SAFA Activity Report – 31st December 2016
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 Annual Activity Report of SAFA for 2016

 

INTRODUCTION

 

South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA), an Apex Body of SAARC was set up in 1984 for promoting the accounting profession in the countries in South Asia and internationally with a mission to bring the accounting bodies in the region together at a common forum and facilitate professional cooperation in the areas of education, training, technical and ethical standards.

 

SAFA as an Apex Body of SAARC and an Acknowledged Accounting Grouping of IFAC has been playing a pivotal role for the harmonization of professional standards in the areas of accounting, auditing, ethics and education and is committed to raise the level of profession in the Region. SAFA provides special impetus to cooperation amongst its member bodies for the overall growth of the accountancy profession in the SAARC region and explores means in which, it as a representative forum, could play prolific role in the development of the accountancy profession.

 

The role being played by SAFA for the development of the accountancy profession in the SAARC Region and for the economic development of the Region as a whole has been exemplified through the innovative work being carried through its various technical Committees working in the area of education, accounting & auditing standards, government accounting, quality control, ethics and many other emerging areas of accountancy profession.

 

Action Plan for the year 2016

 

1.         Encouraging standardization of qualification within the Region.

2.         To work towards harmonization of various facets of accountancy profession in the Region – education, accounting, auditing, professional and ethical standards.

3.         To raise the concern on issues germane to the accountancy profession so that while drafting international standards, SAFA’s concerns are adequately considered. A system could be developed whereby comments of any member body could be circulated to all member bodies on different Exposure Drafts issued by IFAC/IASB so that views expressed by one member body could be suitably considered by other member body.

4.         To organize joint programs with various IFAC Committees, its Independent Boards and IFRS Foundation (IASB) and work closely with IFAC, CAPA, PAFA and other Regional Accountancy Bodies.

5.         To work towards effective implementation of SAFA Virtual Knowledge & Training Centre (VKTC) and also to create awareness about SAFA VKTC amongst the general membership.

6.         To identify such projects and give its value proposition to SAARC which can be undertaken by the SAFA in times to come.

7.         To create awareness about the SAFA, IFAC and its ongoing activities among the members of SAFA member bodies, regulators nationally in each jurisdiction and alike

8.         To work towards effective implementation of collaboration signed with International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) with an objective to promote Integrated Reporting in SAARC Region.

9.         To work towards effective implementation of MoUs signed by SAFA with various bodies.

10.       Disseminate information about the SAFA Conferences/Seminars amongst the general membership.

11.       Suggestions on policy initiative to SAARC for increasing trade within SAARC countries and how accountancy profession can help support the broader mandate of SAARC.

12.       To guide the technical Committees of SAFA.

13.       Authorizing ICAN to be in regular touch with the SAARC Secretariat.

14.       Compliance of timely submission of Activity Plan to IFAC, SAARC and other Compliances, if any

15.       To work towards IFAC Regional Organization Status for SAFA.

16.       To work towards development and strengthening of Accountancy Bodies in SAARC region and get financial support through MOSIAC or other donor bodies for them.

17.       To assist Afghanistan, Maldives and Bhutan in establishment of Professional Accountancy Bodies and in obtaining financial support through MOSAIC or other donor agencies.

18.       To Undertake reforms for further improvement of the functioning of SAFA.

19.       To invite representatives of donor agencies and other stakeholders as Observer in the meetings of SAFA Board.

Significant progress has been observed on the projects undertaken by various Committees during period under report. SAFA has taken various new initiatives out of which some of the important initiatives have been highlighted below:

•          Development of a knowledge portal namely Virtual Knowledge & Training Centre (VKTC) for Financial Reporting in South Asia.

•          Joint study with the World Bank on “Enhancing Public Sector Financial Reporting in South Asian Region”.

•          SAFA Conference on the theme, “South Asia: Corridor of Opportunities” at Lahore, Pakistan in January, 2016.

•          2nd SAFA –IFAC Regional SMP Forum in January, 2016 in Colombo, Sri Lanka on “Empowering Asia’s Small & Medium Business Hub”.

•          1st SAFA-IFAC Regional PAIB Forum on the “Accountancy Profession: Adding Value Globally, Regionally and Locally” held in April, 2016 in Mumbai, India.

•          SAFA International Conference on “Ethical Dimensions of Accounting Profession” held in August, 2016 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

•          First edition of a South Asia regional seminar series on ‘Enhancing Public Financial reporting to promote Growth in South Asian Region’ scheduled in November, 2016 jointly with the World Bank Group, and the Asian Development Bank.

•          Efforts were intensified for setting up of Professional Accounting Bodies in Afghanistan, Bhutan and Maldives.

•          Inviting Donor Agencies and other stake holders in the meetings of SAFA Board as Observer.

•          Strengthening ties with European Federation of Accountants and Auditors (EFAA).

Assembly& Board Meetings

Assembly Meetings

 Assembly comprises of heads of member bodies and is tasked to govern the affairs of SAFA based upon the recommendations of the Board. Assembly looks into the strategic, and policies related issues while Board is the executive body of SAFA. During the year the Assembly met in Pakistan and in Nepal.

 

Meeting

Date and Venue

81st  SAFA Assembly Meeting January 29, 2016 in Lahore, Pakistan
82nd  SAFA Assembly Meeting August 12, 2016 in Kathmandu, Nepal

 81st Assembly Meeting

The 81st meeting of SAFA Assembly was held on January 29, 2016 in Lahore, Pakistan. At the meeting, the appointment of new office-bearers for the year 2016 was ratified by the Assembly. Mr. Naeem Akhtar Sheikh, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan was appointed as the President while Mr. ASM Nayeem was appointed as Vice President for the year 2016. Mr. V. Sagar, Secretary ICAI was appointed the Permanent Secretary of SAFA. Mr. Syed Masood Akhtar, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan was appointed as the Executive Secretary for the year 2016.

82nd Assembly Meeting

The 82nd meeting of SAFA Assembly was held on August 12, 2016 in Kathmandu, Nepal At the meeting the Assembly approved changes to clause 9(a) of Governance of SAFA of Constitution as recommended by SAFA Board so as to allow representatives from member bodies of the SAFA office bearers with voting rights and the President and Vice President of SAFA will not have voting rights and that President SAFA will only have the power to exercise casting vote in case of a tie.

Board Meetings

 To achieve the action plan of SAFA for the year 2016, SAFA has organized four highly productive Board meetings during period under report – one each in Pakistan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Coinciding with the meetings of the Board, meetings of various technical Committees also took place.

 

Meeting

Date and Venue

42nd  SAFA Board meeting

29th January 2016 in Lahore, Pakistan

43rd SAFA Board meeting

24th April, 2016 in Mumbai, India

44th SAFA Board meeting

12th August, 2016 in Kathmandu, Nepal

45th SAFA Board Meeting

5th November, 2016 in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

 

42nd SAFA Board meeting

The 42nd SAFA Board meeting was hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan on 29th January, 2016 in Lahore, Pakistan. The following important issues were discussed/noted at the meeting:-

  • Appointment of Mr. Naeem Akhtar Sheikh as President, SAFA and Mr. A.S.M. Nayeem as Vice-President SAFA for the year 2016
  • Appointment of Mr. Syed Massod Akhtar, Executive Director, Examinations & Education at ICAP as Executive Secretary and Mr. Mahbub Ahmed Siddique, ICAB as Assistant Executive Secretary for the year 2016
  • Discussions on Registration of VKTC
  • SAFAs recognition in IFAC as a Regional Organization
  • Finalization of strategic action plan of SAFA for the year 2016
  • Approval of annual activity report of SAFA for the year 2015

 

 43rd SAFA Board meeting 

The 43rd SAFA Board meeting was hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India on 24th April, 2016 in Mumbai, India. The following important issues were discussed/noted at the meeting:-

  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of India requested to host VKTC temporarily till the matter of registration is resolved
  • Institute of Cost Accountants of India requested to prepare a draft format for submission of the reports by SAFA member bodies.
  • Institute of Cost Accountants of India requested to review Draft Action Plan for implementation of Integrated Reporting in SAFA Region
  • Reviewing the existing Organizational Structure of SAFA
  • Recommended Governance Procedures for conduct of Committee meetings
  • Discussion on developments with regard to VKTC

 

44th SAFA Board meeting 

The 44th SAFA Board meeting was hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal on 12th August, 2016 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The following important issues were discussed/noted at the meeting:-

  • Discussion on developments with regard to VKTC
  • Appointment of Content Review Committee as a sub Committee of Committee to govern VKTC
  • Reviewing the existing Organizational Structure of SAFA
  • SAFAs recognition in IFAC as a Regional Organization
  • Collaboration with IFAC on the initiative of Accountability.Now

 

45th SAFA Board Meeting 

The 45th SAFA Board meeting was hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka on 5th November, 2016 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The following important issues were discussed/noted at the meeting:-

  • CA Sri Lanka had been in principally approved to register VKTC in Sri Lanka.
  • Committing on Accounting and Auditing Standards has been renamed as Committee on Accounting Standards. Committee on Quality Control has been renamed as Committee on Auditing Standards and Quality Control. ToR of both the Committees will be accordingly revised.
  • Reviewing the existing Organizational Structure of SAFA
  • SAFAs recognition in IFAC as a Regional Organization
  • SAFA Quiz and Elocution Contest approved to be organised every year in January in the country of SAFA President
  • Review of admission of CPA Maldives as Associate Member

 

SAFA Best Presented Annual Report Awards & SAARC Anniversary Awards for Corporate Governance Disclosure Ceremony

 The SAFA BPA Award for the “Best Presented Annual Reports” is considered as the most prestigious accolade for financial reporting in the South Asian region and signifies SAFA’s recognition and reward for organizations in the region which have achieved excellence in presentation and disclosure of high quality, relevant, reliable and objective financial statements in accordance with the international framework.

SAFA has been organizing Best Presented Annual Report Awards since 1997 in various categories including Banking Sector, Financial Services Sector, Communication & Information Technology Sector, NGO& NPO Sector and alike. In addition SAFA has also initiated SAARC Anniversary Awards for Corporate Governance Disclosures since 2006 and Integrated Reporting Awards since 2015.

The Committee for Improvement in Transparency, Accountability and Governance (ITAG) had number of meetings to finalize the winners of SAFA Best Presented Annual Report Awards & SAARC Anniversary Awards for Corporate Governance Competition 2015. After a series of meetings, the two days Conference Marking Session was held on December 7 and 8, 2016 in Colombo, Sri Lanka whereat the winners were decided. Following companies were adjudged as winner in different categories:

OVERALL WINNER: Fauji Fertilizer Company Limited from Pakistan

 

Sector

Country

Company

Sector Rank

Private Sector Banks (including Co-operative Banks) Sri Lanka Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC

First (Joint)

Sampath Bank PLC

Third

Hatton National Bank PLC

Second(Joint)

Bangladesh Prime Bank Limited

First (Joint)

United Commercial Bank Ltd.

Second (Joint)

Eastern Bank Limited

Merit

Nepal Citizen Bank International Ltd.

Merit

Pakistan Allied Bank Limited

Merit

MCB Bank Limited

Merit

Meezan Bank Limited

Merit

Public Sector Banking institutions Sri Lanka Bank of Ceylon

First

National Savings Bank

Third

People’s Bank

Second

Insurance Sector Sri Lanka HNB Assurance PLC

First

Union Assurance PLC

Second

Asian Alliance Insurance PLC

Third

Bangladesh Green Delta Insurance Limited

Merit

Reliance Insurance Limited

Merit

Prime Insurance Co. Limited

Merit

India HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited

Merit

ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited

Merit

Pakistan EFU General Insurance Limited

Merit

EFU Life Assurance Limited

Merit

Jubilee General Insurance Limited

Merit

Financial Services Sector Sri Lanka People’s Leasing & Finance PLC

Third

L B Finance PLC

Second

Bangladesh IDLC Finance Limited  First (Joint)
LankaBangla Finance Limited  First (Joint)
Union Capital Limited

Merit

Pakistan First Habib Modaraba

Merit

Manufacturing Sector Sri Lanka Alumex PLC

Merit

CIC Holdings PLC

Second

Hayleys MGT Knitting Mills PLC

Merit

Bangladesh RAK Ceramics (Bangladesh) Limited

Merit

GlaxoSmithKline Bangladesh Limited

Merit

BSRM Steels Limited

Merit

India ACC Limited

Third (Joint)

Asian Paints Limited

Merit

Abbott India Limited

Merit

Nepal Butwal Power Company Ltd.

Merit

Pakistan Cherat Packaging Limited

Merit

Fauji Fertilizer Company Limited

First

Maple Leaf Cement Limited

Third (Joint)

Communication and Information Technology Sector Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Telecom PLC

Second

Bangladesh Grameenphone Limited

Merit

India Mindtree Limited

First

Zensar Technologies Limited

Merit

Service Sector (Excluding Financial Services & Communication &IT Sector) Sri Lanka John Keells Hotels PLC

Second

Hayleys Advantis Limited

Third

Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC

First (Joint)

Pakistan K-Electric Limited

First (Joint)

Non-Governmental Organizations
(including NPOs)
Sri Lanka The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce

Merit

Plantation Human Development Trust

Merit

The Association of Accounting Technicians of Sri Lanka

Third (Joint)

Bangladesh BRAC

Second

Sajida Foundation

Third (Joint)

Uddipan

First (Joint)

India Vidya Dairy

Merit

Swami Vivekanad Youth Movement

Merit

Pakistan The Citizens Foundation

First (Joint)

Agricultural Sector Sri Lanka Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC

Third

Watawala Plantations PLC

First

Kelani Valley Plantations PLC

Second

SAARC Anniversary Award for Corporate Governance Sri Lanka Hatton National Bank PLC

Merit

Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC

Third

John Keells Holdings PLC

Merit

Bangladesh Prime Bank Limited

Second

IDLC Finance Limited

First

Eastern Bank Limited

Merit

Nepal Citizen Bank International Ltd.

Merit

Pakistan Fauji Fertilizer Company Limited

Merit

First Habib Modaraba

Merit

MCB Bank Limited

Merit

Public Sector Entities Bangladesh Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL)

First (Joint)

Pakistan Oil and Gas Development Company Limited

First (Joint)

Pakisatan Petroleum Limited

Second

Pakistan State Oil Limited

Merit

Diversified Holdings Sri Lanka John Keells Holdings PLC

Second (Joint)

Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC

Third

Hayleys PLC

Second (Joint)

Pakistan Crescent Steel and Allied Products Limited

First

Integrated Reporting Sri Lanka Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC

First

Mercantile Investments & Finance PLC

Second

L B Finance PLC

Third

Bangladesh IDLC Finance Limited

Merit

Pakistan Fauji Fertilizer Company Limited

Merit

 

The Awards shall be distributed at a ceremony slated to be organized on 27th January 2017 at 06.30 PM, Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Seminars, Workshops and Conferences

SAFA-IFAC Regional SMP Forum on “Empowering Asia’s Small & Medium Business Hub”

 With the aim of giving Small & Medium Practitioners (SMPs), an opportunity to know about the significant developments impacting the SMPs worldwide, CA Sri Lanka hosted the 2nd SAFA-IFAC Regional SMP Forum in Colombo, Sri Lanka on January 26, 2016.   The SAFA-IFAC Regional SMP Forum dwelled upon some of the important issues such as Global and Regional Trends impacting SMPs, Enhanced Practice Management and New Services for SMPs, Quality Control and Efficient Auditing and alike.

SAFA Conference on the theme, “South Asia: Corridor of Opportunities”

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) hosted the South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA) Conference on the theme, “South Asia: Corridor of Opportunities” on January 29 and 30, 2016 at Lahore, Pakistan. The event witnessed the participation of more than 300 professional accountants from SAARC region. Video message of Ms. Olivia Kirtley was also played at the Conference

SAFA-IFAC Regional PAIB Forum on The Accountancy Profession: Adding Value Globally, Regionally and Locally

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India hosted the SAFA-IFAC Regional PAIB Forum on the theme ‘The Accountancy Profession: Adding Value Globally, Regionally and Locally on April 23, 2016 in Mumbai, India.

The Forum dwelled upon some of the important issues relevant for PAIBs such as Integrated Reporting, Implementation Issues in Ind ASs (IFRS), New innovative ways in Financing, Talent Management in Finance Function and alike.

SAFA International Conference on “Ethical Dimensions of Accounting Profession

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN) hosted the SAFA International Conference on “Ethical Dimensions of Accounting Profession” on August 13, 2016 in Kathmandu, Nepal. The SAFA International Conference on “Ethical Dimensions of Accounting Profession” was organised with the objective of disseminating the new provisions of IESBA Code of Ethics 2014 and to share SAFA regional practices on the Code and ethical requirements of the profession.

Hon’ble Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Nepal inaugurated the Conference. Video message of Ms. Olivia Kirtley was also played at the Conference

SAFA International seminar on “Implementation of IPSAS and Path to Accrual Accounting

CA Sri Lanka hosted the SAFA International Seminar first regional seminar series on “Implementation of IPSAS and Path to Accrual Accounting” on November 3-4, 2016 in Colombo, Sri Lanka with the aim of creating awareness on the usefulness of high quality financial reporting for decision making and promoting peer to peer learning for moving towards transparent and comparable financial reporting for enhanced governance and effective fiscal management of South Asian countries.

The event was organized by the South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA), the World Bank Group and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka and its Public Sector Wing. The event also benefitted from the kind contributions of the Asian Development Bank.

 

Other Activities

 Joint study with the World Bank on “Enhancing Public Sector Financial Reporting in South Asian Region”

SAFA and the World Bank prepared a joint study with the World Bank on “Enhancing Public Sector Financial Reporting in South Asian Region”. The key findings and recommendations of the above study that aims to create awareness among the key stakeholder on how reporting practices in the region compare with international standards and stimulate thinking on how to overcome challenges were discussed at the SAFA International seminar on “Implementation of IPSAS and Path to Accrual Accounting”.

 

Establishment of Virtual Knowledge & Training Centre (VKTC) for Financial Reporting in South Asia.

 SAFA in technical collaboration with World Bank is developing Virtual Knowledge & Training Centre (VKTC) for Financial Reporting in South Asia. VKTC is a web based Centre that would provide knowledge sharing, regional coordination and online training programs for the development of public and private sector accountants in the SAFA Region.

VKTC is expected to go live very soon.