President’s Communication : March-April 2020
Dear Fellow Members and colleagues,as COVID 19 cases continue to mount across Bangladesh, it has become imperative that we maintain social distancing and stay safe at home. Undoubtedly, the whole world is confronted with uncertainties that did not exist before in such scale. Bangladeshis is not new to disasters or major humanitarian crises. The COVID 19 pandemic, however, is a crises of a completely different magnitude and we all are affected individually and collectively. It is at this backdrop, I am writing to you in our News Bulletin to let you know how we are mitigating the circumstances that we are in.
With the nationwide shutdown, the Institute have remained closed over a prolong period. We do not exactly know as to when we would be able to resume our normal office functions. This has created both functional and financial impediments for us at various ends.
To respond to urgency, a number of discussion meetings were held online through web conferencing which included discussion meeting of the Council members as well as other committees’ meetings. According to the decision, some important official letters were prepared and sent electronically to various authorities to address our concerns. I shall highlight them in the succeeding paragraphs.
ICAB came up with a guideline for all its members on how to address in the preparation and audit of financial statements. The detail guidelines were prepared by the technical and research committee of ICAB. Electronically, the guidelines were sent to all members. On 18 April, electronically, letters were sent to Regulatory Authorities including FRC, BSEC, IDRA and MRA regarding those of ICAB's efforts to assist the members of ICAB addressing the impact of COVID-19 outbreak in Financial Reporting and Auditing.
COVID 19 has caused disruptions to global trade, business, and education. Bangladesh is equally affected by this contagion. Our CA firms is also having the impact felt in manifold. The Institute have taken initiatives to address the concern; letters were sent to Hon’ble Finance Minister, Hon’ble Commerce Minister, Governor Bangladesh Bank, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce and Banking Division, Ministry of Finance for seeking Financial stimuli for CA Professionals as well as CA Firms.
On 21 April Dhaka Regional Committee (DRC), ICAB sent a circular regarding Telemedicine Service to all members to respond to the situation emerged from COVID-19 pandemic as the services from public/private hospitals became tough to avail. A list of contact numbers of the physicians was attached with the circular. A formal arrangement is also made with the Universal Medical Hospital, Dhaka for the treatment of sick members and their dependents including COVID 19 sickness.
To keep the activities ongoing as much as possible amidst this pandemic, I convened meetings with the senior officials of ICAB at regular intervals, and we held a good number of meetings and made discussion on ICAB’s activities through video conferencing. Now I would like to go over the activities sequentially.
We conducted meeting on 02 April 2020, to discuss on holding Exam of May-June 2020 Session andother administrative and technical matters.
I conducted a MANCOM Meeting with ICAB senior Management Team on 05 April 2020 at 12:00PM through Video Conferencing to review on going activities and projects, Online CPD for Members, Preparing sector wise members list for recognizing the employers, etc. We discussed as to how we can carryout official functions without jeopardizing health and safety issues.
On 9 April 2020, a discussion session of Council-ICAB was held through video conferencing regarding correspondence to include CA Firms and Accounting Profession as affected sector because of COVID-19 outbreak and to bring to the attention of Govt. in stimuli Package.
On 13 April 2020, Secretary & CEO, ICAB wrote a letter to Chairman NBR requesting for the time extension of submitting Annual Returns of Firms and waivering penalty for the delayed submission.
On 15 April 2020, Circular regarding” Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak on Financial Reporting and Auditing in Bangladesh“ was disseminated among the members.
On 16 April 2020, we wrote letters to Ministries and other concerned for financial stimuli for CA Professional and CA Firms.
On 18 April 2020, we wrote letters to Regulatory Authorities including FRC, BSEC, IDRA and MRA regarding ICAB’s efforts to assist the members of ICAB addressing the impact of COVID-19 outbreak in Financial Reporting and Auditing & shared the paper titled ‘Potential Impact of Corona Virus (COVID-19) Outbreak on Financial Reporting and Auditing in Bangladesh’.
On 21 April 2020, Telemedicine Service was arranged by DRC-ICAB for seeking medical advices for our members. A list of physicians and their contact numbers was given in the circular sent to all members.
On 28 April 2020, a virtual meeting with exam committees was conducted and we discussed the tentative Time schedule of CA Exam May-June Session 2020 and conducting Online Classes for CA Students ahead of Exam. Vice Presidents Mr. Sidhartha Barua FCA, Mr. Sabbir Ahmed FCA, and Mohammed Forkan Uddin FCA, Council Member Mr. Gopal Chandra Ghosh FCA, Secretary & CEO-ICAB and other concerned ICAB officials participated in the session.
Now, I would like to recall some of the activities that we undertook prior to post Corona situation. On 04 March 2020, a workshop on ‘Practical Demonstration of Audit Materiality, Journal Entry Testing, Audit Sampling and Opening Balances’ was held at ICAB. Practicing members and directors, senior managers of CA firms participated in the workshop. Mr. Ali Amjad Choudhury FCA, Partner, Howladar Yunus & Co., Chartered Accountants was the resource person. I thank all of them for their efforts.
On 15 March 2020 a members’ conference on ‘Income Tax Policy Paper on the upcoming Amendment of Income Tax Ordinance 1984’ was held at ICAB auditorium. Mr. Abu Hena Md. Rahmatul Muneem, Senior Secretary, Internal Resources Division (IRD) & Chairman, National Board of Revenue (NBR) was the chief guest while Ms. Nahar Ferdousi Begum, Member (Taxes Legal & Enforcement) and Mr. Ranjan Kumar Bhowmik, Member (Tax Survey & Inspection) were present as special guests. I delivered address of welcome while Mr. Mohammad Al Maruf Khan FCA, Partner, Howladar Yunus & Co., Chartered Accountants and Mr. Snehasish Barua FCA, Partner, Snehasish Mahmud & Co., Chartered Accountants presented the Key Note paper. Mr Md. Humayun Kabir FCA, Past President and Council Member moderated the session. Policy paper delivered was the hard work of the sub Committee for about 3 months. Undoubtedly, they all deserved high appreciation.
With these, I would like to wrap up today. We pray to Almighty for His divine blessings in this month of Holy Ramadan. We pray for everyone’s good health free from this epidemic. May we all resume our normal activities sooner. We look forward having a safer tomorrow. With best wishes to you and all your loved ones.
Muhammad Farooq FCA
Update Date : 09/05/2020
President’s Communication : February 2020
Dear Fellow Members
Assalamu Alaikum, Greetings to you all,
The month of February reminds us the supreme sacrifice of our Language martyrs. We are the reason, now people form 188 countries of the whole world celebrate 21 February as their Mother Language Day. The world admires us as a language loving nation.
To observe the day, ICAB placed floral wreath at the Central Shaheed Minar in the morning. I along with Council Member and Secretary & CEO, DRC Chairman and other Members of the Institute inspired the observance of the morning rally of the CA students.
Having due respect to our language heroes, let's turn to the activities of the institute. Among other things, the month of February went through event like publication of the results of CA examination. I must congratulate the newly qualified CAs of November-December 2019 session who burnt many midnight candles to acquire the success. We wish bright careers for everyone. I firmly believe, they will act as an ambassador of ICAB bringing the name and fame of CA profession. I am confident that they will also raise efficiency & dynamism in economic activity of the country.
Now on a different note, let me express my gratitude to Finance Minister Mr. AHM Mustafa Kamal FCA, MP for his gracious presence at the programme titled ‘Listen to the Leader’ organized by the Institute on 24 February 2020 at CA Bhaban. We are grateful to the Minister for being with us despite his busy schedules. His words of wisdom has inspired us, as has reminded our commitment and service for the nation. The Minister has urged to work for the Govt's initiative of improving the global index of ease of doing business. I must say it was a very successful programme where few hundreds of chartered accountants attended.
Earlier in the month of February, a delegates of ICAB paid a courtesy call on Finance Minister Mr. AHM Mustafa Kamal FCA at his office on 2 February 2020. We felicitated the minister for his being accolade with the world best Finance Minister and the Minister of Asia and Pacific 2020, and exchanged views on professional matter. We showed our keenness as to how both the Ministry of Finance and ICAB could work together in common areas. We discussed about the draft CA Order and ICAB's view point with justifications.
We also held a meeting with the Commerce Minister Mr. Tipu Munshi, MP on 8 February 2020. We appraised the minister about the ongoing developments of ICAB and discussed professional concern. We handed over a letter to the Minister to highlight our view point as to why keeping the CA Order of 1973 in its original form with minor changes will be better instead of making new Chartered Accountants Act as the former carries the legacy of
the contribution of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and thought of our predecessor. We also explained to the Minister that our suggestion about the new CA Act is compatible with the Supreme Court judgment as it falls outside the ambit of Martial Law regime.
We met BSEC Chairman Dr. M Khairul Hossain on 20 February 2020. We exchanged views on different professional issues. We agreed to work in the area of improving audit quality and hold a joint Seminar along with FRC, hopefully on 6 April 2020.
A team headed by Mr. Robin Sharma, Controller of USAID Bangladesh met us on 18 February 2020 at CA Bhaban to discuss the country’s current regulatory and legal framework related to the audit profession. This was part of a series of meetings with various entities including regulatory bodies, audit firms, development partners. We provided useful feedback to Mr. Sharma. Mr. Sharma received our expert opinion on audit regulation, methodology including IDC related matters of the Institute.
I am extremely happy that a Members’ Conference on ‘Changes in Accounting Standards effective from 1 January 2019’ has been organized by ICAB on 29 February 2020 at CA Bhaban. I thank Mr. C. Q. K. Mustaq Ahmed, Chairman, Financial Reporting Council (FRC) for his gracious presence as the Chief Guest. Mr. Akhtar Sohel Kasem FCA, Council Member & Past President-ICAB conducted the session as the Session Chairman while Mr. Sabbir Ahmed FCA, Vice President-ICAB presented the Key Note paper. I thanked every one of them for their valuable contributions.
I am happy that as part of the continuity of our training activities, in the month, ICAB held closing Ceremony of Certificate Course on 'Information Systems Audit (IS Audit)' of 4th Batch on 12 February 2020 where ICAB Members in business, IT, Finance, Banking Sectors and others participated. Added to this, ICAB held workshop on 'Implementation of IFRS 16 Leases: Challenges and Way Forward’ for the members of Audit Firms engaged in auditing of Banks, Financial Institutions and Insurance. I am overwhelmed with the response of our members to take the professional knowledge with right spirit.
To wrap up, it needs no mention that we are heartbroken with sudden and untimely demise of Abdus Samad ACA, a young and promising chartered accountant who was only at his 32. The institute lost a brilliant CA who could contribute more to the country. There is hardly any words to console his bereaved family. May Allah place him in Jannatul Ferdous, Ameen!
Meetings of Council and Standing & Non-standing Committees
The following meetings of the Council, Standing and Non-Standing and Sub-Committees Committees of ICAB were held during the month of February 2020.
- 2nd Meeting of the Examination Committee was held on 03 February 2020 at 12:00 Noon.
- 2nd Council Meeting was held on 03 February 2020 at 1:30 pm.
- 1st Meeting of the Board of Studies (BoS) was held on 11 February2020 at 6:00 pm.
- 1st Meeting of the Articled Students Committee (ASC) was held on 16 February 2020 at 6:00 pm.
- 2nd Meeting of the Executive Committee (EC) was held on 20 February 2020 at 6:00 pm.
- 1st Meeting of the Technical & Research Committee (TRC) was held on 26 February 2020 at 6:00 pm.
- 1st Meeting of the Taxation & Corporate Laws Committee (TCLC) was held on 04 February 2020 at 4:30 pm.
- 1st Meeting of the Committee on Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) was held on 09 February 2020 at 6:00 pm.
- 1st Meeting of the Small & Medium Practitioners Committee (SMP) was held on 10 February 2020 at 5:30 pm.
- 1st Meeting of the Audit Committee was held on 11 February 2020 at 5:30 pm.
- 1st Meeting of the Members Issues, Services & Welfare Committee (MISWC) was held on 13 February 2020 at 6:00 pm.
- 1st Meeting of the Regional Committees & Overseas Management Chapter Committee (RCOMCC) was held on 16 February 2020 at 6:30 pm.
- 1st Meeting of the Editorial Board (EB) was held on 17 February 2020 at 5:30 pm.
- 2nd Meeting of the Taxation & Corporate Laws Committee (TCLC) was held on 18 February 2020 at 6:00 pm.
- 1st Meeting of the Review Committee for Published Accounts & Reports (RCPAR) was held on 25 February 2020 at 6:00 pm.
- 1st Meeting of the Information & Communication Technology Committee (ICTC) was held on 26 February 2020 at 5:30 pm.
- 1st Meeting of the Continuing Professional Development Committee (CPDC) was held on 27 February 2020 at 6:00 pm.
- 1st Meeting of the Regulators & Trade Bodies Coordination Committee (RTBCC) was held on 27 February 2020 at 6:00 pm.
- 2nd Meeting of the Committee on ICAB Management Reforms, Project Development & Capacity Building (CPDCB) was held on 27 February 2020 at 6:00 pm.
Standing and Non-Standing Sub-committees:
- 1st Meeting of the 14-Members Sub-Committee (Tax related) of Taxation & Corporate Laws Committee (TCLC) was held on 28 February 2020 at 3:30 pm.
- 1st Meeting of the 13-Members Sub-Committee (VAT related) of Taxation & Corporate Laws Committee (TCLC) was held on 28 February 2020 at 3:30 pm.
Wishing you all the best
With Warm Regards
Muhammad Farooq FCA
Update Date : 18/03/2020