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Conventional audit rights be reviewed in Companies Bill: ICMAP conference

icmap-conferenceLahore : The Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan organized Stakeholders Conference on Draft Companies Bill 2016.

The conference was attended by professionals industry, trade and business. The special Assistant to the Chief Minister Sindh Dr. Sikandar Ali Shoro was the chief guest on the occasion. During his remarks, he said that our nation has enormous potential to be the best. He said that we need to explore our potential for the progress of economy. Dr. Sikander assured to call a meeting of the stakeholders to promote corporate governance within the province of Sindh and look forward to have support of ICMA Pakistan.

The conference discussed the autonomy and independence of audit; regulator’s capacity and efficiency; ease of doing business; cost of doing business and regulatory risk. The speakers on the occasion talked about creating enabling environment for all types of companies including SMEs to have independent audit. The speakers shared the challenges faced by the companies with respect to ease and cost of doing business.

The speakers emphasize that it is the duty of regulators to take along all stakeholders and safeguard everyone’s interest but SECP seems inclined towards status quo whereby less has been done in terms of opening opportunities for audit. The principle of level playing field and competition expects to provide equal opportunity to professionals from different institutions who study audit and assurance, speakers remarked. It has also been observed that although SECP has considered opinion of various stakeholders but among all, opinions of one accounting body influenced the clauses of draft bill.

The speakers remarked that despite the quality concerns on statutory auditors, weak auditing practices not only prevailing but growing as well. The speakers were of the view that conventional rights of statutory audit be reviewed in a more transparent manner to provide opportunity to other accounting professionals.

Muhammad Hanif Ajari while speaking on ease of doing business, commented that Pakistan recorded the highest GDP growth in eight years, lowest inflation in ten years, lowest borrowing cost in forty and the highest forex reserves in recent times.

Syed Mansoob Hasan while sharing historical background of audit and auditors rights shared his views on autonomy and independence of audit. He said that according to Company Laws of Pakistan, ICMAP rights are being minimized whereas in terms of curriculum the emphasis on audit has increased manifold. He said that management accountants are performing amicable role in the financial management affairs and internal audit matters of organization and turned around various organizations. If they will be trusted for statutory audit rights along with cost audit, they can do wonders.

The auditors safeguard public money therefore reporting on fraud and mismanagement, should be given due weightage, Mansoob said.

Tariq Hussain while talking to the audience emphasized on ideal role of regulators; regulators in Pakistan; leading regulators and their efficiency; establishing coherence among regulations and services to the public; professional capacity of regulators to regulate and away forward for regulators.

Engineer M.A. Jabbar in his speech highlighted ways and means to make our organization cost effective. He said that technological change and smart business can help make businesses efficient. He said that the success depends on ethical values that a businessmen and their staff carry during business activities.

Starting from Karachi, the Institute as part of its efforts to create awareness about draft Companies Bill will also hold Stakeholders Conference at Lahore on 12th November and Islamabad on 17th November.

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