Monday, July 19, 2010

ACCA launches Foundations in Accountancy

ACCA launches Foundations in Accountancy
New suite of awards aims for maximum flexibility, maximum employability

ACCA announces Foundations in Accountancy, a new flexible suite of entry-level awards designed with both students and employers in mind.

Foundations in Accountancy is being introduced after detailed consultation with employers, learning providers, members, students and other professional accountancy bodies and regulators.

Retaining a revised Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) Qualification, Foundations in Accountancy provides a grounding in financial and management accounting, with professionalism and ethical behaviour at its core.

"For students, the flexible range of entry points means that they can begin at an appropriate level, avoiding duplication, so saving time and money in the long term," says Mr Arif Masud Mirza, Head of ACCA Pakistan. "They can complete qualifications in their own time, selecting those which best suit their own career aspirations."

For the first time, Foundations in Accountancy will see certification awarded at each level, helping students to chart their progress, and employers to recruit and train to meet their particular business needs. The highly practical content means that the knowledge students acquire can be directly applied in the workplace, offering immediate benefits to existing and prospective employers.

"Employers need to know that they are taking on competent employees in account-support roles" says Mr Mirza. "And they can be assured that this new range of awards will train individuals to the same consistent and high standard of the full ACCA Qualification, which is recognised and perceived highly all over the world."

"Employers can also be confident that candidates know how to conduct themselves professionally and ethically in the workplace, because completing the Foundations in Professionalism element is a prerequisite of receiving certification for any of the awards within Foundations in Accountancy."

The wide-ranging syllabus spans the key elements of financial and management accounting, including an Accountant in Business module which puts students' new knowledge into an economic, legal and regulatory context.

Flexibility is a key feature of ACCA's new suite of awards in terms of assessment delivery and level of progression. ACCA has increased its computer-based offering and now offers students the choice of sitting exams by CBE or paper for the first seven exams which make up Foundations in Accountancy.

In addition, students can complete a combination of exams in order to achieve awards at different levels. For example, students can complete two of the core exams plus Foundations in Professionalism in order to complete the first level qualification - Introductory Certificate in Financial and Management Accounting or continue to progress to whichever level they choose.

Students who complete all seven core exams, two of three options from Foundations in Taxation, Financial Management and Audit, the Foundations in Professionalism module and a years' work experience will have achieved the requirements to gain the CAT Qualification. However, those who wish to complete an-entry-level qualification to progress onto the ACCA Qualification, can do so after completing the Diploma in Accounting and Business.

Mr Mirza concludes: "The accountancy profession is constantly evolving to meet the demands of how businesses operate, and nowhere is this more apparent than at an accounting-support level. The accounting technician of today and tomorrow needs a rigorous and flexible qualification to help them contribute to business performance and an ever-changing business landscape."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The World in 2030: pressure on resources and a completely new approach to global business

The World in 2030: pressure on resources and a
completely new approach to global business
New ACCA report collates expert opinion on what our world will look
like in 20 years time

The world in 2030 will be a startlingly different place, with a
'flattening' of the economic landscape and a more genuinely global
market place, according to a new report from ACCA (the Association of
Chartered Certified Accountants), in collaboration with the strategic
research and consulting group Lighthouse Global.

The report, Where next for the global economy? A view of the world in
2030, collates predictions from 15 global experts in business,
economics, and accountancy. Covering areas such as the future global
power, the future of the earth's resources, and the future of the
corporate eco-system, the paper sees the world turned completely on
its head in 2030.

"Distracted by the powerful effects of the global financial crisis,
commentators, politicians, and economists have recently been focusing
on the short term; it's important that the longer term isn't
forgotten", says Mr Arif Masud Mirza, Head of ACCA Pakistan.

Mr Mirza adds: "In 2030, the world could be facing intense pressure on
resources, a big shift in global power, and a completely different way
of doing global business. These aren't things that we can just deal
with when they crop up. We need to start thinking about tomorrow

"As a wide-ranging collection of insights, covering a wide array of
scenarios and possibilities, the report is designed to encourage
people to think about how their actions today will affect the world
tomorrow. We're sharing our panel's ideas and perspectives to provide
accountants and business with new thinking to help them make decision
based on the insights of those at the forefront of debate."

The report looks at the future of: the distribution of global power;
the earth's resources; financial markets; the corporate world; and the
future of government. Among the predictions made by ACCA's panel are
the following:

1. Some of today's biggest companies are likely to de-conglomerate
by 2030, outsourcing almost all central functions to achieve
efficiency. 'Federations of businesses' will be the corporations of
tomorrow. Strong virtual ties will connect increasingly specialist and
remote businesses, located in increasingly specialised regions and
cities. Small businesses will act like shoals of fish, becoming a
strong global force in the global environment.
2. With the world's population growing and with resources heading
in the opposite direction, there could be severe pressure on access to
oil, gas, or water. Food will be limited too, leading to increasing
elements of nationalism in discussions about resources.
3. The world will be made 'flatter' as a result of globalisation.
This could lead to a shift in global influence to the East. The East
won't be the next big thing; it will be the big thing. One of the
report's contributors, Nenad Pacek, the president of Global Success
Advisors, says: "The business world will be astonished by the rise of
new companies from emerging markets. At how powerful they will become.
They should not be underestimated in any way."

The predictions made in the report come from experts including: the
economist Andrew Dilnot, former director of the Institute of Fiscal
Studies, now principal of St Hugh's College Oxford; Chin Kwai Fatt,
the managing director of PwC Malaysia; Loughlin Hickey, KPMG's global
head of tax; Tony Hegarty, chief financial management officer at the
World Bank; and Professor Saul Estrin from the London School of

Monday, July 12, 2010

ACCA signs MoU with UBL - Digitalising Customer Experience

ACCA signs MoU with UBL - Digitalising Customer Experience

ACCA Pakistan recently signed a MoU with United Bank Limited (UBL) for
launching an exclusive Wiz Prepaid VISA Debit Card for ACCA Pakistan
customers - the UBL Wiz-ACCA Card. Under this MoU, all ACCA Pakistan
customers will be able to pay their ACCA exams and subscription fees
online through the unique UBL Wiz-ACCA Card.

The MoU was signed from ACCA Pakistan by Mr Arif Masud Mirza, Head of
ACCA Pakistan and Mr Shamez Mukhi, Head of Marketing, Communications
and Media Relations, while the signatories from UBL included Mr Aameer
Karachiwalla, Group Executive - Retail Bank and Mr Najeeb Agrawalla,
Group Head - Marketing and Product Management.

Speaking at the occasion, Mr Mirza said, "We aim to digitalise ACCA
Pakistan's customer experience. Like every forward thinking global
organization, ACCA Pakistan aims to provide its customers with lean,
efficient and economical delivery of services. This partnership with
UBL is indeed a major milestone towards this goal."

Applauding the innovative approach of ACCA Pakistan, Mr Karachiwalla,
said his organization looks forward to taking this relationship
further. He added, "UBL has a vast network of branches and modern
transaction facilities which will be ideal for servicing the extensive
ACCA community of students and members."

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Access to finance still a challenge

ACCA Russia survey reveals SME predicament

A survey conducted by ACCA Russia and Finansoviy Director [Finance Director] magazine has revealed that access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Russia continues to be as difficult as it was two years ago.
The research was carried out following claims made by Russia's financial authorities in the second half of 2009 that the prospects for obtaining loans had improved significantly since the wake of the financial crisis in 2008.
A total of 130 ACCA members, students or ACCA DipIFR qualification holders employed as either financial directors or specialists - 44% at firms with annual revenues below RUR500m - were polled.
The survey findings revealed:
Most SMEs (55% of respondents) badly needed credits for their working capital replenishment and 25% were seeking loans to cover their short-term cash deficiency.
Compared to 2008, all companies encountered more difficulty in obtaining working capital loans, investment credits or overdrafts. Larger companies, however, found their situation had improved.
A total of 57% of respondents from SMEs and 48% from large enterprises believe that loans in the first half of 2009 became significantly less available.
In the first six months of 2009, the volume of credits provided to SMEs in Russia fell by 36% compared to the same period in 2008. But in the third quarter of 2009, loans for SMEs had already shown a growth of 4%.
Only 36% of respondents who applied for a short-term bank loan in 2009 were able to receive financing in full.
Almost 40% of SME respondents and 52% of respondents from large companies (over RUR500m annual revenue) believe that credits in 2010 will become more widely available.
Commenting on the findings, Dmitry Kouznetsov, ACCA Russia information specialist, said: 'The results of the survey show that SMEs in Russia are in a disadvantageous position compared to large companies when it comes to bank loans.
'Through this research, ACCA Russia has tried to highlight the problems facing SMEs in Russia, which we hope will contribute to a greater accessibility of finance.'

Accounting and Business wins major award

ACCA is delighted to announce that Accounting and Business's Adam Williams has been named publisher of the year at the Periodical Publishers Association (PPA) Awards held in London on 16 June 2010.
A total of 22 awards were handed out on the night by comedian Sean Lock at the 1950s-themed ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Mayfair's Park Lane. More than 1,000 guests from across the magazine publishing industry gathered for the 30th anniversary of the event, which celebrates editorial and publishing excellence.
Adam faced stiff competition - there were more than 700 entries in the awards which are regarded as the Oscars of the publishing industry. ACCA's Jackie Dollar was also shortlisted in the Designer of the Year category and Accounting and Business was shortlisted for Monthly Business Magazine of the Year.
The judges commended Adam: 'He was faced with a difficult job... where only a genuine transformation would make a difference. He achieved this and turned the business around, producing some very impressive cost savings along the way'.
Barry McIlheney, PPA chief executive, said: 'With a greater number of entries than last year, our congratulations go to all those who made it to the shortlist. However, special praise must be reserved for the winners who stood out from an exceptional crowd.'

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

G20's four pillars for agenda reform built on uneven foundations, says ACCA

G20's four pillars for agenda reform built on uneven foundations, says ACCA

The global body for accountants, ACCA (the Association for Chartered
Certified Accountants) has responded to last week's G20 meeting by
saying that its "pillars for agenda reform" are built on shaky ground.

The G20's first pillar - a strong regulatory framework, and the third
pillar - resolving issues to do with financial institutions in crisis
- are particularly unsteady and lack real global co-ordination, says
ACCA, highlighting the fact that no decision was agreed on a global
bank tax.

The second pillar - effective supervision with stronger rules, more
effective oversight and supervision - also fell short, and ACCA is
disappointed at the lack of any reference to the previous pledge for a
2011 deadline for international agreement on accounting standards.
This risks losing high-level impetus on this crucial area of action to
facilitate international business.

The final pillar - transparent international assessment and peer
review, strengthening their commitment to the IMF/World Bank Financial
Sector Assessment Program (FSAP) and supporting robust and transparent
peer review through the Financial Stability Board - means that the G20
is looking to review issues, discuss them and be vigilant. ACCA says
that consultation is vital in the coming months.

Despite the shaky foundations, ACCA is particularly pleased that the
G20 examined sustainable public finances, emphasising the need for
countries to put in place credible, properly phased and
growth-friendly plans for fiscal sustainability.

Mr Arif Masud Mirza ,Head of ACCA Pakistan , says: "Real co-ordinated
action was missing from the Toronto meeting; the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that an unintended consequence of this
lack of real co-ordination could mean the loss of millions of jobs and
$2.25trillion in global output being at risk."

Mr Mirza adds: "Stability is crucial ahead of the next meeting in
Seoul later in the year and there is a real risk that complacency
could plunge the global economy back into danger. ACCA recommends that
while recent indications of economic expansion give cause for cautious
optimism, it is too soon to abandon stimulus programmes. Before any
withdrawal of stimulus, there must be a complete exit strategy in

ACCA also notes that current demand in many major economies is
sustained by exceptional policy measures. While this unprecedented
intervention averted a much worse crisis, governments must now devise
credible, medium-term plans to address the shortfalls in public
finances arising from reduced tax yields and their necessary erstwhile

Mr Mirza concludes: "ACCA believes G20 leaders must make best use of
the information available to them to assess the current economic
conditions and carefully consider the need for further global fiscal

The next summit is in Seoul, Korea, on November 11-12, 2010.

Husnain Rasheed

Thursday, July 1, 2010

ACCA and Levi's strapped into a professional relationship

ACCA and Levi's strapped into a professional relationship

ACCA Pakistan awarded platinum approved employer status to Levi
Strauss Pakistan (PVT) Limited which is yet another milestone to
accomplishment by ACCA. Imran Butt, Country Manager Levi's and Arif
Masud Mirza, Head of ACCA Pakistan were present at the ceremony.

Over successive generations, Levi's has captured the attention,
imagination and loyalty of various individuals. On the occasion Mr
Mirza reiterated that ACCA seeks to work closely with approved
employers for the progression of ACCA trainees in particular and the
accountancy profession at large. He further emphasized that ACCA and
Levi's should work in conjunction on thought leadership agendas
focusing on current economic and financial issues.

'The recognition from ACCA has come at a time when organizations are
increasingly focusing and investing on the professional development of
human resources. As an ACCA approved employer, Levi's seeks to add
value add to its finance function and inculcate the right skill set of
innovation and expertise in its employees,' commented Imran Butt.

Pursuant to the relationship, ACCA Pakistan will focus on providing
Levi's a platform for discussion on its human resource policies. It
will also enable Levi's to deliver to the standards of professionalism
and ethics and provide a complete solution for recruitment, retention
and development of Accounting and Finance professionals.

Husnain Rasheed