Special Supplement

Navigating Bangladesh’s banking landscape: The integral role of accounting

Published : 10 Nov 2023 03:26 PM


International Accounting Day serves as a reminder of the pivotal role of accounting in the world of banking. In Bangladesh, where the banking sector plays a critical role in driving economic development, accounting is not just about numbers; it's about ensuring the financial stability of the entire nation. This article explores the significance of accounting in banking operations in Bangladesh, with a special focus on credit proposal processing and its role in judging financial viability. Moreover, we will delve into the vital roles of cost and management accountants and chartered accountants in this landscape, considering the global banking perspective, and the contributions of various divisions within the banking sector.

The significance of accounting in banking

Accounting serves as the backbone of the banking industry, providing an organized structure to monitor and manage financial transactions. In Bangladesh, this sector is a vital part of the financial landscape. The significance of accounting in banking can be comprehensively understood by exploring its various facets:

Transparency and accountability: Accounting ensures transparency and accountability in all banking operations. It helps banks maintain records of all financial transactions, allowing for easy audit and scrutiny. This is pivotal for building trust among depositors and investors.

Risk management: Like any other banking sector, Bangladesh's banks face various risks. Accounting plays a fundamental role in identifying, measuring, and managing these risks. It provides the tools and insights necessary for making informed decisions to minimize losses and protect the interests of customers and shareholders.

Regulatory compliance: Bangladesh Bank, the central bank of Bangladesh, has established regulations and guidelines to ensure the stability and integrity of the banking system. Accounting is indispensable for ensuring compliance with these regulations, including capital adequacy requirements and anti-money laundering (AML) guidelines.

Financial planning and management: Accurate accounting data is the foundation for effective financial planning and management. It helps banks allocate resources efficiently, optimize their operations, and make informed decisions regarding loans, investments, and expansion.

Investor confidence: A well-maintained accounting system boosts investor confidence. Banks that can provide reliable financial statements and reports are more likely to attract investments, both locally and internationally.

Customer trust: Customers entrust their savings and investments to banks. Proper accounting practices reassure customers that their money is in safe hands and that they can access it when needed.

Accounting in credit proposal processing

One of the most crucial aspects of banking operations in Bangladesh is the processing of credit proposals. This involves assessing the financial viability of potential borrowers. Accounting plays a fundamental role in this process:

Credit risk assessment: Before granting loans or credit facilities, banks need to assess the creditworthiness of the borrowers. This involves a meticulous examination of the borrower's financial statements, including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. These documents are meticulously analyzed by accountants to gauge the borrower's financial health.

Financial ratios: Accountants in the banking sector use various financial ratios to assess the viability of credit proposals. These ratios include debt-to-equity, current ratio, and the debt service coverage ratio. These metrics provide insights into the borrower's ability to meet financial obligations.

Collateral assessment: In some cases, banks require collateral to secure loans. Accountants are instrumental in assessing the value and quality of the collateral, which is a key part of the credit proposal evaluation process.

Cash flow analysis: Accountants also scrutinize the borrower's cash flow to ensure that they have the capacity to repay the loan. This involves examining the historical cash flow statements and making projections for the future.

Contributions and roles of various banking divisions

Within the banking sector, various divisions collaborate to ensure accounting's effectiveness:

International Division: The International division is responsible for handling cross-border transactions and international accounting standards. Their role is crucial in maintaining consistency and transparency in global financial operations.

Treasury division: The treasury division manages the bank's assets and liabilities, optimizing liquidity, and ensuring that accounting is aligned with investment strategies and risk management.

Credit administration division: This division plays a central role in assessing and monitoring loan portfolios including limit loading. They work closely with accountants to ensure the financial health of the bank and its borrowers.

Financial administration division: Accounting plays a fundamental role in the financial administration division of a bank. It serves as the backbone for the division's operations, providing the necessary tools and information for effective financial management and decision-making. It provides the necessary financial data, reporting, and analysis that enable the division to manage financial resources effectively, ensure compliance with regulations, control costs, make informed financial decisions, and safeguard the bank's financial integrity. Accounting is the cornerstone of the financial administration division, ensuring the institution's financial stability and long-term success in a dynamic and highly regulated banking environment.

Other related divisions: Various other divisions, such as Risk Management, Internal Audit, and Compliance, collaborate with accountants to maintain accountability, 

compliance with regulations, and to proactively manage risks.

Challenges and recommendations

However, despite the vital role of accounting in banking, Bangladesh faces several challenges:

Weak regulatory framework: Bangladesh's regulatory framework for accounting and auditing needs to be strengthened to align with international standards. This will enhance the quality of financial reporting and transparency in the banking sector.

Technology integration: Many banks in Bangladesh still rely on traditional accounting systems, which can be prone to errors and inefficiencies. The integration of modern technology and digital solutions is essential to enhance accuracy and efficiency in credit proposal processing.

Skilled workforce: The accounting profession in Bangladesh faces a shortage of qualified professionals. Rigorous training and education programs are needed to meet the demands of the banking sector, especially in assessing credit proposals.


International Accounting Day is a timely occasion to reflect on the pivotal role of accounting in the banking operations of Bangladesh and its relevance in the global banking landscape. By addressing the challenges and adopting best practices, Bangladesh's banking industry can look forward to a more robust and sustainable future. Accounting, particularly in the evaluation of credit proposals, is the linchpin that safeguards the financial viability of banks and contributes to the economic prosperity of the nation. With enhanced regulations, technology integration, a skilled workforce, and the expertise of cost and management accountants and chartered accountants, the future of banking in Bangladesh is aligned with global best practices, ensuring a solid foundation of accounting principles and international standards. The collaborative efforts of divisions within the banking sectorwill continue to strengthen the integrity and resilience of Bangladesh's banking landscape, both at home and on the global stage.

The writer is the additional managing director and chief credit officer of The Premier Bank PLC and a fellow member of the Institute of Cost & Management Accountants of Bangladesh (ICMAB).