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Saturday, November 7, 2015, Kartik 23, 1422 BS, Muharram 24, 1437 Hijri

Formation of Financial Reporting Council gets another boost
Shamsul Huda
Published :Saturday, 7 November, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 38
A gazette outlining the formation of the selection committee for appointing members of the financial reporting council will be placed to the Finance Minister soon, officials said.
The council will be formed under the Financial Reporting Act (FRA) which was passed in parliament on September this year aiming to bring transparency in preparing financial statements.
A senior official of the banking division of the Finance Ministry said as per the Act they are working and it is expected to submit the proposal within next month.
He said once the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is formed it will monitor all the auditing bodies, including the financial reporting companies and financial report related professional institutes as a watchdog.
It will also monitor activities of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB), Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and others institutes as currently there is no body to monitor these.
At the initial stage of drafting the proposal for FRA, the country's apex financial and auditing professionals' institute ICAB protested government's move saying that they are enough to monitor the entire matter.
But the government was adamant saying a good number of publicly listed companies' and financial institutions were manipulating their financial statements with cooperation of the auditing body members.
Like other countries of the world Bangladesh does not have an impartial and individual body to monitor their activities as a result confidence of the local investors has waned.
The ICAB is already an experienced body and it has become member of several international and regional accounting and audit bodies like the International Auditing Standards Board, International Federation of Accountants, Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants and a founder member of the South Asian Federation of Accountants.
The institute has a Technical Research Committee which examines the applicability of international standards in the context of the prevailing situation in Bangladesh and recommends adoption as Bangladesh standards.  The apex professional body has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and updated the syllabus for CA examinations.
A former ICMAB President told the daily Observer that the government in spite of the spectacular performance and achievements of the ICAB has passed an Act to form a separate FRC as an independent and impartial body that can regulate the reporting on financial matters of public interest entities and improve the oversight of the accounting and auditing profession.
He said, "I do not see any problem in forming the council and as the government has already enacted laws so now it is under a law now.
He said once the proposed FRC, as and when will become functional, will be undertaking major responsibility of the ICAB.
An ICAB member who runs a CA firm says in enacting the FRC there may arise a chaotic situation.
So each and every member of the ICAB, business-related bodies like the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce, Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, BGMEA (Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association), Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and other people concerned should seriously think over the issues and put concerted efforts to avert possible damage to financial management and audit/assurance professions.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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