Saturday, March 31, 2012

CISM for Malaysia

The Accounting Research Institute (ARI) is greatly honoured to be given the opportunity to work closely with the Malaysian Institute of Integrity (IIM) to develop a self-assessment questionnaire for Corporate Integrity System Malaysia (CISM). The self-assessment CISM is essentially premised on twelve categories of corporate ethics and integrity. They are namely (1) vision and goals, (2) Leadership, (3) Infrastructure, (4) Legal compliance, policies and rules, (5) Organizational culture, (6) Disciplinary & reward measures, (7)Measurement, research and assessment, (8)Confidential advice and support, (9) Ethics training and education, (10) Ethics communications, (11) Whistleblowing and (12) Corporate social responsibility. A total of 214 descriptors have been used to measure the corporate integrity system. Self assessment CISM questionnaire has been developed by the academic group together with IIM based on a successful adaptation of the Global Ethics and Integrity Benchmark by Dubinsky and Richter from USA. What is so special about the CISM self-assessment questionnaire is its ability to benchmark against global best practices. The questionnaire is available on IIM website ( and corporations are encouraged to participate in the self-assessment survey.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Corporate Integrity Pledge - 1 year on

The Malaysian Institute of Integrity (IIM) marks the one year anniversary of its Corporate Integrity Pledge initiative by organizing a Roundtable Discussion with existing and potential pledgers. Yang Berhormat Dato' Seri Idris Jala, Minister at the Prime Minister Department graced the occocasion by giving a brief speech on the results of the various government transformation programs (GTP). One of the main initiatives of the GTP includes the government's effort to enhance ethics and integrity measures both in the government and the private sectors. One year ago, PEMANDU and IIM launched the Integrity Pledge (IP)initiative and to date more than sixty corporations have signed up the IP. In today's meeting, two corporations - Maybank Berhad and Thumbprints Sdn Bhd shared and presented their integrity best practices with the participants. Other corporations that shared their respective corporate integrity system include MIMOS, Siemens, TM, Essence Communication, Top Glove. Two new pledgers - Institute of Engineering Malaysia and MDeC signed their IP with IIM during the event. Meanwhile, Professor Dr Normah Omar from the Accounting Research Institute (ARI)introduced and presented the Corporate Integrity System Malaysia (CISM)- Self Assessment Questionnaire that could be used and adapted by corporations to assess and develop their own CISM. The instrument (CISM) is a product developed from a successful adaptation of a Global Ethics and Integrity Benchmark tool originally developed by Dubinsky and Richter from the USA. CISM is developed jointly by the academic group and IIM. More than 120 participants took part in the half-day Roundtable Discussion held at IIM auditorium today....

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Meeting with ACAMS CEO

The Accounting Research Institute (ARI) is deeply honored to receive guests from the Association of Certified Anti Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS)who visited the university today. Mr Ted Weissberg, ACAMS CEO from New York; Ms Hue Dang, Head of Asia (based in Hong Kong)and Mr Aaron Lau, ACAMS Certified Trainer met up with researchers from ARI to discuss (i) viable research topics in the area of anti-money laundering and (ii) the possibility and viability of ARI researchers to be trained towards the Certified Anti Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS)accreditation. ARI researchers were briefed on the four modules that made up the CAMS curriculum. The Faculty of Accountancy of Universiti Teknologi MARA had started CAMS as part of the undergraduate students' enhancement program. Recent CAMS graduates are currently employed by top employers in the country...

Monday, March 26, 2012

MOU Signing : UiTM-SIDC

In what can be categorized as a "landmark" event for both Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) and the Securities Commission (SC), a memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been signed between the two entities to mark a working collaboration to enhance the capital market in Malaysia. SIDC is the educational and training arm of SC and has been a leading information resource provider in the ASEAN region since 1994. The SIDC develops and facilitates training both locally and internationally through a range of programmes and activities, including conferences, seminars, and workshops supported by computer-based learning. The joint working collaboration between SIDC and the Faculty of Accountancy, UiTM would hopefully helps to create investor awareness; raise professional standards; and enhance skills of Malaysian capital market participants. In support of Malaysia's aspiration to become a highly industrialized nation, it is expected that the Malaysian capital market requires about 40,000 qualified professionals by 2020. Hence this collaboration is extremely important and timely. Whilst Dato' Prof Ir Dr Sahol Hamid, Vice Chancellor of UiTM signed the MOU on behalf of the university, SIDC was represented by SC Chairman, Tan Sri Zarinah Anwar. Also present were Tan Sri Wan Zahid, Chairman of UiTM Council and other officers and researchers from both institutions.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Management Visit to ARI

The Accounting Research Institute (ARI) thanks the Deputy Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Abdul Rahman Omar, Assistant Vice Chancellor (RMI) Prof Dr Abu Bakar Majeed and officers from the university's Research Management Institute (RMI) for visiting ARI today. It was an opportunity for ARI researchers to have an open dialogue and discussions with top management on matters related to research. Prof Rahman explained that visits to all university's centres of excellence (CoE) form part of his "get-to-know the researchers" initiative as CoE falls within the governance of his portfolio as deputy vice chancellor. Professor Dr Normah, ARI director introduced the researchers to Prof Rahman and then proceeded to brief on ARI's progress and plans for the next five years. As a HICoE, ARI hopes to evolve from a national centre of excellence to a regional CoE by end of 2013 and an international player by 2015. ARI shares its strategic plans and its "C-Cure" initiatives with the audience. Various other administrative matters such as ATP, SKT evaluation, Space, financial management, post graduate, MyRA, Young Researcher Scheme, post doc and visiting professor schemes were also discussed at the meeting. All in all, the meeting and discussions met the objective of the visit.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Invitation to Participate in IPPBM Research

Two researchers from Universiti Teknologi MARA, one of whom, Prof Dr Normah Omar, Director of the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) have been invited by the Malaysian Institute For Research in Youth Development (IPPBM) to participate in a national research which aims to explore the potential of making sports as an industry in Malaysia. IPPBM is the research arm of the Ministry of Sports and Youth. A total of fifteen selected researchers from public and private universities in Malaysia were briefed on the "Terms of Reference" for the project. Based on the current facilities as well as the amount of investment allocated by the government on sport-related activities, the potential to develop a sport industry is indeed viable.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Research Visit to Tasmania - Day 3

On the third day of her visit, Prof Normah was taken to tour the university. The main two campuses are in the Hobart suburb of Sandy Bay and in the Launceston suburb of Newnham. The University of Tasmania (UTAS) was established in 1890, making it the fourth-oldest university in Australia - a true 'sandstone' university. UTAS has a population of over 26,000 students, drawn from more than 70 countries around the world. It is a medium-sized university, large enough to be bursting with opportunity and small enough to keep that opportunity within reach. UTAS is one of the top ten research universities in Australia and is well-known for its distinctive science-based programs, strong research capabilities and a wealth of programs with over 100 undergraduate degrees, in traditional and specialised disciplines. A lunch meeting was set to meet up with several research directors of the university.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Research Visit to Tasmania - Day 2

On the second day of her visit to the University of Tasmania (UTAS), Professor Dr Normah Omar, director of the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) met up with several researchers from the School of Accounting and Corporate Governance to discuss possible research collaboration in the area of forensic accounting and financial criminology. Currently ARI is focussing on three research topics in financial criminology namely: (i) Governance and Financial Reporting Framework of Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs), (ii) Cost Effectiveness of Anti-Money laundering & Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) and Financial Fraud Risk Indicators. In the afternoon, specific discussions with Professor Roger Willet included joint journal and book publications between UTAS and ARI researchers. One of the proposed project titled "Developments in Asian Financial Markets: The Need for Better Accounting" will involve researchers and authors from more than twenty countries within the Asia Pacific region. Professor Willett further demonstrated the application of a software called SACA that could be used to predict financial risks in capital markets both in mature and emerging economies....

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Research Visit to Tasmania - Day 1

The director of Accounting Research Institute (ARI), Prof Dr Normah Omar has been invited by the University of Tasmania (UTAS) for a four-day research visit to Australia.
The visit has been arranged by ARI collaborator at UTAS, Professor Roger Willett from the School of Accounting & Corporate Governance. The main aims of the research visit are (i) to identify possible research projects that both entities could embark in for the years 2012 & 2013; (ii) to identify and match researchers from both institutions who could participate in the research projects; (iii) to develop research proposals in identified research areas & to submit them to international research funders and (iv) to identify other aspects of collaborations - e.g. joint publication, training and staff exchange. In fact in November 2011, both entities have signed a letter of intent, which needs to be formalized into a memorandum of understanding (MOU). On the first day of her visit, Professor Dr Normah Omar met up with Professor Roger Willett and Professor Peter Carrol(in blue shirt) to discuss collaborative research topics. Several research topics have been identified and the details will be further deliberated within the next few days....

Sunday, March 4, 2012

ARI Publication Retreat - Day 3

On the third and final day of the publication retreat, researchers submitted their draft journal articles to the secretariate. Whilst a total of twenty eight titles are ready to be sent to selected indexed journals, the remaining still needed time to be edited. Hence, researchers have been given another month to complete their articles. The research titled "Risk Management Practices in Islamic Financial Institutions in Malaysia, Bahrain and UAE", headed by Prof Dr Rashidah Abdul Rahman was selected as the "most promising ARI HICoE Phase One research project". All in all, the publication retreat achieved its target of producing draft journal articles to be published in indexed accounting journals. By the time the research end in July 2012, ARI expects to publish at least 84 journal articles related to Islamic Financial Criminology from its first phase projects. Between now and July, each research group is encouraged to organize its own publication workshops and to ensure at least five research spinoffs are achieved from the research project.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

ARI Publication Retreat - Day 2

The second day of the retreat is a publication workshop. Professor Dr Rashidah Abdul Rahman, ARI Deputy Director (Research & Linkages)briefed the participants of the expected outcome of the workshop.
Leading the workshop is ARI's own research associate: Associate Professor Dr Norzaidi Daud who is a prolific author and editors to more than ten international journals. Participants were firstly briefed on preliminaries which include definitional issues of "indexed journals", "refereed journals", "professional journals", "impact factors", "citation" and the determination of authors' "H-index". Once the definitional issues were clarified, Dr Norzaidi spoke on "strategies to get your paper published in indexed journals". Topics cover the selection of a "catchy title",writing a "precise but impactful abstract", a "do-or-die introduction", "conceptual VS theoretical framework", "filling the research gaps", "detailing research methodologies", "paying attention-to-details in data analysis", "writing a story-board on research discussion" and coming up with the "wow conclusion". All in all, these are the ingredients to a successful journal publication.
After the lunch break, researchers discussed their draft journal articles with the workshop mentor. Researchers would then work on the suggestions and could hopefully submit online their papers by the third day of the retreat. After a hard day's work, all participants were treated with a BBQ dinner...

Friday, March 2, 2012

ARI Publication Retreat - Day 1

The three-day publication retreat organized by Accounting Research Institute (ARI)started today with more than sixty researchers who participated in ARI's phase one research projects in Islamic Financial Criminology. The event started in the afternoon with a short briefing by Prof Dr Normah Omar, ARI Director. That was followed by ARI's monthly meeting with research fellows and heads of the eight research centres. The discussions involved updates on ARI's activities as well as progress reports of ARI's five-year strategic plans by all seven "C-Cure" project managers. After dinner, the retreat resumed with four parallell sessions of research progress presentation of all forty two projects by researchers. Since all projects are expected to be completed by July 2012, reseachers are also required to present their plans for the next four months in terms of budget utilization, finalization of five research spinoffs and the publication of two indexed journal articles. All in all, the majority of research projects have progressed very well. Congratulations. ARI looks forward to all research deliverables in July 2012...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

ARI Publication Retreat 2012

The Accounting Research Institute (ARI) organizes a three-day research publication retreat for its researchers. Basically the retreat aims to gather all ARI researchers who are completing their phase 1 research projects on Islamic Financial Criminology.
In essence there are a total of 42 projects comprising 23 titles related to Islamic finance & accounting and 19 projects on financial criminology. ARI HICoE first year projects are generally exploratory in nature, where researchers collaborate with both national and international strategic partners to conduct the research projects. The retreat involves a research publication workshop. Each project is to produce at least five spinoffs, two of which must be in the form of publication in indexed journals. Prior to the retreat, most research groups have organized their own mini meetings and to prepare for their draft journal articles. At the end of the three-day retreat, each research group is required to identify the five research spinoffs. Based on the comments of the workshop mentor, members are expected to make necessary ammendments to their journal papers and to submit online their respective papers.