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FRC to start registration of all auditors soon

Quest for accountability, transparency in auditing to avert financial fiascos

Jasim Uddin Haroon | October 05, 2017 00:00:00

The newly-formed Financial Reporting Council (FRC) plans to have all qualified auditors registered with the regulatory body in quest for accountability and transparency in the auditing of financials.

Under provision of the law that brought the council into being, all auditors and audit firms must register with the FRC. Without registration, none can provide auditing service to any entity linked with public interest.

For registration, they will have to apply to the FRC. The council will review the applications and provide registration as per rules and guidelines.

If any auditor or any audit firm violates any provisions of the act or any of its rules and guidelines, the regulator may cancel or suspend the registration. The transgressors may be fined as well.

"We're going fast to make all auditors get registered with us," CQK Mustaq Ahmed, chairman of the FRC, told the FE Wednesday.

He said there is no barrier to such registration as the act clearly mentions the obligation.

The chairman, however, could not disclose the timetable for beginning the registration.

"I can say that this will be our first task. There'll be thorough registration, and it will start shortly," Mr Mustaq said.

However, ICAB sources said Bangladesh has around 1,800 qualified chartered accountants practicing in different government and private organisations, multinational companies and independent audit offices.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) conducts courses in Dhaka and Chittagong and around 40 students qualify every year.

Mostafa Kamal, vice-president of the ICAB, said there is need for joint efforts on the matter as the ICAB is a major stakeholder in the FRC.

Also an executive vice-president of LankaBangla Finance, he said there should be a process so that the members can apply easily.

"Actually we are yet to know what documents should be submitted for the registration so there is need for a process and other documents to be submitted for the registration," Mr Kamal said.

However, after much delay, parliament passed the Financial Reporting Act 2015 on September 6, 2015, marking a big step towards ensuring more transparency and accountability in financial-reporting activities.

After the share-market debacle in 2010 following burst of bubble on the bourses, the demand for monitoring the auditing and accounting activities grew louder.

Back in 2003, the World Bank also recommended establishing an independent oversights body in a report.

The last caretaker government approved a financial reporting ordinance. It was, however, not approved by parliament later on.

After the establishment of the FRC in July 2017, it became regulatory body for ensuring transparency and accountability in accounting and auditing of company financials, including those of various government, autonomous and non-government institutions.

Previously, the ICAB was the one and only professional regulatory body for the country's chartered accountants.


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