Tuesday, October 18, 2011

ACCA’s organises train the trainer initiative

As part of ACCA’s continued efforts to develop excellence in professional accounting education and establish best practices amongst tertiary accounting education providers, ACCA Pakistan organised “Train The Trainer” workshop on 11, 12 and 14 October 2011 in Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi respectively. Almas Abbas Ali, Education Manager, ACCA Pakistan and Mujtaba Iqbal, CEO, CFTR were the event facilitators.
The event aimed at enhancing the capacity building of tutors by sharing the important exam techniques with the purpose of integrating them into their teaching and thus increasing the chances of students’ success in exams. It also highlighted the importance of holistic approach of course performance management which, ACCA emphasized that the learning providers and tutors need to take continuously. The event provided the opportunity for the tutors and academic managers to network and exchanges best ideas with one another. The panel discussion revolving around ACCA Trainees and their role at the workplace generated a lot of feedback from the participants. Speakers of the panel discussion included Akbar Afzal Jessani Senior Consultant Ernst and Young Ford Rhodes Sidat Hyder, M. Sharique Siddiqui Assistant Director (Monitoring & Inspection Wing) Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Sarah Fazli Business Analyst United Bank Ltd, Pakistan, Muhammad Naveed Alam Deputy General Manager Siemens Pakistan, Abdullah Fahad Senior Manager Audit Ernst & Young Ford Rhodes Sidat Hyder, Omer A Chaudhry Controller – Accounting, Internal Audit & Compliance Tetra Pak Pakistan Ltd, Faisal Shaikh ACCA Member and SME Owner, Ayla Majid Director Business Advisory Services Khalid Majid Rehman Chartered Accountants, Ali Sheraz Shabbir Manager Billing and Revenue Wi-tribe Pakistan and Junaid Ghori, Vice President Islamic Banking, MCB Limited.
A total of 90 teachers and academic coordinators from ACCA Approved Learning Partners and learning providers attended the event. Participants appreciated the efforts of ACCA Pakistan for organising a very interactive and engaging event and wanted ACCA to organize such events in future as well.

Friday, October 14, 2011

ACCA organises Career Expo

ACCA Pakistan organised Career Expo in Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi, Abbottabad, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Sialkot, Multan, Faisalabad, Gujranwala and Hyderabad. The Career Expo comprised presentations on Career Planning, ACCA qualification / Foundations in Accountancy- suite of qualifications and employment opportunities in the field of finance and accountancy. ACCA representatives including ACCA members and other senior professionals from the industry spoke to the students in these events.

The speakers included Ms. Shireen Naqvi, CEO SoL, Ms. Rahila Narejo, Lead Consultant and CEO NHR, Sohail Zindani, Consultant & International Speaker, The Learning Minds GroupMr Fasi Zaka, Education ConsultantAli Akram, Assistant Manager Finance, Telenor,  Imtiaz Jaleel, Commercial Manager Supply Chain, Unilever Pakistan Ltd,  Mian Shah Faisal, Director  Finance, Pearl Continental Hotel, Peshawar, Tabish Ahmed, Manager Finance, Faysal Bank, Sharique Siddiqui, Assistant Director, NBFC, SECP, Mr Muhammad Ali, Head of Audit, Engro Fertilizer, Mr Ali Sheraz, Manager Billing and Revenue, Wi-Tribe and the ACCA Pakistan Team including Haroon A Jan, Head of ACCA Lahore, Shamez Mukhi, Head of Public Affairs, Muhammad Shahid Khan, Business Development Manager, Sabahat Khan, Customer Services Manager and Noorulain Zafer, Marketing and Student Recruitment Manager.

Various ACCA Approved Learning Providers including College of Accountancy & Management Science (CAMS), SKANS School of Accountancy, Professional Academy of Commerce (PAC), Center of Financial Excellence (CFE), College of Accountancy and Professional Studies (CAPS) and National College of Business and Management Sciences (NCBMS), provided one-to-one career advice and disseminated information on Foundations in Accountancy and ACCA qualifications at each Career Expo.  

Shamez Mukhi, Head of Public Affairs, ACCA Pakistan said ‘The Career Expo provided a platform for hundreds of students and their parents to learn and meet with the professionals so that they are able to make informed career decisions. Many educational institutions in Pakistan don’t have a formal setup for career guidance and hence the experts in the ACCA career expo were able to train students on career planning process and link ACCA qualification with employment opportunities in the fields of finance, accountancy and management.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

ACCA Pakistan trains career advisors

ACCA Pakistan recently organized a series of Career Counseling workshops for teachers and student advisors in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. ACCA recognizes the integral role career guidance plays in helping students identify their natural talents in order to pursue a career promising them professional success.
The workshops were based on the concept that the best career exploration and job search strategies capitalize on the natural strengths of an individual’s Personality and Behavioral Style. Shamez Mukhi, Head of Public Affairs, ACCA Pakistan welcomed the participants, explaining the challenges students and parents encounter while making career choices and the resources developed by ACCA for students, teachers and parents. Speaking on the occasion he added, “One of the aims of the workshop is to ensure that ACCA Pakistan recruits students with the right aptitude, who are ambitious and committed to their careers so that they can excel as ACCA members”
Noorulain Zafer, Manager Marketing and Student Recruitment, ACCA Pakistan, made a presentation on Foundations in Accountancy and ACCA qualifications, entry routes, tuition providers and employment opportunities in Pakistan. She also answered questions about employability and the excellent employer base that ACCA enjoys nationally and globally. In addition to that participants were also given an overview of ACCA’s brand and the marketing activities it undertakes for potential students.
This was followed by a technical training on ‘career counseling to personality type’ conducted by Rahila Narejo, Lead Consultant and Chief Executive, NHR. Rahila emphasized on the significance of aligning career decisions to student’s aptitude and industry demand.
The workshop was attended by 82 participants from leading schools, colleges, universities and ACCA tuition providers. Participants were of the view that career guidance is a dynamic, on-going process enabling students to identify the best-fit career path for themselves. They commented that the training organized by ACCA Pakistan has been very helpful in equipping them as career advisors with the career assessment and guidance tools and techniques.

Students don’t need to wait until next April to reclaim overpaid taxes, says ACCA

Students don’t need to wait until next April to reclaim overpaid taxes, says ACCA

ACCA advises students to check what they are owed
Hundreds of thousands of students are starting their new university year in the next few weeks, and ACCA is reminding those who worked summer jobs or are planning to work part-time at university to claim back any overpaid tax.
‘Money earned by summer jobs or part-time work is unlikely to push income over the personal allowance limit,’ says Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of tax at ACCA. ‘Students need to check their payslips to make sure they’ve not paid tax that they don’t owe. If anyone has overpaid tax, they can claim it back now; they don’t have to wait to the end of the tax year.’
The 2011/12 personal allowance is £7,475. Anyone who earns under this amount in a tax year (April-April) does not have to pay income tax. Income tax should only be paid on money earned over the personal allowance threshold.
‘To make things easier for businesses, tax is usually taken out of pay packets automatically, even if it shouldn’t be,’ says Chas Roy-Chowdhury. ‘Students should work out what they earned during the summer or what they expect to earn over the coming months. If this figure comes under the threshold and students see from their payslips that they have been paying or are paying income tax, they should get in touch with their nearest tax office.
‘However, while you can claim back overpaid income tax, there’s nothing you can do about National Insurance Contributions. With few exceptions, everyone in work has to pay these.’
HMRC can be contacted about overpaid tax on 0845 300 0627. Those claiming overpaid tax should have their National Insurance number to hand. Those still working should get a rebate in their next pay packet, while those no longer working can expect a cheque. You can also find out more information on overpaid tax on HMRC’s website (see 'related links')
‘To avoid future problems during holiday times, whether at Christmas or Easter or next summer, students can fill out a P38S form,’ continues Chas Roy-Chowdhury. ‘This stops tax from being automatically taken out of your pay packet during holidays and saves you from the hassle of tracking down your rebates.
‘University can be a worthwhile but expensive experience. If you’re owed money, there’s no point waiting for HMRC to give it back to you; you need to get on the case.’

ACCA launches Global Forums to discuss vital issues for business

International expertise to drive innovative thinking on the global accountancy profession
Ten new Global Forums have been launched by ACCA to bring together expertise from all sectors around the world to tackle issues crucial to the finance profession and business.
The Global Forums will help to develop ACCA’s work to influence government, policy makers and businesses on key issues and contribute to ACCA’s Research and Insights projects and initiatives.
The Forums will meet on a regular basis to further the thinking on current and future issues in a number of specific technical subject areas, as well the accountancy and finance profession more widely. They will have an international remit to develop views which support the needs of business globally, with an increasing emphasis on emerging markets.
ACCA believes that issues are very frequently local and will continue to pursue a local agenda, where appropriate, within this new framework, especially in areas such as tax, regulation and SME matters.
The new Forums will also help ACCA with its aim to strengthen its local contributions by drawing on thinking and best practice from around the world to inform its insight.
As part of the initiative, two new areas – Accountants for Business and Accountancy Futures - will be regularly discussed by leading finance professionals and academics.
Boon Yew Ng, executive chairman of Raffles Campus in Singapore, and the new chair of ACCA’s global Accountancy Futures Academy, said: 'The challenges that lie in front of the profession are global, and we will need a consistent, global response if we want our profession to continue to meet business’ needs in the future.'
Richard Moat, FCCA, former CFO and Deputy CEO of Everything Everywhere, and chair of Accountants for Business forum, said:
'Finance professionals have a significant contribution to make to the strategic success of organisations, and these new forums will ensure that appropriate issues and concerns for the profession, across all sectors, will be thoroughly addressed.'
Neil Stevenson, Executive Director- Brand with ACCA, said:  'We are delighted that the Global Forums have already attracted a wealth of experience and expertise from diverse backgrounds. They will be ideally placed to look at important issues will be very effective in helping to shape and inform ACCA’s global policy.'
The Global Forums are: The Accountancy Futures Academy; Accountants for Business Global Forum; and global forums for Governance, Risk and Performance; Corporate reporting; Audit and Assurance; Sustainability; Business Law; Public Sector; Taxation and SMEs.
  • Accountants for Business Global Forum Chaired by Richard Moat FCCA, former CFO and Deputy CEO of Everything Everywhere,  the Forum is a business-focused think tank, which reflects ACCA’s belief in the value that sound financial management brings to business.  Representatives of global business and corporate stakeholders come together to explore the complex issues affecting accountants and the businesses they serve. 
  • Accountancy Futures Academy Chaired by Ng Boon Yew, Executive Chairman, Raffles Campus, Singapore, this Academy will work to develop ACCA’s Research and Insights programme by identifying issues of major significance for the global accountancy profession. It will also develop a network of potential high-level contributors to ACCA’s work, and will ensure the overall quality of ACCA’s Research and Insights outputs. 
  • Global Forum for Governance, Risk and Performance Chaired by Adrian Berendt, Executive Director of LCH Clearnet, the Forum will work to show how professional accountants can support ethical, sustainable business and enhance their value to their employers and other stakeholders. 
  • Global Forum for Corporate Reporting Chaired by Lorraine Holleway, Finance manager of Royal Dutch Shell, this Forum will reflect the fact that corporate reporting is of increasing importance, especially with the continuing globalisation of standards, developments in integrated reporting and a drive to ensure the relevance of reporting to investors. The Forum will work to influence the development of IFRS and it will also work to identify, evaluate and champion enhanced forms of reporting which are crucial to bringing value to investors, business and the public. 
  • Global Forum for Audit and Assurance Chaired by Robert Stenhouse, Director, National Accounting and Audit at Deloitte, this Forum will provide input into audit standards-setting, in particular to influence the development of International Standards on Audit (ISAs). It will also work to identify, evaluate and champion new and alternative forms of assurance which bring value to investors, business and the public.
  • Global Forum for Sustainability Chaired by David Nussbaum, Chief Executive of the World Wildlife Fund-UK, this Forum will continue ACCA’s long history of promoting transparency and accountability on sustainability issues, and the role of the professional accountant. ACCA has been at the forefront of sustainability issues since 1990, so the Forum will be building on strong foundations. It will debate trends and developments in sector-specific areas, and develop leading positions on relevant issues related to the broad topic of sustainability. 
  • Global Forum for Business Law Chaired by Faris Dean, of solicitors Lyons Davidson, this Forum will work to reflect the fact that the business world is becoming increasingly global; there are more and more areas of the law, such as money laundering – that are becoming effectively standardised. This Forum will examine issues about the legal implications of doing business, fighting corruption and financial crime and challenging red tape. 
  • Global Forum for the Public Sector Chaired by Datuk Wan Selamah Wan Sulaiman, the Accountant General of Malaysia, this Forum will champion the many issues affecting the public sector around the world, including financing, governance and capacity in the delivery of public services. 
  • Global Forum for SMEs  Chaired by Mark Gold, Senior Partner with Silver Levene and immediate past President of ACCA, this Forum will identify the needs of SMEs around the world and argue for policy makers to put this vital sector at the forefront of public policy.
  • Global Forum for Taxation Chaired by Mukesh Gunamal, Director of Global Tax Quality and Risk Managerment, Ernst & Young, this Forum will provide a basis for lobbying internationally for transparent and simple tax systems, and will discuss developments and trends in this often contentious area, from personal taxation, to tax regimes for SMEs and for large corporates

ACCA looks forward to constructive dialogue with European Commission on audit

Lessons have to be learned, and time is right to re-examine the role of statutory audit for a sustainable future, says the global accountancy body
ACCA is aware of the widespread speculation concerning the forthcoming announcement by the European Commission of its future legislative proposal on statutory audit.
However, while ACCA will not make any formal public comment on the Commission's proposals until they are actually made, we have, during the process of consultation which has already taken place, made clear our position regarding the future of audit policy in Europe.
'We agree with the Commission that the time is right for all parties with an interest in audit to re-examine the role of statutory audit in the light of our collective experience of the financial crisis. We support the Commission's project to review all aspects of existing law and regulatory practice with the aim of learning lessons from that experience. While we accept that there are lessons to be learned, our position is that we continue to believe strongly in the value of audit as a tool which can provide material benefits to companies and their various stakeholders and are keen to ensure that the value of audit is maintained and enhanced in the years to come', says John Davies, head of Technical at ACCA.
ACCA accepts that maintaining and enhancing the value of audit may mean making significant changes to how audits are currently conducted and regulated. We have ourselves promoted the idea that the scope of audit needs to be expanded so as to take on more responsibilities which are likely to make a real difference to shareholders and regulators, such as reporting on how companies manage their strategic risks.
John Davies explains: 'We share the Commission's concerns about concentration in the listed company audit market and believe that changes should be made to the audit environment to encourage greater involvement on the part of smaller firms in listed company audit work. We also fully endorse the Commission's goal of improving audit quality and accept that integral to that goal must be to address issues relating to independence, objectivity and professional scepticism.'
'In pursuing these ambitions, however, we believe it is important to ensure that we do not resort to inflexible and bureaucratic measures which risk creating practical problems within the corporate sector and which could even prove counter-productive in terms of their effects on audit quality. Crucially, whatever arrangements are eventually adopted to replace the current Directive should, in our view, focus on outcomes as much as procedures', he adds.
'ACCA looks forward to the publication of the European Commission's plans in November and to engaging in a constructive dialogue on them, both with the EU executive and the co-legislators. With this in mind, ACCA is organising a round table meeting on the issue in Brussels in early December', John Davies concludes.
source ACCA Global