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TEXT: The Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMA Pakistan) is one of the pioneer professional accountancy organisation in the country. Established in 1951 and given statutory status in 1966, the Institute has significantly grown to reach to a sizeable strength of around 7,000 members, over 15,000 students, and a nationwide network. With this strength, the Institute is in the list of one of the largest professional accountancy organisations of Pakistan. It is serving the country by producing highly skilled and trained professional accountants who have been contributing their due role towards the development of public and private sectors. With their core competency in cost control techniques, cost management and financial management, the management accountants, have been quite instrumental in helping out the businesses to become cost competitive and sustainable in national and international markets.

The Institute has the privilege of being the founding member of International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA), South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA) and the only current participant of International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) in Pakistan. The Institute has so far produced innumerable CEOs, COOs, CFOs, Directors, GMs, and Company Secretaries serving in almost every sector of the industry, trade and business within the country and in over 40 countries abroad. The National Council of ICMA Pakistan is committed and determined to play a dynamic role to lead the Institute as one of the best professional accountancy organisation in the world, imparting professional accounting education. The Institute provides its professional input to the government in the shape of pre-budget recommendations for inclusion in the Federal Budget. Pre and Post Budget Seminars are conducted where members give their valuable input with regards to taxation structure and required policy changes and adjustments. Research & Publications Department play an active part in developing the policy recommendations. The regulatory bodies including SECP, FBR and SBP regularly approaches the institute to provide its professional input on proposed drafts of Rules and Regulations. The Institute gives its technical input and feedback on them after research and consultation with its members. The Institute has developed draft Cost Accounting Record Rules for different industries and has forwarded these to the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) for consideration and promulgation.

ICMA PAKISTAN AWARDED EXCELLENCE AWARD BY FPCCI IN THE 8TH FPCCI ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

ICMA Pakistan outstanding performance in the field of professional development and training has been recognized by an FPCCI Achievement Award in the category ‘Education, Trainings and Development’. The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) organized the 8th Achievement Awards Ceremony for the year 2020 in recognition of the praise worthy contributions in development of different sectors of national economy. Zia ul Mustafa, FCMA, President of ICMA Pakistan received the award on behalf of ICMA Pakistan from Chief Guest of the ceremony Honourable President of Pakistan, Dr. Arif Alvi and Guests of Honour including Advisor to PM on Finance, Dr. Hafeez Sheikh, Minister of Industries and Production, Hammad Azhar and President of FPCCI, Mian Anjum Nisar.

ICMA PAKISTAN QUALIFICATION IS NOW IN THE LIST OF RECOGNIZED QUALIFICATIONS OF SOCPA.

This recognition is a continuation of National Council efforts focused on better recognition of ICMA Pakistan in overseas market and is in line with the recent registration of ICMA Pakistan in UAE, Australia and before that in the UK.

Recognition by SOCPA will open new avenues for ICMA Pakistan Members, Affiliates and students and will increase employment prospects for the Members in KSA Market.

AFFILIATE FINANCIAL ACCOUNTANT TITLE BY ICMA PAKISTAN

ICMA Pakistan with an objective to enhance the recognition and employability of its students has introduced the ‘Affiliate Financial Accountant’ scheme in order to recognize its students who have completed Managerial Level Examinations of CMA Professional Qualification (or equivalently qualified as ‘ICMA Inter’ in old syllabus) and acquired 1.5 years of practical experience in industry or any CMA Practicing firm by awarding them the ‘Affiliate Financial Accountant’ status.

The curriculum of ICMA Professional Qualification is developed in accordance with the guidelines of International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) to ensure the students are trained as professionals having technical business acumen and leadership skills in order to meet the employability needs of businesses and students.

Students who have successfully completed Managerial Level of CMA Professional Qualification are recognized by employers for the value they may add as ‘Professionals’ in any organizational hierarchy. Such students are mostly employed by organisations owing to their specialist skills due to high quality of education and examination systems of ICMA Pakistan.

Hence, owing to response from industry identifying a need for a formal recognition, the scheme of ‘Affiliate Financial Accountant’ has been introduced. This scheme would further enhance the recognition of managerial/inter level qualified students of ICMA Pakistan, giving them a head start in their career by allowing them to use recognized designation along with their names, thereby enhancing career growth opportunities for them.

The Institute will publish an annual directory for ‘Affiliate Financial Accountant’ title holders to officially recognize them as part of Institute’s fraternity. Title Holders will be allowed to use ‘AFA’ designation in front of their names in addition to the ACMA/FCMA designations acquired later on in their career.

ICMA PAKISTAN AND ACCA MEMBERSHIP PATHWAY PROGRAMME

A Strategic Partnership Agreement has been signed between ACCA and ICMA Pakistan. The partnership offers exciting opportunities for the members of both the professional bodies.

The agreement allows new pathways for the fellow members of both the bodies to get mutual recognition by applying for additional membership on reciprocal basis.

This pathway provides an excellent opportunity for Members of both the accounting bodies to further strengthen their profile within and outside Pakistan.

MOU BETWEEN ICMA PAKISTAN AND ASIA UNIVERSITY OF MALAYSIA

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between ICMA Pakistan and Asia e University of Malaysia to offer PhD program and provide career development pathways to the members of ICMA Pakistan. The signing ceremony was held at the Malaysian High Commission office. ICMA Pakistan and ACCA signs MoU to jointly train public sector professionals in Pakistan on International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) on July 02, 2020 to enhance the quality, consistency and transparency of public sector financial reporting in Pakistan and to help rebuild the public trust in public services.

DIPLOMA IN BUSINESS PROCESS OUTSOURCING (BPO)

For the first time, ICMA Pakistan along with its knowledge partner VFG is offering a 6 months’ diploma in BPO education, to accounting and finance professionals. ICMA Pakistan is well known for equipping graduates with relevant skills in accounting and finance. The BPO diploma will be a platform for all talented individuals as it will help Pakistan to grow into the BPO sector and will bring benefits to the local BPO industry by producing Market Ready Resources.

ICMA ADVISORY FORUM AND ICMA WORLD TV

ICMA Pakistan has launched a highly insightful corporate talk series titled ‘ICMA Advisory Forum’ at ICMA World TV – An online Business Channel and the Institute’s official Youtube channel. In ICMA Advisory Forum, an industry leader from a particular sector of economy is invited to discuss issues that are of national significance in order to compile suggestions that may be used by the regulators or the governing body for better performance and smooth functioning of the economic segment. So far programs have been on aired on the topics of public sector governance, power sector, urban transportation, tyre sector and post COVID opportunities for Pakistan.

ICMA PAKISTAN REGISTERS ITS BRANCH OFFICE IN UAE

ICMA Pakistan is now registered as a Foreign Branch Office in the United Arab Emirates. The registration gives ICMA Pakistan legal privileges to conduct its activities in UAE Region.

This registration of UAE Foreign Branch Office is a continuation of National Council efforts as ICMA Pakistan registered its first Foreign Branch Office in 2014 in the United Kingdom. National Council will continue its efforts in this direction as we aspire to be a Global Professional Accountancy Organisation and register more branch offices to assist our Members, Affiliates and Students based in 40 countries outside Pakistan with an aim to add value to economies and assist national human resource to work in overseas markets.

UAE is one of the key destinations in the international employment market. The Government of UAE is investing heavily to further develop the region over the coming years. It is considered as a strategic economic hub and a stepping stone for the entities that are aspiring to be global. With more than 1/3rd of Institute’s overseas Members population based in the UAE, through this initiative the Institute will be able to provide ready support needed by Members, Affiliates and Students in the Gulf Region. The Institute through this registration will be working on enhancing employment opportunities, networking, better recognition in UAE and will play an active role in capacity building of its fraternity through more frequent Continuous Professional Development activities.

ICMA PAKISTAN REGISTERED IN AUSTRALIA

ICMA Pakistan is now registered under the Corporations Act 2001, in Australia.

As a developed country with a good reputation for being welcoming to migrants, a strong economy and many well-paid jobs, Australia is frequently featured as one of the best countries in the world for immigration. Through this initiative, the Institute will be able to provide ready support needed by Members, Affiliates and Students in Australia. The Institute will be working on enhancing employment opportunities, networking, better recognition and will play an active role in capacity building of its fraternity through more frequent Continuous Professional Development activities.

SELECTION ON INTERNAL AUDIT POLICY BOARD OF MINISTRY OF FINANCE, GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN

ICMA Pakistan Member, Mr. Shahzad Ahmed Awan, FCMA, has been selected on Internal Audit Policy Board of Ministry of Finance, Government of Pakistan on the basis of his ICMA Pakistan Qualification and relevant experience in this sector. This prestigious Board has been formed in pursuance of Section 29(2) of the Public Finance Management Act, 2019 and is responsible for overall policy making and setting scopes/ standards for internal audit in public sector.

ICMA PAKISTAN AND PAAA WING OF DEPARTMENT OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL OF PAKISTAN JOIN HANDS TO STRENGTHEN PUBLIC SECTOR GOVERNANCE

Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMA Pakistan) and Department of the Auditor General of Pakistan through its Pakistan Audit & Accounts Academy (PAAA) entered into an MOU on September 09, 2020. The purpose of this MOU is to mutually explore opportunities to strengthen public sector governance and productivity, promote education and training in auditing and accounting areas in order to further improve the standards of public sector auditing and accounting functions.

The parties will jointly work on capacity building and trainings of employees of public sector organisations and agree to conduct specialized training programs in the areas such as training on adoption of ISSAI stages, International Accounting Standards and International Financial Reporting Standards, SECP-Code of Corporate Governance 2013 for Public Sector Companies, International Public Sector Accounting Standards and International Standards on Auditing. Both parties also agree to jointly design and launch a certification program in ‘Public Sector Auditing/Governance’ in accordance with job framework of DAGP to create a pool of qualified potential candidates to serve future employment needs of DAGP.

DAGP and ICMA Pakistan will also contribute to their corporate social responsibility and will establish a ‘National Experts Forum On Auditing for Public Sector Companies’ jointly presided by the nominee of DAGP and the nominee of ICMA Pakistan. The Forum will hold country wide periodical sessions for professionals serving in by public sector companies, nationwide.

ICMA PAKISTAN JOINS HANDS WITH ACCA TO DELIVER IPSAS TRAINING TO PUBLIC SECTOR PROFESSIONALS

Institute of Cost Management Accountants of Pakistan (ICMA Pakistan) and ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) have joined forces by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly train the public sector professionals in Pakistan on IPSAS®, the international accrual-based accounting standards, to enhance the quality, consistency and transparency of public sector financial reporting in Pakistan and help rebuild the public trust.

The announcement was made at a Virtual MoU signing ceremony on the theme ‘'The Importance of Strengthening of Public Sector Institutions'. The ceremony was attended by senior members of both the professional bodies, as well as by senior public sector leaders including Abdul Ghafoor Khan, Rector, Pakistan Audit & Accounts Academy, Dr Jawad Zaka Khan, Deputy Military Accountant General Pakistan, Sumaira K Aslam, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Umar Banoori, DG Accounts, Controller General of Accounts Pakistan, Zia Ul Mustafa, President, ICMA Pakistan, and Sajjeed Aslam, Head of ACCA Pakistan.

Under this partnership, a certificate in IPSAS, will be delivered jointly by ICMA Pakistan and ACCA to finance professionals working in the public sector or aspiring to join the sector in the near future.

PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANTS ADVISORY BOARD (PAAB)

National Council of ICMA Pakistan has constituted a Professional Accountants Advisory Board (PAAB). Board shall act as an advisory forum for the National Council of ICMA Pakistan. It shall work in good faith and in public interest to provide recommendations, frameworks, guidance and decisions on all matters including but not limited to public trust in the profession, assessment of key global trends and its impact for the profession, overall quality assurance processes for education & training and audit, compliances and regulatory obligations applicable to ICMA Pakistan and its members.

PAAB Board includes group of professionals of good reputation with diverse local and global experiences.

CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

To keep members and students in particular and other professionals in general, the Institute as part of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) regularly organizes nationwide training, seminars, workshops and conferences. The CPD activity helps in the capacity building essential for a professional to remain updated with the changes taking place in the profession.

The deliberations made and insightfulness shared in these CPD programs becomes a source of immense learning for members and students. At an average, in a year, more than 2,000 CPD hours are nationwide conducted by the Institute.

DIRECTORS’ TRAINING PROGRAM (DTP)

ICMA Pakistan DTP is approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). This is an opportunity for leaders including Board Members, CEOs, CFOs, COOs, Directors, etc. to enhance their governance skills and bring them at par to best practices and also to fulfill the requirement set under Code of Corporate Governance by SECP. The Institute, on successful completion, confers the status of “Certified Director” to participants of Directors’ Training Program.

RESEARCH & PUBLICATIONS

Research brings innovation and aligns current practices to meet the changing and challenging requirements of the society. The research and publications function of the Institute conduct studies on the areas of national and international importance as those are of professional significance for members in particular and others in general.

The Institute’s research releases provide useful insights on the economy and guidelines for the profession. It also helps in addressing existing problems and providing amicable solutions for industry specific issues. Research includes articles and write-up, analysis, policy recommendations to the government, comparative studies, synopsis, reports, interpretations, handbook, etc.

The research and publications department of the Institute is amicably responding to unprecedented innovations taking place in the profession to benefit members, students, other professionals and industry. It is also benefitting organizations by way of enhancing their productivity, upholding the confidence of investors and stakeholders, ensuring maximum profitability and long-term sustainability.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020