Role and responsibility of chartered accountants for financial discipline

--Mohammed Shahid Ullah ACA

The accountants with charter acceptance by any authority established by statue of any country, whatever named is called Chartered Accountant. It is a profession where trustworthy and service of excellent both are present. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) is the world’s first professional body of accountants receiving its Royal Charter in 1854. The Institute originated from:

1.            The Edinburgh Society of Accountants, formed in 1854;

2.            The Glasgow Institute of Accountants and Actuaries, formed in 1854;

3.            The Aberdeen Society of Accountants, formed in 1867;

These three bodies merged to form the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland in 1951. It was the first to adopt the designation “Chartered Accountant” and the designatory letters “CA” are still an exclusive privilege in the UK for members of Scottish Institute.

In Bangladesh, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) is the national accountancy body. It is the sole organization in Bangladesh with the right to award the Chartered Accountant designation. It was established under the Bangladesh Chartered Accountants Order 1973 (presidential Order No. 2 of 1973). The Ministry of Commerce, Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh is the administrative Ministry of ICAB.

To be a Chartered Accountant in Bangladesh is not so hard, if anybody can work hard. After graduation/HSC/A level with excellent result, a student can get admitted into a public practice Chartered Accountants firm and getting registered with ICAB for studying Chartered Accountancy. He has to complete compulsory article ship for a certain period with the firm.  A student can be qualified as a Chartered Accountant within three years if he works hard.

ICAB since its establishment in 1973 has been working for development of Accounting Profession for ensuring corporate governance in the country. It has been revising its educational curriculum considering the demand of the country and globe to keep its members with world best practices and competitive with other CA institute of the world. After signing twinning project with ICAEW as a strategic partner, ICAB has revised its curriculum in light with ICAEW. Now a member of ICAB can be a member of ICAEW in an easy way and our members become the team member of world chartered accountants.

ICAB also working with various organization of the country like CAG, Bangladesh Bank, Development Agencies etc. as strategic partner for corporate governance and financial development of the country. Its aim is a trust economic and financial culture of the country where all the regulator and outside world will see that Bangladesh is a best practice country in financial sector and they will show their first interest in South Asia for their business.

After qualifying, Chartered Accountants may involve themselves in public practice or private jobs. A chartered accountant is a professional who is trained in and possesses the expertise to perform various types of work such as Accounting, Auditing, Financial Management, Project Appraisal, MIS, IT, Computer Auditing, Company Formation, Tax, Portfolio Management, Merchant Banking Services, Business Leadership Training, Financial Engineering Services, other Consultancy etc.

In addition to Public Practice, many positions of trust and responsibility are open to a Chartered Accountant such as Chief Executive, Member of Finance, Finance Director, Company Secretary, Chief Accountant, Finance Controller, System Analyst, Internal Auditor, Accountant etc. in listed companies, corporations/autonomous bodies or in industrial, financial, commercial or educational enterprises. A Chartered Accountant can also serve on the Board of Directors of various organizations particularly financial institutions. Such positions of responsibility, trust, honor, and dignity are offered to chartered accountants because of their excellent educational and training background, professional know-how, and technical expertise and sound financial knowledge & experience enable them to contribute towards solving accounting, financial, educational and business problems at to levels.

Key Skills of Chartered Accountants:

r              Self Motivation;

r              Responsibility;

r              Ability to reflect on one’s own work as well as wider consequence of financial decisions;

r              Business acumen and interest;

r              Organizational skills and ability to manage deadlines;

r              Team Working;

r              Strategic in Business;

r              Analytical Ability;

r              Mathematical approach and problem solving skills;

r              Numeracy;

r              Forensic Accounting;

r              Time and situation management ability;

r              World best practice service provider;

r              All financial services in one man;

Bangladesh is now a emerging economic country with the target to reach to middle income group countries by 2021 and with this objectives, policies for economic development are being taking. Since 1990, the industrialization of the country has taken new shape. To accommodate with new industrialization, more banks and financial institutions are being formed. More than 110000 companies are registered with RJSC. Foreign Investment is coming continuously and joint venture companies are also forming. Development agencies are working closely with the govt. and other agencies of the country. Economy of the country moving first. Capital market of the country are getting momentum as new investors are coming to capital market for capital instead of going to lender company. Govt. has introduced new mechanism for developing infrastructure facilities under PPP and trying to develop new entrepreneurs under EEF and various refinancing projects.

All of the above initiatives demand financial discipline. We may say the only trustful professional for financial discipline of the country is Chartered Accountants. They can confirm corporate governance of the above initiatives taker and ensure efficient and effective uses of resources.

Again, for mobilization of govt. revenue and effective utilization of public resources, effective and efficient financial management in on the center point. In neighbor countries, chartered accountants are being deployed for revenue(tax) collection division, public procurement division, audit division, finance division of the govt. but in our country, the professionals are absent from those jobs.

We have about 180 million people in our country but in world human development index, we are No-110 out of 122. On the other hand, ICAB is producing expert and trustworthy professionals but we could not use those professionals efficiently. Those un-utilized Chartered Accountants are being exported to abroad as it has huge demand of our Chartered Accountants in abroad. Those professionals are being made by our capital investment but they are developing other country. Concern authority should take care of our own assets so that it can be utilized for the development of our motherland Bangladesh.