Friday, November 30, 2012

i-CSR Workshop with Islamic Finance Practitioners

The Accounting Research Institute (ARI), Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) is currently funding a research project to develop an Islamic Corporate Social Responsibility (i-CSR) General Practice Framework. This is in line with ARI’s niche area of research in Islamic Financial Criminology which comprises of Islamic Finance and Muamalat and Financial Criminology.  The i-CSR research project which is under the Islamic Finance and Muamalat domain is currently undertaken by a group of ARI’s researchers headed by Associate Prof Dr Faizah Darus, Head of the UiTM – ACCA Asia-Pacific Centre for Sustainability (APCeS) together with a group of researchers from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Sebelas Maret University, Indonesia and Universitas Muhammadiyah Surakarta, Indonesia. Besides the academics, the Islamic Banking and Finance Institute Malaysia (IBFIM) has also agreed to pe part of the research team. APCeS is one of ARI’s research centres which was set-up in 2008 in collaboration with ACCA with the objective to bring about qualitative improvements in the Corporate Sustainability Practices within the Asia-Pacific region. The aim of the i-CSR research project is to establish an i-CSR General Practice Framework for Islamic institutions based on Syariah principles in which, it will provide a holistic guidance on CSR for Islamic Institutions. In order to gather feedbacks from CSR practitioners, on the proposed i-CSR General Practice Framework, a two-day workshop with CSR managers and Syariah officers of Islamic banks/institutions to present the proposed i-CSR General Practice Framework and to develop an i-CSR index to be used as guidelines by CSR practitioners and implementers in Islamic institutions has been held recently on 29 - 30th November 2012. Participation to the 2-day workshop was by invitation only. Participants were from among Islamic economic scholars, members of Syariah Supervisory Board and Islamic jurist (ulama), CSR managers and Syariah officers of Islamic banks/institutions. A total of 40 participants were at the workshop which was held in Putrajaya. ARI thanks all participants who took part in the event. Once the instrument is further improved, it will be discussed at a CEO forum which will be held in early 2013.  Congratulations and thank you all.... 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Impact Evaluation of Research University Initiative

The director of Accounting Research Institute (ARI), Prof Dr Normah Omar has been selected as research team member to study the impact of research university (RU) initiative of the Ministry of Higher Educadtion (MOHE).  Currently there are five research universities: University Malaya (UM), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).  Whilst UM, USM, UPM and UKM were recognised as RU since 2007, UTM was recently accorded the RU status in 2010.  The RU initiative aims to acculturate research into Malaysian universities, develop research prominence through indexed publications and international collaborations, develop knowledge and wealth creation through intellectual capital and human capital.  All these are necessary ingredients for supporting Malaysia's effort to attain the developed high income status by 2020.  Today's meeting discussed the preliminary research findings.  The research team is headed by Professor Dr Asma Ismail from USM.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

IIAFC 2012

Day 3

The third day of the conference saw more interesting topics being discussed.  Datuk Zabidah from Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM) and Professor Kabir Hassan, a renown international Islamic Finance scholar from University of New Orleans, USA spoke on a topic related to Islamic Microfinance in the first plenary session.  AIM, being the largest microcredit organisation in Malaysia has to date disbursed more than RM2.3 billion in microcredit to some 262,000 borrowers.  Beside being the financier, AIM provides training to entrepreneurs; creates microcredit network among borrowers and develop support groups for entrepreneurs.  In our latest research project on Islamic Microfinance, the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) brings together microcredit financier such as AIM and entrepreneurs to work collaboratively with a large supply-chain player in Malaysia - Mydin Mohamed Holding Berhad.  Meanwhile, Professor Kabir Hassan spoke of the potential of developing a successful Islamic Microcredit framework to help eleviate poverty among the ummah.  In his speech, he proposed the integration of various Islamic finance instruments such as Zakat, Waqaf, Sadaqah and the development of specialised microcredit banks to optimally managed the instruments.  As proven by several successful zakat and waqaf organizations globally, the fundings can be effectively utilised to help aspiring but poor enterpreneurs to spearhead their small businesses.  The second plenary session discussed the aspects of governance and ethics within the Islamic Finance industry.  It was stressed that the successful development of the Islamic Finance sector must be built upon strict ethical fundamentals and supported by effective governance mechanism.  As such, the Islamic finance industry needs more specialised human capital and new, competitive products that can spearhead the industry.  A research entity such as the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) can play a proactive role by developing new frontier knowledge in Islamic Finance and Islamic Accounting.  At the same time, its research strength in financial criminology can be shared with the practitioners to facilitate the industry and to make Malaysia as a global Islamic Finance hub.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

IIAFC 2012

Day 2
Following a successful PhD colloquium  is the main conference itself.  IIAFC 2012 is jointly organised by Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Universitas Islam Indonesia and Aston University, United Kingdom.  Themed "Steering Innovations and Competitiveness in a Dynamic Economy: New Fronteirs, New Lessons", the conference has received more than eighty research papers and registered 240 participants from twenty two countries -United Kingdom, United States of America (USA), Australia, Germany, Japan, Kuwait, Turkey, Philipines, Nigeria, Iran, Indonesia, Thailand, Bosnia Herzegovina, Myanmar, Brunei, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Malawi, Pakistan, Senegal,  Czechoslovakia and Malaysia.  The main aims of the conference are firstly to explore new knowledge in Islamic finance & accounting and secondly to showcase latest research findings in the field. The second day of the conference was divided into four main segments: key note address by Mr Badlishah Abdul Ghani, CEO of CIMB Islamic (Malaysia); Plenary session by Dr Syed Musa & Dr Zuljastry and Dinner & MOU signing.  The signing of the memorandum of understanding is undertaken by four entities namely Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia (AIM), Mydin Mohamed Holding Berhad, Rangsit University Thailand and Merdeka Malang University, Indonesia.  Whilst AIM and Mydin Mohamed Holding are involved with the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) in a research project on "Islamic Microfinance", Rangsit and Merdeka Malang universities are ARI's collaborative research partners in "Target Costing and Dynamic Capabilities". 

Monday, November 19, 2012

IIAFC 2012

Day 1
The International Islamic Accounting and Finance 2012 (IIAFC 2012) started today with a PhD colloquium.  IIAFC 2012 is a knowledge creation platform initiatiated by the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) in its effort to promote its research niche in Islamic Financial Criminology.  The conference is co-organized by Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Universitas Islam Indonesia (UII) and Aston University, United Kingdom.  The first Islamic Accounting and Finance conference was organized by UII in Jogjakarta in 2011.  Following an MOU between UII and UiTM which was signed in 2011, ARI undertakes the responsibility to host the second conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  Themed "Steering Inovation and Competitiveness in a Dynamic Economy: New Frontiers, New Lessons", the conference hopes to document various industry updates and research findings related to Islamic Financial Criminology.  Essentially, there are are two very important aspects of research domains in Islamic Financial Criminology:  Islamic Finance/Accounting and Financial Criminology.  Thirteen PhD students who are currently undertaking their PhD research in Islamic finance presented their research progress.  Both local and international Islamic Finance scholars have been appointed as panel experts for the colloquium.  IIAFC 2012 is divided into two main components - a Phd Colloquium on the first day, followed by a two-day conference.  The conference has attracted more than 200 participants from 22 countries: United Kingdom, United States of America (USA), Australia, Germany, Japan, Kuwait, Turkey, Philipines, Nigeria, Iran, Indonesia, Thailand, Bosnia Herzegovina, Myanmar, Brunei, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Malawi, Pakistan, Senegal, Czechoslovakia and Malaysia.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

APMAA 2012

Day 4
Traditionally, the last day of the conference has always been dedicated to site visits of either "leading manufacturer" of  "point of interest"and "business meeting" where APMAA members discuss future strategies.   APMAA 2010 in Taipeh had included a site visit to HTC Manufacturing (a leading global technological company).  Meanwhile, APMAA 2011 in Kuala Lumpur had introduced Putrajaya, state of the art State Capital of Malaysia For APMAA 2012, participants were taken to visit the Xiamen Island and Xiamen Bay. Xiamen Bay is a partially enclosed bay off the coast of Xiamen, Fujian province, China and surrounded by Jinmen islands and open waters.  Historically, we have been informed by the tour guide that Xiamen Bay remained open to foreigners to do trades.  As such, most of the buldings by the bay are influenced by Western architecture.  The Xiamen island is privately owned by a Chinese Tycoon and it has become a "must visit" place for tourists.  We were taken to Xiamen Island by ferry.  At the island, we visited various  points of interest such as the piano museum, botanical garden, xiamen cave and the harbour.  We were told that Xiamen Bay is an important economic region for Xiamen as well as the whole of Fujian province in China.  The bay has numerous port, transport infrastructure, shipbuilding and petrochemical industries.  After the Xiamen Bay visit, APMAA members held a business meeting to discuss the future development of the association.  Some of the matters being discussed include among others, the following:
  • The appointment of Professor Jimmy Tsay as forthcoming APMAA president (After the Nagoya APMAA 2013 conference)
  • The appointments of two new journal reviewers for APMAA Journal - The Asia Pacific Management Accounting Journal (APMAJ).  Both Professor Michael Bromwich from LSE and Professor Thomas Hammel have agreed to the appointments
  • The appoinment of Trisakthi University, Indonesia to host the 2015 APMAA Conference
  • The appoinments of new country representatives for Emerates and New Zealand

Friday, November 16, 2012

APMAA 2012 Conference

Day 3
The third day continued with papers being presented through parallel sessions.  The Accounting Research Institute (ARI), through its Asian Management Accounting Research Centre (AMARC) and the faculty of acccountancy, Universiti Teknologi MARA showcased eight papers as follows:
  1. Azmi Aminuddin, Nor'azam Mastuki and Faizah Mohamad, "A Conceptua Synopsis of SSR-PBT Star Rating System Implementation in Malaysian Local Government: An Institutional Perspective"
  2. Hussein Hamood, Normah Omar and Suzana Sulaiman, "Target Costing Implementation in Malaysian Automotive Industry: An Exploratory Study"
  3. Sharifah Fadzlon Abdul Hamid, Wee Shu Hui, Normah Omar, Suzana Sulaiman, Norhazeera Mohd Zan and Nur Shahida Ab Fatah, "Management Accounting and its Relevance in Harm Reduction Programme: Case Study of Needle Syringe Exchange Programme"
  4. Ibrahim Kamal Abdul Rahman, Nooraslinda Abdul Aris, Zuraidah Mohd Sanusi and Zafiruddin Baharum, "Managing Challenges Facing Accounting Education and Employability in Malaysia"
  5. Normah Omar and Rshidah Ahmad, "Credit Card Debt Management: A Profile Study of Young Professionals"
  6. Norlaila Md Zin, Aliza Ramli and Suzana Sulaiman, "Critical Success Factors of BSC Implementation Within a Malaysian Government-Linked Company"
  7. Nurshuzana Zairul and Suzana Sulaiman, "Management Accountants' Roles and Tasksin a Malaysian Organization: Past and Future"
  8. Wee Shu Hui, Normah Omar, Suzana Sulaiman and Ibrahim Kamal Abdul Rahman, "Target Costing and Organizational Capabilities"

Thursday, November 15, 2012

APMAA Conference 2012

Day 2
The Annual Conference of the Asia-Pacific Management Accounting Association 2012 (APMAA Conference 2012)  officially started today at the Xiamen University, China.  Themed  "Management Accounting: The Optimization of Management Control", the conference is jointly co-organized by APMAA; Center for Accounting Studies, Institute for Financial  and Accounting Studies and Department of Accounting (all these three entities are from Xiamen University).  The second day commenced with opening speeches by the conference chair, Prof Fu and APMAA president, Professor Susumo Ueno.  This was followed shortly by the official opening ceremony of the conference by the Vice President of Xiamen University, Prof Jianfa Li.  Following the opening ceremony was seven plenary speeches which have been scheduled for the day.  The first keynote speech titled "Management Accounting: Retrospect and Prospect" was given by the renowned  Professor Michael Bromwich, where he enlightened participants with the evolution of management accounting.  This is followed by the second keynote address by Professor Thomas Hemmer from Rice University, USA with a critical topic titled "Optimal Relative Performance Evaluation".  Five other keynote speeches being delivered on the second day were as follows:
  • Professor Jason Zezbong Ziao (Cardiff University, UK), "Complementarities of Management Accounting and Information Technology"
  • Professor Zhijun Lin (Hong Kong Baptist University), "Performance Outcomes of Balanced Scorecard Application in Public Hospitals in China"
  • Professor Yuanlue Fu (Xiamen University), "Research on the Design and Optimization of Management Control Mechanism"
  • Professor Yuming Hu (Jinan University, China), "Chinese Management Accounting Research - Past, Present & Future"
  • Mr Liquan Cai (CEO, Xiamen Port Business Listed Co, China), "Management Control System Design and Practice in Corporation".
The second day even was concluded with a banquet dinner at the university's International Exchange Clubhouse.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

PhD Colloquium of APMAA Conference 2012

Day 1
The 8th Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association Conference (APMAA Conference 2012), hosted by Xiamen University in China began today with a PhD Colloquium.  Xiamen University is a beautiful campus, which is located near the Xiamen Port and the Xiamen Island.  Historically, Xiamen was the only city which was accessible to foreigners during China's close-door era.  Three PhD students presented their respective PhD-based papers as follows:
  1. Mr Hussein Hamood from Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia:  Target Costing Implementation Decision and Organizational Capabilities: A Pilot Study of a Malaysian Automotive Company;
  2. Ms Honghua Jin from Nigata University, Japan: Performance Management Utilizing Non-Finncial Indicators in Japanese Manufacturing Industry- Focus on BSC, MBO and Hoshin Management; and
  3. Mr Yu-Shan Shen from Central University, Taiwan: An Empirical Study Between IT Security Risk and ERP Performance: The Role of Internal Control
PhD Colloquium panelists comprised Prof Dr Normah Omar (Malaysia); Prof Susumo Ueno (Japan); Professor Jimmy Tsay (Taiwan) and Prof Paul Scaborough (Canada).  A total of 40 participants attended the PhD Colloquium.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Financial Statement Analysis for RMP

The Asia-Pacific Forensic Accounting Research Centre (AFARe) is one of the leading research centres within the governance structura of Accounting Research Institute (ARI).  Recently, AFARe which is headed by Prof Dr Rohana Othman has been invited to conduct a competency training program for the investigating officers of the Commercial Crime Department, Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM).  The four-day program was held at the PDRM Mess, Langkawi, a training centre near the beautiful Beach of Pasir Hitam.  A total of forty officers from various states and PDRM department attended the function.  Premised on the Competency Training Framework for Professionals, the training program integrates theory, hands-on practical problems, case study and typologies.  Upon completion of the training program, PDRM Director of Commercial Crime, Dato' Wira  Syed Ismail bin Syed Azizan attended the training dinner and handed over the certificate of participation to all participants.  Also presence at the event were ARI's Director Prof Dr Normah Omar and Head of AFARe, Prof Dr Rohana Othman.  In view of the increasing trend of commercial crime, particularly those involving financial statement fraud, PDRM and the Commercial Crime Department is enhancing capacity building of its investigating officers.  ARI is glad to be invited in this intiative.. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Today, the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) and IBBM organized a half day Intellectual Discourse with Corporate Social responsibility (CSR) practitioners of Islamic Financial Institutions (IFIs) to discuss the i-CSR framework. i-CSR is ARI's latest initiative, a research product that is fully backed by Islamic and Shariah principles.  In facilitating the country's bigger agenda of making Malaysia a global Islamic Finance hub, i-CSR is a strategic new product addition to the sector.  Premised on the concepts of shariah, i-CSR integrates the principles of Ibadah, Maqasid and Maslahah.  CSR in itself is an ibadah.  Higher level of CSR activities implicates a corporation's steady and healthy economic performance.  As a research institution, ARI works closely with ulama' or Islamic scholars and practitioners to ensure its research products are built on very strong fundamendal.  Earlier in 2011, the initial i-CSR framework was developed collaboratively by ARI researchers, headed by Associate Professor Dr Faizah Darus with CSR experts from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM); Sebelas Maret University and Universitas Muhamadiah, both from Indonesia.  The group had also met several Islamic scholars.  More than forty bankers and CSR practitioners attended today's event.  Currently, CSR practices of IFIs are governed by conventional framework which gives higher focus on the CSR activities themselves.  i-CSR encompases the "Niat", "CSR activities", "priority" and "dakwah".   BERNAMA was among the first media partner to provide ARI the exclusive interview for its  primetime news....


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Team Building and Moving Forward

Day 3:
Team building is not necessarily about learning new stuff.  It's about doing simple things that perhaps even kids can do.  Just like kids, things must be done with sincerity and passion.  Looking at what we did throughout the three days we were in Genting Highland, was certainly not "rocket science".  We were doing kids staff like drawing faces, making "dolls", singing, aerobic, making "speeches", lots of "war cries",  explore race and "making fun" of each other.  Nothing judgemental and just let loose.  Since each team comprises of members from different background and seniority, we moved that barrier first and foremost.  Whilst some groups were headed by professors, others were led by technicians and other support staff.  But we all had fun.  Some teams were given bonuses because they came early as a team whilst others got their points deducted as they "failed" to clean up their desks after each activities.  The final session was about moving forward.  Members get to speak their mind with all sincerity.  It's all about recognising each other's strength.  The Faculty of Accountancy has been built on strong footings with great bonding.  Members work cohesively as a team and are very loyal to the faculty and UiTM.  We came down from Genting Highland feeling refreshed and committed.  On the way back to campus, we stopped by Kelana Jaya to attend a joyous occasion of another colleague - Associate Professor Dr Rohaya - a wedding event for her beloved son Shukri...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

FACT Team Building

Day 2:
The cool weather in Genting Highland was indeed very refreshing.  Certainly a good place for team building.  We started the second day feeling fresh after a good night rest.  Immediately after breakfast, the group left Genting Highland to attend Rohani's funeral.  The dean, faculty's management team and a few others (in five cars) decided to go to the Sungai Buloh hospital and to accompany the body back to Datok Keramat mosque.  Another group was ferried down in a bus and was taken directly to the mosque.  We were among the first to arrive at the hospital to give our last respect to a dear friend.  A team building session indeed....we said our prayers, accompanied the body to the mosque, did the jenazah prayer and said goodbye.  Then we left for Genting Highland to finish our "team building syllabus".  It was indeed a great feeling as we were there to give our support to Rohani's families.  The team building session continued with "explore race" game which lasted for almost three hours.  The game was not all about winning...More importantly, it's a lesson about understanding others; accepting challenges; overcoming fear; patience; effective communication,  and working together as a team.  The original plan of having a "gala Dinner" was deliberately toned down to a normal BBQ dinner at the hotel.  The evening session continued with more ice-breaking event.  We ended the evening with another tahlil session for Rohani...Alfatihah.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Team Building & the Lost of a Beloved Friend...

Day 1:
As members of the Faculty of Accountancy, some fellows of the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) participated in a three-day team building event at Genting Highlands.  The session was attended by some eighty academic and support staff.  Though "working together" in a cohesive manner has always been the "way of life" at the faculty, team building session like this would be a great "refresher" for all.  The event started with lunch and after everyone settled in with their hotel's "check-in" matters, the team building program began at 2.30 pm with the "icebreaking" session.  Everyone were to let loose.  We became "kids" again at we let the "child" in us rules.  It was fun and stress-free.  In the first game, all faculty members were to ask other colleagues to describe their perception on them on a piece of paper.  Since the paper is placed on a person's back, a member will not know "who writes what".  Reading the descriptions later on was fun.  The next game "Do you the secret", members were to find answers to trivial questions which might relate to other members of the faculty.  For example, to find members who were born in Sarawak, one needs to ask questions to the "right" person.  Interestingly, new "secrets" were discovered.  Later, members were divided into teams and they were given time to decide on 'name' and 'war cry' for their groups.  We were supposed to continue the evening  with more ice-breaking sessions but everyone was saddened with the news over the demise of one of our collegues, Associate Professor Rohani Wahab.  As if it was God's test of our comradship, the group decided that the evening slot was "converted" to a tahlil session.  It was also decided that we would attend Rohani's funeral the next morning, hence the team building session should resume in the afternoon......Alfatihah to a great friend.  We will certainly miss you Rohani.... 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Stolen Fruit is the Sweetest..? or the Bitterest...?

The professorial lecture by Professor Dr Normah Omar, Director of the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) went smoothly as scheduled.  The lecture title - "Financial Criminology: Stolen Fruit is the Sweetest...? or the Bitterest? was able to capture interest as evidenced by a large audience turnout of more than 450 participants.  There's indeed a good mix of participants - fellow professors, industry players, bankers, regulators, enforcement agencies, professional bodies, academia and students. Special credits should be given to the organizing committee, Faculty of Accountancy for showcasing an interesting and "flawless" event - good food, great crowd, interesting lecture content and most importantly superb time management.  Everything was on schedule.  Participants were given a copy of the Professorial Lecture book as a momento.  Professor's Normah's lecture was divided into five segments: (1) Introduction to the concepts of financial fraud & criminology; (2) Financial Statement Fraud & its related theories; (3) International Auditing Standards - SAS 99 & ISA 240; (5) A Malaysian Empirical Study on "Consideration of Fraud in the Audit of Financial Statement and (6) Recommendations & Conclusion.  Considering audiences are from various backgrounds and experiences, Professor Dr Normah was deliberate in "engaging" them with her lecture.  As serious as the concept "Financial Criminology" may portray, Prof Normah nevertheless has successfully mixed humour, wit and professional wisdom to make the topic interesting and alive.  In her final message, Prof Normah further reiterated that the fight against financial crime is the responsibility of all.  Everyone should become a "whistleblower" to crime....