The right man for the job

AKM Moinuddin
Thursday, October 26th, 2017

Adeeb Hossain Khan in conversation with Dhaka Courier’s AKM Moinuddin


The importance of Chartered Accountants has been increasing enormously amid growing importance of trade and industry along with gradual expansion of capital and money markets in a country like Bangladesh. Today, Chartered Accountancy (CA) has emerged as a unique profession.


The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB), the national professional accounting body, established under the Bangladesh Chartered Accountants Order 1973 (President’s Order No. 2 of 1973), is playing an important role in the country. Dhaka Courier exclusively talked to its President Adeeb Hossain Khan in his office on its various objectives and activities.


Business activities in the country are rapidly expanding with its fast growing economy creating a huge demand for quality Chartered Accountants (CAs) that needs to be addressed, says the chief of the national professional accounting body.


“The economy is doing very well. It’s a tremendous performance. When economy grows, businesses also get expanded. But in line with the demand, the number of CAs didn’t increase,” said ICAB President Adeeb Hossain.


He said the overall demand has increased and the economy expanded over the past couple of years, and that is the one big reason why the country needs more quality CAs.


“To be honest, we need a lot more Chartered Accountants to play the important role they play. We aren’t getting high quality graduates what we need for this profession,” Adeeb Khan said lack of knowledge about the profession might be another reason.


About private sector investment, he said this has not grown that much as land availability still remains a problem.


“The land you’re providing might not be convenient for the business I want. I don’t get land where I want. When I get one its ownership is often disputed,” he said laying emphasis on serious structural reforms on land issue.


He said though the government has taken various initiatives on infrastructural front, there are still some constraints.


Adeeb Khan said Bangladesh is still producing low-end products but it needs to move ahead for high-value products.  “We don’t have skilled manpower at manufacture and managerial levels. We’ve seen its consequences,” he said indicating media reports on how much money is being spent on foreign employees.


The ICAB president, who spent over a decade in the UK, said they have a role to play in addressing the problem of lack of understanding about the prospect of the CA profession. “We need to make the brilliant students understand that as a chartered accountant, your career prospect is tremendous,” he said.


Asked about the role of CAs, he said they are all about financial reporting and that is their core function. “Anything or anybody whose intention is to promote good quality financial reporting we will wholeheartedly support it.”


On Financial Reporting Council, the ICAB President said its objective is to promote good quality financial reporting.


“Any support that is needed from the ICAB, you can expect that support without any condition,” Adeeb Hossain, also member of the council, said.


He expressed satisfaction over the stronger monitoring in the capital market and gave credit to the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC).


“I would give tremendous credit to BSEC. As a regulator, they’re truly doing a very proactive job. They’re getting into details of financial reporting,” he said.


Asked about manipulation in financial reporting, he said they these days do not receive complaints rather they receive some requests for further clarification. “That’s really not a complaint what we receive.”


He said they have a very strong internal quality control department and it selectively audits firms. “We monitor whether quality is maintained or not. There’re more observations internally instead of anybody else from outside.”


Highlighting the importance of quality financial reporting, Adeeb Khan said businesses will take investment decisions – where resources and manpower will be deployed – based on financial information. “Chartered accounts obviously play a role in this process.”


Asked whether it is difficult to become a CA, he said, “I would prefer not to use the word difficult. I would say, very honestly, I think if anyone is disciplined and hardworking, it’s not difficult.”


Adeeb Khan said the ICAB has taken a number of initiatives to encourage youngsters to take up this profession.  “We arranged students’ summit this year with around 500 students from 10 universities. We’ll do another one in Chittagong in November next,” he said.


Encouraging the youngsters, Adeeb said if somebody is very disciplined and hardworking, this profession is very much open to them. “It’s a three years worth of sacrifice but once you become a chartered accountant, there’s a tremendous prospect both at home and abroad.”


He said their members in North America, Australia, Europe and the Middle East are doing very well. “This profession will give you an ability to become your own boss.”

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