Saturday, 27 April 2013

Sorry, I can't remove the advertisements

I am sure the visitors will notice the kind of advertisements which have been appearing at this blog in the recent weeks. During this period of time, people in Malaysia are being persuaded to decide in one way or another. Given the time and age, such persuasion could appear in the form of web advertisements  at websites which are linked to search engines such as Google. This blog included. 

While such arrangements helps the websites to be visible, the website owners are not in control of the kind of advertisements which will be appearing. Just imagine advertisements regarding alcoholic drinks appearing on Islamic related websites!

While such confusion exists, it demonstrates the state of play where information on its own does not create value. It has to be contextualised. Given many of us are still anchored at the days and times where the powerful will bombard the powerless with all sort of information, rubbish or otherwise, as a symbol of power and control, such practice is not unexpected.

However, the audience has many more options nowadays. Many of us consider news on the internet as their main stream media. The effectiveness of the old "main stream media" such as radio, television and printed newspaper has to a certain extent diminished, especially where people have easy access to the web and has a bit of intellectual capacity. Notwithstanding this, the old media serves as a platform to make the powerful feel good as observable domination is certainly comforting.

This posting is meant to extend my apologies to those of you who are not interested with the kind of advertisements which appear here. I am not in control of them but I trust you are here because of the content. If you don't like the advertisements, just do the opposite when it matters!

MIA’s response to ‘Who audits the auditors?’

AS THE statutory body responsible for the regulation of the country’s accountancy and auditing profession, the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) would like to express deep concern over Datuk Shireen Muhiudeen’s article titled, “Who audits the auditors?”(StarBizWeek, April 20, 2013).
The article has questions and commentaries that we feel need to be clarified in the public interest.
In it, Shireen highlights, among others, that auditors of a company have committed errors in the disclosures in a company’s audited financial statements. We have written to the writer to seek information on the company and their auditors to enable us to investigate this matter.
The MIA has always cooperated with other relevant regulatory bodies such as the Audit Oversight Board, Bursa Malaysia, the Securities Commission, Bank Negara and the Companies Commission of Malaysia to ensure that the integrity and professionalism of the accountancy profession is upheld.
In any circumstances where the public has knowledge of any form of misconduct or misdemeanour of any member of the accountancy profession – in this case, it would be the auditors of this company – it is highly advisable and prudent for the public to come forward and lodge a complaint with the MIA, to enable appropriate action to safeguard public interest.
The points raised in the article also seem to blur the distinction between the roles and responsibilities of the preparers of financial statements and those of the auditors.
The Companies Act 1965 clearly provides that the directors are responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of the financial statements, while the duty of the auditors is to form opinions on the financial statements.
The financial statements are performed by the company’s finance function, which should be staffed by professionally qualified accountants well-versed in current accounting standards and the operations of the company. In our view, they should not be merely “book-keepers” and should play an important role in the company’s governance.
The auditors’ responsibility is to express an opinion on the financial statements. They conduct an audit on the financial statements to obtain reasonable assurance as to whether the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement.
Accordingly, they express an opinion on whether the financial statements are prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework.
It is also important to note that the auditors are not supposed to be involved in the preparation of financial statements, which would otherwise affect their independence (as provided for in MIA’s by-laws).
We wish to emphasise that the integrity of financial statements and the efficacy of financial reporting are dependent on effective board of directors, senior management, internal auditors and external auditors who are fully cognisant of their respective roles and responsibilities within Malaysia’s legislative and corporate governance framework.
The MIA, as the regulator of the accountancy profession, will do our part in ensuring that the integrity of the financial reporting will not be compromised.
Malaysian Institute of Accountants