SAFA Activity Report – 31st December 2009
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South Asian Federation of Accountants

Activity Report for the period 1st January 2009 to 31st December 2009

 

1.         Introduction

 

1.1             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.  The SAFA comprises of the Chartered Accountancy and Cost and Management Accountancy Bodies in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan SAARC member countries representatives attend meetings as observers. Accounting bodies from China, Korea and Japan being observers of SAARC are invited and also given observer status.

 

1.2             The profession in South Asian Region has grown tremendously in the recent past and all the member bodies of SAFA have grown in reputation as well as in size. Over the years, SAFA has proven its importance to develop the accountancy profession in South Asian Region through its Various Committees. The expectations from the profession have risen tremendously over the years and SAFA is conscious of its responsibilities and is committed to ensure that the highest standards shall be observed by all professional accountants.

 

 

1.3             To sharpen its focus towards effective realization of its strategic goals and to take a leading role in the development of accountancy profession regionally and globally, the Constitution of SAFA is being revised. A special purpose Task Force has been constituted for restructuring exercise.

 

 

1.4             During period under report SAFA has admitted Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka (CMA Sri Lanka) as its member. Now, after admission of CMA Sri Lanka, SAFA comprises of  nine accounting bodies from South-Asia as mentioned under:

 

(i)                 The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh

(ii)               The Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh

(iii)              The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India

(iv)            The Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India

(v)              The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (w.e.f 1997)

(vi)            The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan

(vii)           The Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan

(viii)         The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka

(ix)             The Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka (w.e.f. November 2009)

 

1.5             The member bodies’ organized students’ exchange programmes and invited other member bodies in their national events to provide fillip to bilateral co-operation and render platform for lively exchange between the professional communities in the Region.

 

2.         Assembly Meetings

 

2.1       Assembly is the governing body of SAFA, which looks into the strategic, and policies related issues while Board is the executive body of SAFA. During period under report 5 highly productive Board meetings – two meetings in Bangladesh and one each in India, Pakistan and Nepal and 2 Assembly meetings – one each in Nepal and Bangladesh were held. Coinciding with the above, the meetings of various Non-Standing Committees were held. A significant progress was recorded in the projects at hand with various Committees of SAFA.

2.2             The 68th meeting of SAFA Assembly was held on 25th January 2009 at Pokhara, Nepal. At the meeting, the new office-bearers were elected for the year 2009.  Mr Sheikh A. Hafiz, of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh was elected as the President while Mr Komal Bahadur Chitracar, Past President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal was elected as Vice President.  Mr Syed Md. Shabbar Zaidi, Immediate Past President of SAFA was appointed as Advisor for the year 2009.  Mr C.R. Majumder of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh was appointed as the Executive Secretary for the year 2009.

 

2.3             At the meeting, the Assembly appointed Mr. T. Karthikeyan, Secretary ICAI as the Permanent Secretary of SAFA in place of Dr. Ashok Haldia. However because of his preoccupation with the ICAI, he could not effectively devote for SAFA.

 

2.4             Apart from above, following major issues were discussed at the meeting:

 

  • Institutionalization of accountancy profession in Maldives
  • IFAC Regional body status of SAFA

 

 

2.5             The 69th meeting of SAFA Assembly was held on 6th November 2009 at Dhaka, Bangladesh.  At the meeting the Assembly decided to admit the Institute of Certified Management Accountants of Sri Lanka (CMA Sri Lanka) as member of SAFA. The Assembly also decided to constitute a new Committee on Governmental and Public Sector Enterprises Accounting under the chairmanship of ICMA Pakistan.

 

 

3.         Meetings of SAFA Board

 

3.1             During period under report 5 highly productive Board meetings – two meetings in Bangladesh and one each in India, Pakistan and Nepal were held.

 

7th  Board meeting Pokhara, Nepal 25th January 2009
8th Board meeting Dhaka, Bangladesh 8th May 2009
9th Board meeting Agra, India 4th July 2009
10th Board meeting Karachi, Pakistan 18th August 2009
11th Board meeting Dhaka, Bangladesh 6th November 2009

 

3.2             The 7th SAFA Board meeting was held on 25th January 2009 at Pokhara, Nepal. At the meeting, Committee Chairmen presented their report and action plan for the year 2009. The following important issues were discussed at the meeting:

  • Review of Constitution of SAFA
  • Approval of Annual Report for the year 2008
  • Approval of budget for the year 2009
  • Finalization of schedule of SAFA events for the year 2009

 

3.3             The 8th SAFA Board meeting was held on 8th May 2009 at Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Chairmen of the Committees presented their report for the consideration of the Board. The application of CMA Sri Lanka and Certified Practicing Accountants of Maldives (CPA Maldives) were considered for SAFA membership. Coinciding with the Board meeting, meetings of various technical Committees of SAFA and the Task Force to review Constitution of SAFA were also taken place.

 

3.4             The 9th SAFA Board meeting was held on 4th July 2009 at Agra, India. At the meeting, the Board evaluated the application of CMA Sri Lanka for membership of SAFA and recommended the Assembly to admit CMA Sri Lanka as member of SAFA. The Board on consideration of application of CPA Maldives decided not to admit them as member but to assist them in establishing their own education system, training system, regulatory framework etc as it has been done in case of ICA Nepal. Coinciding with the Board meeting, meetings of various technical Committees of SAFA and the Task Force to review Constitution of SAFA were also taken place

 

3.5             The 10th meeting of SAFA took place on 18th August 2009 at Karachi, Pakistan. Some of the important decisions taken place at the meeting were as follows:

  • In principle approval of revised Constitution of SAFA
  • Approval of study on Cost Indices of Cement Industry in SAFA Countries
  • Approval of Study on SAFA Countries’ Accounting Standards vis-à-vis International Accounting Standards and Comparative Analysis of SAFA Countries Accounting Standard Setting Process
  • Approval of Study on ‘SAFA Countries’ Auditing Standards and Auditing Practice Statements vis-à-vis International Standards on Auditing and International Audit Practice Statements

 

 

 

3.6       The 11th SAFA Board meeting was held on 6th November 2009 at Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Board noted that Mr. Reyaz Mihulur, Chairman, Accounting & Auditing Standards Committee has been nominated on Standards Advisory Council of International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) as SAFA representative. The proposal of holding SAFA Accounting Summit was also discussed at the meeting. Coinciding with the Board meeting, meetings of various technical Committees of SAFA and the Task Force to review Constitution of SAFA were also taken place

 

4.         Seminars and Conferences

 

4.1       Coinciding with the 68th SAFA Assembly meeting, a SAFA conference on the theme “Challenges of Development and Crisis – Accountants Role” was organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal on 25th-26th January 2009 at Pokhara, Nepal under the aegis of SAFA.  The accounting professionals from SAARC region brainstormed at the Conference which was divided into two technical sessions, one related to Adoption of IFRS in SAARC Region – Why and how and the other was Financial Crisis – Challenges before developing economies of South Asia. The learned speakers from SAARC region presented their country perspectives on the various issues involved and the action that should be taken up on priority basis by the profession to face the upcoming challenges. The conference was a momentous event witnessing the presence of eminent professionals from across the Region.

 

4.2             The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India organized a Panel Discussion on the theme ‘Synergy through Harmonization for Moving Ahead in Knowledge Era’ at its International Conference “Winds of Challenges – Global Strategies for Accountancy Profession” held on 3rd-5th July 2009 at Agra, India. The Panel Discussion was attended was heads of Chartered Accountancy bodies from SAARC region as Panelist.

 

4.3             Coinciding with 10th SAFA Board meeting, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan organized a Special SAFA Session to commemorate Silver Jubilee celebration of SAFA on 19th-20th August 2009 at Karachi. The Institute of Cost & Management Accountants of Pakistan also organized a programme to commemorate silver jubilee celebrations of SAFA on 18th August 2009 at Karachi.

 

4.4              As a measure to promote professional co-operation within the Region, the member bodies continued to invite the professionals of other member countries for participation in these events alongwith the programmes organized by the member bodies at national level focussed upon the professional and technical subjects.  A satisfactory degree of participation of professionals from across the Region was visible in the programmes.

 

5.         SAFA Best Presented Accounts Award & Corporate Governance Disclosure Awards 2008

 

5.1       The SAFA Committee for Improvement in Transparency, Accountability and Governance (ITAG) had number of meetings and teleconferencing to finalize the winners of SAFA BPA & CG Awards 2008. Following companies were decided as winner in different categories:

Best Presented Accounts Award & Corporate Governance Disclosures Awards 2008

 

Company
Country
Position

Category I – Banking Sector subject to Prudential Supervision

 

Prime Bank Limited Bangladesh Joint Winner
Hatton National Bank PLC Sri Lanka Joint Winner
Commercial Bank of Ceylon Limited Sri Lanka Joint 1st Runner up
Sampath Bank Limited Sri Lanka Joint 1st Runner up
Dutch Bangla Bank Limited Bangladesh 2nd Runner up

Category II – Non-Banking Financial Sector not subject to Prudential Supervision

 

Union Assurance LPLC Sri Lanka Winner
Prime Finance & Investment Limited Bangladesh 1st Runner up
HNB Assurance PLC Sri Lanka 2nd Runner up

Category III – Manufacturing sector

 

Siemens (Pakistan) Engineering Company Limited
Pakistan Winner
Singer Bangladesh Limited
Bangladesh Joint 1st Runner up
Chemanex PLC
Sri Lanka Joint 1st Runner up
Crescent Steel & Allied Products Limited
Pakistan Joint 2nd Runner up
Chemical Industries (Colombo) PLC
Sri Lanka Joint 2nd Runner up
Category IV – Communication and Information Technology Sector

 

Sri Lanka Telecom PLC
Sri Lanka Winner
Infosys Technologies Limited
India 1st Runner up
Nucleus Software Exports Limited
India 2nd Runner up
Category V – Hospitality, Health, Transport, Shipping, etc.

 

Hayleys Limited
Sri Lanka Winner
John Keells Holdings Limited
Sri Lanka 1st Runner up
Hinopak Motors Limited
Pakistan 2nd Runner up
Category VI – Non Governmental Organizations

 

BURO Bangladesh Joint Winner
BRAC Bangladesh Joint Winner
Vidya Dairy India Joint 1st Runner up
Sajida Foundation Bangladesh Joint 1st Runner up
The Citizen Foundation Pakistan Joint 2nd Runner up
Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement
India Joint 2nd Runner up
Category VII- Public Sector Entities

 

Bank of Ceylon
Sri Lanka Winner
Investment Corporation of Bangladesh
Bangladesh 1st Runner up
Steel Authority of India Limited
India Joint 2nd Runner up
People’s Bank
Sri Lanka Joint 2nd Runner up
Category VIII – Corporate Governance Disclosure Award

 

Union Assurance PLC
Sri Lanka Winner
Hatton National Bank PLC
Sri Lanka 1st Runner up
Infosys Technologies Limited
India 2nd Runner up

 

Overall Winner Award

 

Company
Country Position
Hayleys PLC
Sri Lanka

Overall Winner

John Keells Holdings Limited
Sri Lanka Overall 1st Joint Runner up
Union Assurance PLC Sri Lanka Overall 1st Joint Runner up
Siemens (Pakistan) Engineering Company Limited
Pakistan Overall 2nd Joint Runner up

 

Merit Certificate Awardees

 

Company
Country

Category I – Banking Sector subject to Prudential Supervision

Askari Bank Limited Pakistan
Allied Bank Limited Pakistan
Faysal Bank Limited Pakistan
ICICI Bank Limited India
Union Bank of India India
Himalayan Bank Limited Nepal
Eastern Bank Limited Bangladesh

Category II – Non-Banking Financial Sector not subject to Prudential Supervision

 

SBI Capital Markets Limited India
Shriram Transport Finance Company Limited India
ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited
India
IGI Insurance Limited
Pakistan
Atlas Insurance Limited
Pakistan
Arif Habib Securities Limited
Pakistan
Lanka Bangla Finance Limited
Bangladesh
Green Delta Insurance Company Limited
Bangladesh
Mercantile Investments Limited
Sri Lanka
Category III – Manufacturing Sector
Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories limited
India
TATA BP Solar India Limited
India
TATA Power Company Limited
India
Butwala Power Company Limited
Nepal
Unilever Nepal Ltd
Nepal
International Industries Limited
Pakistan
GlaxoSmithKline Bangladesh Limited
Bangladesh
Berger Paints Bangladesh Limited
Bangladesh
Category IV – Communication and Information Technology Sector
None
 
Category VI – Non Governmental Organizations
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Sri Lanka
The Family Planning Association of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Category VII – Public Sector Entities  
NTPC Limited
India
National Savings Bank
Sri Lanka
Category VIII – Corporate Governance Disclosure Award
Nucleus Software Exports Limited
India
Siemens (Pakistan) Engineering Company Limited
Pakistan
International Industries Limited
Pakistan
Diesel and Motor Engineering PLC
Sri Lanka

 

 

5.2       The Award giving ceremony was held on 5th November 2009 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre, which was jointly hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh and the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh. Mr. Abul Maal Abdul Muhith MP, Hon’ble Finance Minister, GOB was the Chief Guest at the occasion. The event was a grand success as around 1000 participants from SAARC region attended the event.

 

                        6.         SAARC Charter Day Event

                       

6.1       To commemorate the SAARC Charter Day 2009, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, which also houses the Permanent Secretariat of SAFA organised an Inter College Debate on the topic ‘India’s Need of the Hour to move ahead & lead – Economic Reforms or Combating Climate Change’ on 8th December 2009 at New Delhi, India.  Around 150 students attended the event including 15 students who participated at the competition. The debate marked a lively discussion on the topic with audience too taking part at the discussion, by raising questions through interjections. Mr. Rishabh Jain was adjudged as the best speaker. Ms. Niranjana was the first runner up while Mr Yatin Bhutani bagged the second runner up award.. Mr. R.K. Sharma, Director SAARC, Ministry of External Affairs was the hon’ble chief guest at the occasion. The event turned out to be a grand success.

 

7.         Students’ Exchange Programmes

                           

7.1             The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan organized a CA Students Conference on 21st March 2009 at Karachi wherein students of other member bodies of SAFA also participated and presented papers.

 

7.2             Coinciding the 22nd All India CA Students’ Conference organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India on 21st -22nd August 2009 at Kerala, India, the other member bodies were tendered an invitation to nominate their students for exchange programmes in India.  Students of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal had participated in the Conference.

 

 

8.         SAFA Projects, Studies and Publications

 

8.1             Study on Cost Indices of Cement Industry has been finalized. The objectives of the study is to learn from the experiences of the South Asian countries by examining various cost components of major products and pinpoint ways and means to reduce the cost, so that these products could become cost competitive in the international market.

 

8.2             Study on Auditing Standards vis-à-vis International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) & other IFAC Pronouncements and Standard setting Process- A comparative Analysis has been updated till 30th April 2009.

 

8.3             Study on Accounting Standards vis-à-vis IAS/IFRS & Standard Setting Process- A Comparative Analysis has been updated till 30th April 2009.

 

8.4             A comparative study on Quality Control Framework prevailing in SAFA member bodies has been prepared by SAFA Committee on Quality Control. Based on comparative study, draft of Model Quality Control Framework for SAFA member bodies has been prepared, which is being reviewed by the Chairman of the Committee.

 

8.5             A comparative study of CPD framework prevailing in SAFA member bodies has been finalized by the Committee on Education, Training and CPD. Based on the comparative study, a Model CPD Framework in SAARC Region would be prepared.

 

8.6             The other on going projects includes:-

 

  • Model curriculum for Cost & Management Accountancy bodies in SAARC Region
  • Concept Paper on ‘Issues and Challenges for SMPs/SMEs in SAARC Region’
  • Revision of evaluation criteria for SAFA Best Presented Accounts Awards

 

 

9.         Representation on Outside Professional Accountancy Bodies

 

9.1             Mr. Uttam Prakash Agarwal, President ICAI and SAFA Board Member has been nominated on the Small & Medium Practices (SMP) Committee of International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) for a term of 3 years from January 2010 to 31st December 2012.

 

9.2             Mr. A.N. Raman, Council Member ICWA India and SAFA Board Member has been nominated on the Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee of International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) for a term of 3 years from January 2010 to 31st December 2012.

 

9.3             Mr. Reyaz Mihulur, Past President ICA Sri Lanka and Chairman, SAFA Committee on Accounting & Auditing Standards has been nominated on Standard Advisory Council (SAC) of International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) as SAFA representative.

 

10.      Forthcoming Events

 

10.1         The 70th SAFA Assembly meeting is scheduled to be held on 24th January 2010 at Kathmandu, Nepal. Coinciding with the Assembly meeting, 12th meeting of SAFA Board and meetings of various technical committees of SAFA is also scheduled.