Sunday, September 27, 2009

ACCA Pakistan Discussion Forum 2009: Looking Beyond Audit Committees

ACCA Pakistan Discussion Forum 2009: Looking Beyond Audit Committees

29 September 2009: Many of the causal factors of the current economic conditions seem to be inextricably linked to a failure in corporate governance. Regulatory boxes may have been ticked but fundamental principles of good governance were breached. Board of directors needs to emphasis more on the performance of corporate governance than with its regulatory compliance. Boards should set clear goals, accountabilities, appropriate structures and committees, delegated authorities and policies. They should provide sufficient resources to enable executive management to achieve the goals of the organisation through effective management of day-to-day operations and monitor management’s progress towards the achievement of these goals. Board performance may be enhanced by setting up business useful board committees.

ACCA Pakistan is holding a discussion forum in Karachi on 1 October 2009 to deliberate upon best Corporate Governance practices in the current challenging economic conditions. The aim of this discussion forum is to initiate a discussion on the business case for board committees other than the audit committees.

Discussion forum will be featuring top management executives from banking and business community to share their views and reflections on the topic. It will also be attended by members and approved employers of ACCA Pakistan.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Signs of recovery based on fragile evidence, says ACCA survey

Signs of recovery based on fragile evidence, says ACCA survey

Claims that the world’s economy is recovering is based on fragile evidence, according to the latest Global Economic Conditions Survey by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).It has repeated its warning that world economic leaders should guard against complacency - and not confuse less panic over the crisis with strong evidence that the recession is over everywhere.

ACCA’s third quarter survey of 1,200 finance professionals in 92 countries has shown that while more finance professionals now believe the downturn has ‘bottomed out’ they also believe that a reliable recovery is still unlikely to return before late 2010 - more than a year away. Although business confidence continued to recover in the third quarter of 2009, those who saw improvements in conditions (31%) were still outnumbered by those who had lost confidence (33%).

While increasing percentage of members (34%) now believe that global economic conditions are either about to improve or already improving, the emerging consensus, expressed by 44% of respondents, appears to be that current conditions mark the bottom of the downturn and will persist for some time. Nearly 40% are reporting that their organisations’ income is unlikely to change over the next 3 months, with an equal number anticipating further losses of income, while only 22% have seen their prospects improve.

The survey also shows that as business incomes continued to decrease in the third quarter of 2009, there was a rise in late payment as well as supplier and customer bankruptcies. Investment in staff fell at an accelerated rate in the third quarter and investment in capital projects, which had previously shown signs of stabilising, seems to be weakening further.

The figures also revealed dramatic differences in how finance professionals thought government would react to the situation, with 77% of respondents in Africa and 60% in the Asia-Pacific region expecting increases in public spending, while 68% of Western European respondents expecting spending cuts. Western Europe was the only region in which public spending was, on balance, expected to fall over the next five years.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Online career planning for finance professionals

Online career planning for finance professionals

A new online training resource – developed by accountants for accountants - is launched today by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).Called ACCA COMPASS, the resource assesses core competencies and abilities online. It is unique to ACCA and developed for accountants by finance professionals.

The resources allow members to benchmark their skills against a given role at various levels of experience. It also allows them to create a development pathway on the same career trajectory or into a parallel track. This is complimented by a guide book, also available online, "ACCA guide to career pathways in public practice".

Mr Arif Masud Mirza, Head of ACCA Pakistan, commented: “Our career pathways guide offers advice on working in areas such as audit, taxation and advisory work. It can help people answer the tough career questions like ‘Is this role right for me? How do I progress? Where do I go next?’ “Some may think they are locked into a particular role - but external moves are possible with careful career planning. For instance some public practice audit professionals can and do move into the corporate sector.”

“Continuing professional development (CPD) is integral to any credible profession - legal, medical and financial. When it comes to accountancy, to add value to their clients, all accounting professionals must remain competent and up to date throughout their careers - and with ACCA this is done through our dedicated CPD scheme called ACCA Realise. Together with ACCA Compass, accountants can be assured that they will be bringing benefit to business, that they'll be pointed in the right direction and that they will be taking an active role in their own careers.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

ACCA Partners with OMV

ACCA partners with OMV

ACCA Pakistan has awarded Platinum Approved Employer Status to OMV. This award is the highest level recognition in the Approved Employer Scheme and symbolizes OMV’s achievement of attaining best practice standards relating to the support of ACCA trainees and members in the workplace.

Mr Markus Turczyn, Head of Finance, OMV, commended ACCA Pakistan as their Professional Development and Training Partner and said that, “OMV will achieve new horizons of best practice standards through this partnership of professional excellence, which will develop our Finance Team to meet the challenges of Exploration & Production Accounting”.

Congratulating, OMV on this occasion, Mr Arif Masud Mirza, Head of ACCA Pakistan lauded OMV’s dedication towards employee retention and talent cultivation and said that this strategic partnership will indeed have a remarkable impact on their business value.

Also present at the ceremony were, Mr Syed Raza Haider – Financial Controller, Mr Naveed Akhtar – Manager JV Accounts and Mr Adeel Rahmani – HR Manager from OMV and Mr Haroon A Jan, Head of Business Development, ACCA Pakistan.