South Asian Federation of Accountants
Activity Report for the period 1st January 2011 to 31st December 2011
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, Cost and Work Accountancy and Cost and Management Accountancy Bodies in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan SAARC member countries representatives are invited to attend Assembly meetings as observers.
1.2 SAFA as an Apex body of SAARC has continued to revere the spirit of co-operation underlying the activities of the South Asian Association for Region Co-operation (SAARC) and explored ways and means to inculcate increased co-operation amongst member bodies. To achieve the objective, SAFA has over the years broadened the focus of its activities from core accounting, auditing and allied areas to contribution towards sustained development of the SAARC Region.
1.3 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, ethics and many other emerging issues of accountancy profession.
1.4 During period under report SAFA has tried to align its work plan with SAARC objectives. SAARC Aligned SAFA Strategy Matrix has been prepared that is an attempt to align the work output of the individual committee with the areas of cooperation identified by SAARC.
1.5 During period under report, the Constitution of SAFA has been revised and rules of governance have been framed with a view to improve the governing of SAFA. The new revised Constitution provides for different categories of membership of SAFA namely Members, Associates and Observers.
1.6 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. Board & 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 2 highly productive Board meetings – one each in Pakistan and Nepal and 2 Assembly meetings – one each in India and Pakistan 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 72nd meeting of SAFA Assembly was held on 9th January 2011 at Chennai, India. At the meeting, the appointment of new office-bearers for the year 2011 was ratified by the Assembly. Mr A.N. Raman, of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India was appointed as the President while Mr Muhammad Rafi, Past President of the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan was appointed as Vice President for the year 2011. Mr Sudhir Kumar Sharma, Joint Director of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India was appointed as the Executive Secretary for the year 2011.
2.3 The Assembly deliberated in detail about the role that SAFA can play in the institutionalization of accountancy profession in Maldives, Bhutan and Afghanistan.
2.4 The Assembly also discussed about the strategic plan of SAFA for the year 2011 with tangible outcomes to be achieved by the Board and various non standing Committees of SAFA in the year 2011.
2.5 The 73rd meeting of SAFA Assembly was held on 25th July 2011 at Karachi, Pakistan. At the meeting, the Assembly noted the draft Bye-Laws of SAFA. The Assembly also noted the SAARC Aligned SAFA Strategy Matrix prepared by President SAFA wherein he has suggested that how strategy plans of individual Committee could be aligned with the SAFA Mission and areas of cooperation identified by SAARC.
3. Meetings of SAFA Board
3.1 During period under report 2 highly productive Board meetings – One each in Nepal and Pakistan were held. The 16th SAFA Board meeting was held on 10th April 2011 at Karachi, Pakistan. Coinciding with the Board meeting, meetings of various technical Committees of SAFA were also taken place. At the meeting, the, Committee Chairmen presented their action plan for the year 2011 that was prepared on the basis of SAARC Aligned SAFA Strategy Matrix. Matrix highlighted following six strategic themes of SAFA in the overall context of SAFA mission of positioning, maintaining and developing the accountancy profession in public interest and playing a broader role in the regional economic development:
- To promote Sustainable Business Practices and Reporting in SAARC
- To strengthen Corporate Governance Standards in SAARC
- To develop Uniform Accountancy Education Framework in SAARC
- To assist SAARC Governments in Accounting and taxation related areas
- CapacityBuilding of Small & Medium Practitioners (SMPs) in SAARC Region.
- To promote professional ethics in SAARC Region and to work towards reducing corporate corruption in SAARC Region.
3.2 The following important issues were also discussed at the meeting:
- Proposed SAFA-EFAAAlliance
- Revised categories for SAFA Best Presented Accounts Awards Competition 2010
- Approval of Annual Activity Report for the year 2010
3.3 The 17th SAFA Board meeting was held on 25th September 2011 at Kathmandu, Nepal. The following important issues were discussed at the meeting:
- Time limit for organizing SAFA Best Presented Accounts Awards Competition 2010
- Joint SAFA-EFAA Seminar on 2nd-3rd November 2011 at New Delhi, India and approval of SAFA-EFAA Alliance.
- In principle approval of MoU with Global Reporting Initiative to promote Sustainability Reporting in SAARC Region
- Approval of Bye-Laws of SAFA
- Membership of SAFA representative on the Standard Advisory Council of ICAB
- Election of President of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka as Deputy President of Confederation of Asian & Pacific Accountants (CAPA)
3.4 Coinciding with the 17th SAFA Board meeting, a meeting with SAARC officials has been organized on 26th September 2011 wherein President SAFA has briefed about the SAARC Aligned SAFA Strategy Matrix; the object of that is sustainable development of SAARC Region. President SAFA also requested for the support of SAARC in setting up of accounting institute in Maldives. SAFA also requested SAARC for intellectual partnership in the relevant areas of cooperation wherein SAFA can add value to SAARC.
4. SAARC Aligned SAFA Strategy Matrix
The strategy matrix of SAFA is an attempt to align the work output of the individual committee with that of SAFA mission linked strategy with the areas of cooperation identified by SAARC. Following six important strategic themes were identified on which SAFA should focus upon.
a) The capacity building of the SMP of SAFA region
b) The SAFA should contribute towards building up Ethical Framework and to combat with corruption in the SAARC region
c) Improvement in the government accounting and brings about some homogeneity in the taxation.
d) The uniform accounting education framework in the SAFA region
e) Improvement in the Corporate Governance Standards in the SAARC region
f) To promote Sustainable Business Practices and Reporting in SAARC
The objective of SAARC Aligned Strategy Matrix is to work upon a strategy that how SAFA can work more closely with the SAARC and the role that SAFA could play for the sustainable development of SAARC Region. A copy of SAARC Aligned SAFA Strategy Matrix is also attached for the consideration of SAARC Secretariat.
5. Proposed MoU with European Federation of Accountants & Auditors (EFAA) for the capacity building of SMPs in SAARC Region
With the mission of strengthening SMPs of the SAARC Region, SAFA has decided to enter into a MoU with EFAA. The proposed objectives of MoU are as follows:
- Exchange documents reflecting challenges faced by the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and Small and Medium Practitioners of the Accountancy profession (SMPs) in matters relating to compliance of evolved and evolving global accountancy related regulations and standards.
- Exchange documents reflecting challenges faced by the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and Small and Medium Practitioners of the Accountancy profession (SMPs) in matters relating to understanding and adopting useful practices of the respective regions they represent in improving the sustainable performance and value creation.
- Collaborate in organising events in the South Asian and European Region under a joint banner to enable the networking of SMPs and SMEs from the respective regions.
- Exchange views on matters of common interests to the accountancy and auditing profession of both regions wherein a combined voice can bring visibility to the global standard setting bodies.
- Create an enabling mechanism or platforms which can influence the SMPs of both regions can come together, network or establish relationships which will mutually benefit them at an individual or firm’s level.
It is proposed that the MoU would be signed at the occasion of SAFA-EFAA Seminar scheduled to be held on 2nd-3rd November 2011 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India.
- Proposed MoU with Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) to promote Sustainable Development & Reporting in SAARC Region
With a mission of Sustainable Development and to promote Sustainability Reporting in SAARC Region; SAFA has decided to sign an MoU with Global Reporting Initiative. It is expected that an MOU with GRI will pave way for access for all the member bodies of SAFA to the resources and competency development of GRI in developing the talents of their constituency. This will also enable GRI to create an action plan to support member bodies of SAFA and execute the same with support from their headquarters.
SAFA is planning to sign the MoU at the occasion of SAFA events at Dhaka, Bangladesh scheduled from 27th to 30th November 2011.
- Next Regional Standard Setters Conference on 28th November 2011 at Dhaka, Bangladesh
With the mission of promoting transparency and accountability and for promoting better accounting and auditing standards in SAARC Region; SAFA has been organizing Regional Standard Setters Conference for the last 4 years wherein Chair of IASB have been invited.
The next Regional Standard Setters Conference is scheduled to be held on 28th November 2011 at Dhaka, Bangladesh. Mr. Hans Hoogervorst, Chairman, IASB, has kindly consented for presenting key note address at the occasion. The Conference would dwell upon some of the important issues such as fair value challenges in SAFA Region, status of convergence with IFRS in SAFA countries, overview of forthcoming critical projects of IASB and alike.
- SAFA Best Presented Accounts & Corporate Governance Disclosure Awards 2010
With an objective of promoting best practices in SAARC Region, SAFA has been organizing Best Presented Accounts Awards & Corporate Governance Disclosure Awards. The award giving ceremony for SAFA Best Presented Accounts & Corporate Governance Disclosure Awards Competition is scheduled to be held on 29th November 2011 at Dhaka, Bangladesh. This time SAFA has decided to introduce a new category ‘Agriculture Sector’ for the Best Presented Accounts Awards Competition 2010. The revised categories for SAFA Best Presented Accounts Awards & Corporate Governance Disclosure Awards Competition 2010 are as follows:
- Banking Sector
- Insurance Sector
- Financial Services Sector
- Manufacturing Sector
- Service Sector (Excluding Communication & IT)
- Communication & IT Sector
- Non Governmental Organizations
- Agricultural Sector (new category)
- Public Sector Entities (Excluding entities covered under other Sectors/Categories)
10. Corporate Governance Disclosure Awards
9. Round Table Meeting on Integrated Reporting on 4th April 2011 at Chennai, India
President SAFA chaired a meeting on Integrated Reporting on 4th April 2011 at Chennai, India. The meeting was attended by Ms Aditi Haldar, Director, GRI Focal Point India and the representatives of ICAI & ICWA. President SAFA briefed about the recent formation of International Integrated Reporting Committee by GRI, IFAC and Prince of Wales and the role that SAFA can play in creating awareness about Integrated Reporting in SAFA region.
10. Sustainability Reporting Awards announced by Joint Committee of ICAP & ICMAP
Joint Committee of ICAP & ICMAP which is headed by Vice-President SAFA has initiated a Joint Awards to promote sustainability reporting in SAARC Region. This type of awards would definitely create the awareness about sustainability reporting amongst Corporates of SAFA Region.
11. Efforts on SAFA survey on awareness of IGPG isued by IFAC PAIB on ethics
AN Raman, President, SAFA provided the PAIB committee of IFAC access to the e-learning module that ICWAI has developed to help its members understand and implement the 2009 International Good Practice Guidance on costing. In addition he requested all the heads of Institutions of Member Bodies in SAFA for their comments on the topic hosted on the website of ICWAI. It came in for a very good appreciation by bodies like IASEB and IFAC and hailed to have the potential of becoming a global resource from SAFA member bodies.
12. Article published on Integrated Reporting in Business Line as SAFA President
Mr. A N Raman, President, SAFA got his article on “Integrated Reporting” published leading Business Daily in India” Hindu Business Line” on 24th April, 2011. In the article, he discussed the Organizational framework, objectives and principles of integrated reporting, based on the latest status of the subject. He mentioned about the likely release of the discussion paper on Integrating Reporting Framework by IIRC also.