Accountable, transparent public finance a must for resilient economy

The strongest and most resilient economies will be those where people can trust information so that leaders can make well-informed decisions, businesses can be held to account and public finances are transparent, said speakers at a seminar on Saturday.

They said the skills that the accountancy profession develops and applies –in measuring, reporting and assuring –will be fundamental in building a World of Strong Economies. 

Their technical skills,  ethical approach and the integrity are very important  for this purpose. Under the current pressures of the pandemic, everybody including CAs must  take particular care in their conduct and judgements.

The virtual conference on Role of Chartered Accountants in Economic Recovery and Promoting Cross-Border Investments' was organised  by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh-ICAB on Saturday 11 July 2020 through zoom video conference. 

Salman F Rahman, Private Sector Industry and Investment Adviser to the Prime Minister attended the conference as the Chief Guest.  

Manil Jaysinghe FCA, President CA Sri Lanka was present as the special guest while   Dr. In-Ki Joo, President of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) was present as the guest of honour.  

Robert Hodgkinson  FCA, Executive Director, Technical at the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), UK presented the keynote paper. 

ICAB President Muhammad Farooq FCA, delivered address of welcome while Vice President Sabbir Ahmed FCA made opening remarks. Md Humayun Kabir FCA, Member Council and Past President of ICAB moderated the session. Mohammed Forkan Uddin FCA,Vice President –ICAB delivered vote of thanks. 

Keynote speaker Robert Hodgkinson  in the ICAB Webinar said, we are all aware that as much as Covid 19 is a health crisis, it is also an economic crisis which none of us has seen before.  Economies are disrupted and businesses are threatened, the accountancy profession has a vital role to play. 

Hodgkinson said, in  the strongest and most resilient economies people  trust information so that leaders could make well-informed decisions, businesses are held to account and public finances are transparent. 

The skills that the accountancy profession develops and applies –are the  fundamental in building a World of Strong Economies. But just as important as their technical skills are the ethical approach and the integrity that they bring to their  work. 

Behaving ethically often means having to make tough decisions. It often means putting the public interest first, above and beyond any other interests, he said. 

Citing some measures taken by the  UK Government during this pandemic situation, he said his government has introduced unprecedented economic measures to support businesses, employers and employees through the Covid-19 crisis. 

The members of ICAEW are helping to implement these schemes –ensuring businesses and individuals receive the help they need and that public money is being used as intended, with efficiency and transparency. 

ICAB President Muhammad Farooq said, The Coronavirus pandemic hit Bangladesh's economy hard and jeopardized the country's impressive achievements specially in poverty reduction.  

ICAB as a  professional institute, is providing suggestions to the Government in preparation of well-thought-out recovery plan and action programs to tackle the toxic impact of the deadly disease on economy, he said.

Expert professionals of the Institute are involved in analyzing the impact of COVID-19 on the different sectors of the economy and suggesting the proper strategy and plans for recovery directly and indirectly.