The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh: A brief outline

--KM Rahmat Ullah FCA

Chartered Accountancy (CA) has emerged as a unique profession worldwide. It is widely acknowledged that to foster the world economic challenges, the contribution of Chartered Accountants can hardly be ignored. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) is the sole national apex body responsible for regulating the profession of accountants and the matters connected therewith in Bangladesh established under the Presidential Order No. 2 of 1973. The Ministry of Commerce (MoC) is the administrative ministry of ICAB. The Institute is also working closely with the Ministry of Finance (MoF), National Board of Revenue (NBR), Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Bangladesh Bank (BB) including other government and Regulatory Bodies. The Chartered Accountants of ICAB are equipped with the right professional qualification, skills, and expertise so that the people could rely on their professional service.  ICAB has two regional offices and two regional committees in Dhaka and Chittagong. There are also two overseas chapters namely – UK chapter and North American chapter in Canada.

The ICAB is a body of professionals whose expert services sought after the vision to meet ever-changing global economic demands and the rising expectations of the society by recognizing its role as a regulatory body. ICAB generates Chartered Accountants of high competence through rigorous and useful education and training to uphold professional integrity and honesty who will be able to meet the challenges of the new millennium. It maintains superiority in respect of professional competence with the concern to advise government on taxation, business law and related matters and to create the environment of mutual cooperation. To meet the growing demand for qualified Chartered Accountants and accordingly to carry out continuous research and make in-depth study and research in the fields of accountancy profession in Bangladesh is the ultimate vision of ICAB.

The Institute is going ahead with the mission of providing leadership in the development, enhancement and coordination of the Accountancy Profession in Bangladesh in order to enable the profession to provide services of consistently high quality in the public interest. To achieve the mission, ICAB pursue the following objectives:

r              Regulate the Accountancy Profession and matters connected therewith in the country

r              Administer its members and students

r              Ensure sound professional ethics and code of conduct by its members

r              Provide specialized training and professional expertise in Accounting, Auditing, Taxation, Corporate Laws, Management Consultancy, Information Technology and related subjects

r              Impart Continuing Professional Education (CPE) to its members

r              Foster acceptance and observance of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and International Standards on Auditing (ISA) and adopt the same as Bangladesh Financial Reporting Standards (BFRS) and Bangladesh Standards on Auditing (BSA) respectively.

r              Keep abreast of latest developments in Accounting techniques, Audit methodology, Information technology, Management consultancy and related fields

r              Liaise with international and regional organizations to influence the development of efficient capital markets and international trade in services.

Consequently, ICAB is striding with the greater responsibility to reach the ultimate objectives. ICAB has an effective and very intellectual Council to oversight the activities and functions of the institute. The Council is composed of 20 (twenty) members elected by the members of the Institute for three years; is the Supreme Authority of the Institute. The functions of the Institute are executed through 07(seven) standing and 17 (seventeen) non standing committees. The elected President is the Chief Executive of the Institute, heads the Council. Secretary is the administrative head of the Institute and responsible to execute all activities delegated by the authority.

The quality graduates from renowned public and private universities and the brilliant students from undergraduate level are taking CA education realizing the global professional scenario. Currently, the total number of members of the Institute is 1499; of whom 862 are Fellow (FCA) and 637 are Associate (ACA); 1347 members are residing in Bangladesh while 152 are in abroad. Out of 1499 (June 2014) members, 368 are practicing and the remainders are serving in various key positions in public and private organizations-both at home and abroad.

The Institute is on the way of creating new avenues for its members and students nationally and internationally to benefit the members and the students. ICAB’s certification is accepted by leading international accounting bodies, particularly the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) and Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA) Ireland. As per signed MoU with ICAEW, ICAB members can be the members of ICAEW after successful completion of advanced stage (03 papers out of 15). These members should be entitled to apply for UK Practicing Certificate (PC) subject to meeting the standard of ICAEW PC requirement. According to signed Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) to attain the CPA Ireland membership, ICAB members have to complete and pass only 01 paper out of 17 papers of CPA Ireland examination including an On-line “Overview of Irish Tax and law”.

Currently, ICAB is the member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), Confederation of Asian & Pacific Accountants (CAPA) and a founder member of the South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA). Being member of IFAC, ICAB achieved official recognition and appreciation for compliance of Statement of Membership Obligation (SMOs) consecutively in 2012 and 2013. IFAC SMOs covers Quality Assurance of Audit and Assurance, Education, Auditing and Financial Reporting Standards, Code of Ethics, International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), Investigation and Disciplinary matters. Our Quality Assurance activities have been appreciated not only by IFAC but also by our learning partner English Institute; our code of ethics is promulgated from IFAC Code of Ethics and the procedures disciplinary actions have been prominent and improving day by day.

As the regulatory body of the chartered accountancy profession, the Institute is very much apprehensive about to administer its members and students ensuring sound professional ethics and code of conduct. ICAB is more instrumental and vigilant with the education, Quality Assurance and Disciplinary measures to perform its regulatory duties. It imparts Continuing Professional Education (CPE) and specialized training on contemporary Professional Issues along with Specialized IT knowledge to its members on professional expertise in Accounting, Auditing, Taxation, Corporate Laws, Management Consultancy, Information Technology and related matters. ICAB is the compliant of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and International Standards on Auditing (ISA) and adopts the same maintaining due process as Bangladesh Financial Reporting Standards (BFRS) and Bangladesh Standards on Auditing (BSA) respectively. The members are capable to bring international standards of compliance in accounting and auditing sectors.

ICAB is always there to contribute in a significant manner to the inclusive national development efforts. Chartered Accountants work for the national economy promoting credential financial reporting on public and private organizations.  ICAB members are the world class professional accountants who are serving the nation. Through their professional expertise they are also contributing global economy, which is a significant source of earning for the nation. Moreover, the members and CA firms are participating in the process of economic development by providing taxes to the government. For competency and skill development of the nation ICAB is taking part providing training for officials of Government, Bangladesh Bank, NBR, Union Parishad, Power Development Board (PDB), Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA), NGO’s and corporate sectors particularly on IFRS, ISA and financial management. We have excellent relationship with the World Bank, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other development partners of the government. ICAB worked as the Consulting Body of the World Bank Project ‘Public Private Partnership for Improved Audit Quality Assurance”, and under the Project a significant MoU was signed between ICAB and the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (OCAG) of Bangladesh. Presently, the Institute is working as the implementing body of the World Bank project on “Strengthening Financial Reporting Framework and Audit Practice”. ICAB has also signed MoU with Local Government Division (LGD) under the World Bank support project to work for the Annual External Audit, Performance Assessment and Fiduciary & Safeguard Compliance Assessment of Union Parishad.

The Institute is always ahead of being well-timed and to ensure the good governance as per international standards and norms. ICAB is very much affirmed to contribute towards nation building progression with the professional competency and accountability chasing the global challenges in the years to come.