General

Speakers urge regulators to take lead in implementing IFRS

Strong collaboration between Regulators is needed to bridge the gap between Financial Statements of Banks in Bangladesh. The regulators in banking sector to adjust the requirements between International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and Local Laws and Regulations to repair the gaps while preparing the Financial Statements of Banks in Bangladesh.

They also identified number of differences and deviations from IFRS in notes to Financial Statements of Banks in the areas of Financial Statements’ components and presentation, cash and cash equivalents, cash flow statement, investment in debt securities – Initial recognition and reclassification, provisioning the loans and advances, recovery against impaired loan, etc.

In case of conflict arising, general understanding is that the local laws from primary regulators would prevail. As a result, there are differences, they observed.

To be fully compliant with IFRS, a cross regulators ‘Task Force’ may be formed who would review and identify the gaps between IFRS, local laws and regulations. The Task Force would also review the new standards, understand implications while engage various regulatory bodies with a view to develop an implementation plan of the standards.

Credible and compliant financial statements are critical for Bangladesh at a stage when the country is graduating out of the Least Developed Countries grouping. In this connection ICAB together with the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) along with other regulators, could develop a road map to align accounting practices in Bangladesh with IFRS, they suggested.

As the Chief Guest, Kazi Sayedur Rahman, Deputy Governor of Bangladesh Bank (BB) said confidence of local and foreign investors and the depositors of banks and NBFIs are largely dependent on the accounting system of a country.

“If there is any deviation from the International standards, specially IFRS, these should be addressed first. Transparency, accountability and true fair information of financial statements definitely increase the level of confidence that can be placed in them. Chartered Accountants are instrumental by maintaining compliance to the standards applicable in accounting,” he further said.

He added BB will sit together with ICAB and FRC to narrow down the gaps between the local laws and the international standards particularly IFRS so that a congenial atmosphere would be created to attract foreign direct investment.

“As per the Bank Company Act, auditors are performing external audits of Banks. The central Bank expects that the external auditors would provide information about gross violation or deviation of any Banks in their transactions. External Auditors should diagnose nthe problems of banks and forecast the probable financial disaster so that BB could take necessary action to save the bank from the disaster,” he added.

Mohammad Shams-Ul Islam, Managing Director & CEO of Agrani Bank Ltd said IFRS plays a pivotal role to make the accounting language more effective. “Chartered Accountants have the responsibility to ensure the compliance of IFRS in the accounting systems so that it would be accepted by all. Braving the pandemic threats Bangladesh is advancing as one of the fastest growing countries with $305 billion GDP and 43 billion dollars foreign exchange reserve,” he added.

ICAB President Muhamudul Hasan Khusru FCA said Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, BB, FRC and other regulatory bodies made it compulsory for listed entities, banking companies and other financial institutions to comply with IFRS.

Source: United News of Bangladesh