountancy firms, it could not prohibit these firm, most of which are also approved employers of other accountancy bodies, from training non-ICAP students.
The order observed that all over the world, accountancy firms acted as approved employers of multiple accountancy bodies and ICAP should act in sync with the industry practice rather than creating hegemony for itself.
The bench further observed that they find merit in ICAEW submissions that ICAP’s directive appeared to place protectionism above both the professional and national interests and that these are better served by strengthening the profession in Pakistan through maintaining an open environment to encourage continual investment and improvement. The accountancy market in Pakistan would be strengthened not by protectionism but by allowing free competition.
The commission has imposed penalties and remedies under the Act keeping in mind the importance of the accountancy profession for the economy and the necessity of discouraging such practices by professional bodies. In the event that ICAP continues the subject practice in violation of this order, it will be liable to pay a penalty of PKR 1 million everyday for such violation in terms of Sub-Section 3 of Section 38 of the Competition Act, CCP added.
According to a local newspaper, University of Central Punjab has brought for the first time a degree with dual benefits.
As confirmed by the Exemption Officer of ACCA (UK), the graduates of UCP B.S. (Hons) Applied Accounting Programme are eligible for exemption from seven papers of ACCA examination.
The current as well as the future students of B.S. Applied Accounting in UCP may get the advantage of this exemption. UCP is the first university in Pakistan which has been given exemption of seven papers from ACCA.
Thus the graduates of B.S. Applied Accounting will not only receive a four years Higher Education Commission recognized degree but also will avail the benefit of exemption from seven ACCA (UK) papers.
Pakistan’s economic problems are mostly pertinent to management and are not resource oriented.
The speakers at southern regional committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) during a seminar ‘Pakistan’s Economic Outlook-2013 and Beyond emphasised on strengthening of economic institutions and progressive devolution of revenue and expenditure authority to most relevant tier of government for the sustainability of economic growth.
Former State Bank of Pakistan governor Salim Raza discussed the economic challenge faced by Pakistan.
Muhammad Shabbar Zaidi, partner A.F.Ferguson, spoke on international outlook-trends and effects on Pakistan’s economy, general state of affairs and Pakistan’s fiscal position in 2012-2013.
He particularly underlined the country’s economic outlook posed a going concern issue for which undocumented economy was playing a lethal role. He gave various suggestions for additional generation of around Rs 800 billion (with 10 percent increase every following year) as taxes from untaxed sectors, revamping of indirect and direct tax structure, devolution, documentation, asset records, automation, no disguised whitening of wealth and automation of land records.
Institute of Business Administration Dean Dr Ishrat Husain expressed hope that the new generation of Pakistan would lead the country out of present economic crisis by strong and transparent governance and vision.
According to our informed sources, Competition Commission of Pakistan will soon pass the final order in ACCA-ICAP case.
This case was initiated by Competition Commission after ICAP issued notice to audit firms asking them to refrain from hiring accountancy students of foreign qualification which soon turns into a hot war.
In Past, officials on both sides continuously denied that there is any kind of cold war between ICAP and ACCA to fight on number of students intake but this notice proves everything otherwise.
The language used in notice wasn’t really targeting anyone and many market players initially believed that this notice was not to aim ACCA but (ICAEW) Institute of Chartered Accountant of England and Wales but ICAEW choose not to be part of this hearing. Many experts reason this because of the MoU signed between ICAEW and ICAP.
Although it was first reported by EconomyAge that ICAEW has been in touch with its students to discuss the issues relating to this notice.
Hearings at Competition Commission
We were told by sources that ACCA Pakistan wrote to CCP to become part of this case. Both sides have been in dialogue through CCP to resolve the issue.
During these hearing – it was again reported that ICAP issued another notice clarifying their position that they did not block students of foreign qualification rather reminded audit firms that they should follow ICAP Bye-Laws and only induct trainees who are registered with ICAP. The notice further clarify that exemption routes are all open to ACCA and ICAEW students and they are free to claim exemption and get their training contract from audit firms.
In a meeting after this notice – which was attended by Arif Masud Mirza, Head of ACCA Pakistan, Mr Rehanuddin, Head of ACCA Karachi, Miss Noor Aftab, Head of ACCA Islamabad and lawyers from ICAP – ACCA Pakistan termed this new notice as an ‘Eye Wash’ and CCP adjourned the meeting for next session.
Why EconomyAge Was Silent?
Many of our valued readers continuously emailed us and we have been trying to keep in touch with them through emails and through our facebook page. All the small updates were communicated through our facebook page. Since there wasn’t anything material to respond – therefore our team decided to pass any information that we’re receiving through ‘One Liners’.
We’re now planning to start a message service for our users to communicate such ‘One Liners’ in future. (Please give your feedback on this!)
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