ICAP: PREMIER ORGANIZATION WITH A MISSION

SHAMSUL GHANI (shams_ghani@hotmail.com)
July 07 - 13, 2008

Established under the Chartered Accountant Ordinance 1961, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan, ICAP assumes a pivotal role in streamlining, guiding and controlling the country's aspirant youth interested in the dynamic profession of chartered accountancy. Graduates and undergraduates are seen thronging the ICAP buildings to seek registration session after session under the prevailing rules and conditions. Some escape the pre-entry proficiency test (PPT) by virtue of their high scores in Board / University examinations while the rest are brought under the test-net to prove their eligibility. Those declared eligible are free to choose any of the ICAP-approved RAETs (Registered Accountant Education Tutors) best suited to them. ICAP is responsible for registration and holding of periodic exams while the RAETs are delegated the responsibility to provide coaching.

The Institute's Head Office is housed in a multi-storey spacious building located at Clifton in the vicinity of Teen Talwar with regional offices at Islamabad, Lahore, Multan and Faisalabad. The affairs of ICAP are governed by a Council supported by a management team. The Council comprising sixteen members including four government nominees is responsible for formulation of policies and strategies besides fulfilling its executive function with the help of a professional management team headed by the Executive Director who enjoys the support of four other directors namely, Director Examination, Director Education & Training, Director Technical Services and Director Professional Standards Compliance and Evaluation. The middle management comprises Senior Managers, Managers and Assistant Managers. The present President of the Council is Mr. Imran Afzal, FCA while Mr. Moiz Ahmed holds the office of Executive Director.

LONG TERM VISION

The following Mission Statement upholds ICAP's claim to be the sole professional body and the pioneers of accounting profession in Pakistan, working with an objective to train and produce quality manpower required by the profession maintaining highest standards of integrity and excellence.

'The profession of Chartered Accountants in Pakistan should be the benchmark of professional excellence upholding the principles of integrity, transparency and accountability'.

'Our mission is to achieve excellence in professional competence, add value to businesses and economy, safeguard public interest; ensure ethical practices and good corporate governance while recognizing the needs of globalization.'

ICAP is a member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), Confederation of Asian & Pacific Accountants (CAPA), International Innovation Network (IIN) and South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA).

ICAP's priority commitments for the year 2007 were:

A brand vision and strategy to target students; clients and employers (the market); our Members

Ensure responsible self governance

Offer value and services

Enhance competencies

Foster long term relationship with Members and Students

Provide leadership

EXCELLENT JOB OF VALUE ADDITION

ICAP keeps itself busy round-the-clock doing the job of value addition. The raw material of young talent is transformed into a professionally disciplined army of responsible chartered accountants ready to storm the fields of business, finance and industry. The following table is testimony to what has been stated in the preceding lines:

 

JUN-07

JUN-06

 

ASSOCIATES

FELLOWS

TOTAL

ASSOCIATES

FELLOWS

TOTAL

DOMESTIC

Public practice- sole proprietorship

61

232

293

63

213

276

Public practice- partnership

62

272

334

54

257

311

Commerce / Industry

1,625

843

2,468

1,487

781

2,268

Corporations

5

10

15

4

9

13

Financial Institutions / Banks

74

50

124

74

52

126

Government

7

8

15

8

6

14

Education

17

10

27

18

8

26

Overseas

   

-

   

-

Non practice

578

337

915

518

299

817

Public practice

3

10

13

2

11

13

Total

2,432

1,772

4,204

2,228

1,636

3,864

The total number of Members (those who have passed-out) as on June, 2007 stood at 4,204, recording an increase of 8.8 per cent over the previous year. Commerce, industry and financial sectors have absorbed 79 per cent of the domestic force of chartered accountants. Around 22 per cent of the total force is engaged overseas.

AN IMPRESSION THAT NEEDS TO BE DISPELLED

The number of registered examinees has been showing a constant increase year after year. The number as of June, 2007 stood at 36,668 as compared to 32,208 the previous year. The low pass-out ratio that hovers around 13 per cent remains a source of concern not only for the aspiring young students but also for the parents who want to invest in their children's education but are driven away by the high risk of failure. ICAP think tank possibly needs to revamp its policy design. Low pass-out percentage does not necessarily mean quality. May be the failing majority of 87 per cent was not capable in the first place and was recruited simply on commercial considerations. It is like playing with the future of countryís youth which could have been more purposefully inducted elsewhere. ICAP will do well to raise its recruiting standards thereby ensuring a high pass-out ratio. Leaving the job of coaching to the highly commercial minded RAETs who are expert at extorting high tuition fee without providing quality coaching is a crime of no lesser magnitude. To many, this is a case of managed collaboration between ICAP and RAET. This impression needs to be dispelled through policy review.