Friday, May 31, 2013

IFCTF 2013

The annual International Financial Criminology and Terrorism Financing Conference 2013 will be back with more interesting stuff.  This is in view of the fact that Malaysia will be undergoing the Mutual Evaluation (ME) assessment of the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) scheduled for April 2014.  As such is it expected that the conference will provide interesting and practical topics that could enhance participants' knowledge and competency in the AML/CFT area.  Again, for the third time, the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) is greatly honoured to be invited to be part of the organizing committee.  As per last year, the main organizers of IFCTF 2013 will be the Compliance Officer Networking Group (CONG) and the Asian Institute of Finance (AIF).  Today, two ARI researchers - ARI Director Prof Dr Normah and Fellow AP Dr Jamaliah attended the preliminary meeting of the IFCTF 2013 Committee.  Dates, venue and theme of the conference will be confirmed by the next committee meeting in June 2013.  We look forward to another very interesting conference...

Thursday, May 30, 2013

ARI-CCM Collaboration

Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) and Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) will formalise their collaboration soon.  A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) are scheduled to be signed by both parties on 18th June 2013 at UiTM.  In principle, CCM has agreed to engage the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) to undertake a research project on the Governance of Non-Profit Organisations (NPO) in Malaysia.  The preliminary focus of this project will be on those NPOs that are currently registered with CCM.  Globally, NPO is a huge sector.  In fact, in many developed countries such as the US and UK, the NPO sector has been recognised as a "third sector" after the "public sector" and the "private sector".  If strategically governed, NPOs have the potential to contribute significantly to nation building.  Today, three officers from CCM came to ARI office to finalise the documents and to discuss the signing event.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

ICFC 2013 - Day 2

Day 2:

The second day of the conference started with two more plenary sessions in the morning.  Plenary Session 6 titled "Forensic Investigative Techniques and Procedures" was moderated by Professor Dr David Chaikin from University of Sydney, Australia. Meanwhile, the two invited panelists comprised Mr Awang Armadajaya, Deputy Public Prosecutor, Attorney General Chambers and Mr Sukdev Singh, Director of Forensic Investigations, KPMG Malaysia.  Essentially, the speakers highlighted on two very important points: Forensic investigation needs to be properly documented and it must be evidence-based.  Plenary 7 titled "Accounting & Legal Issues From Australian Perspectives" saw two professors from Australia sharing their views.  Prof David Chaikin of the University of Sydney Business School was a practising lawyer specialising in multi-jurisdictional investigations, transnational commercial and criminal litigation, as well as offshore corporate and banking law. He has worked as a consultant to the United Nations, the OECD-based Financial Action Task Force and the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering.  The second speaker, Professor  Dr Paul Barnes was previously Professor of Finance and Fraud Risk Management at Nottingham Business School in the UK. He is a Chartered Certified Accountant with degrees in history, management science, and a Ph.D. in economics.  To date, he has written a number of books and published many academic papers in a wide variety of journals in the UK, Australia and the USA. One of his books Stock Market Efficiency, Insider Dealing and Market Abuse was recently published in Australia.  Following the two plenary sessions were concurrent paper presentations by researchers.  the papers have been effectively divided into four separate categories: "Fraud & Corruption", "Taxation & Zakat", "forensic accounting" and Governance & Ethical issues. 
More than 30 research papers that were mainly in the areas of financial criminology and Islamic finance were  presented. Most of these papers would be accordingly reviewed and hopefully published in a special issue of the Malaysian Accounting Review journal.  Finally, ICFC 2013 came to a closure with a brief concluding remarks by Prof Dr Normah Omar, director of the Accounting Research Institute (ARI).  Till we meet again in the 6th International Conference on Financial Criminology 2014 .......



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

International Conference on Financial Criminology (ICFC) 2013

Day 1:
The opening ceremony of the 5th International Conference on Financial Criminology was successfully officiated by the Vice Chancellor of Universiti Teknologi MARA, Dato' Sri Prof. Ir Dr Sahol Hamid Abu Bakar.  Themed Global Trends in Financial Crimes in the New Economies, the two-day ICFC 2013 conference has attracted international participants from 11 countries, namely -Thailand, Singapore, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Republic of Iran, United Kingdom, Australia, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong and New Zealand.  For local participants, apart from academics from public and private universities, there are also practitioners  from the Accountants General Office, Auditor General Office, Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL), Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM), Securities Commission (SC), banks, local authorities, Registrar of Societies (ROS), Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance (MICG), Cooperative Commission of Malaysia, Ministry of Finance, Association of Fraud Examiners (ACFE), Association of Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS), Audit firms (including Big Four firms), Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC), Inland Revenue Board Malaysia (IRBM), Royal Malaysia Customs, Royal Malaysia Police, Labuan Offshore and the Attorney General Chambers (AGC). 
The day started with a welcome speech by the vice chancellor.  This was then followed by the keynote speech "Economic Crimes and Governance" by Tan Sri Dato' Seri Haji Megat Najmuddin bin Datuk Seri Dr Haji Megat Khas which was read by his representative Mr Ahmad Shahab Haji Din from MICG.  It has been emphasized in the keynote speech that there is strong correlation between the occurence of economic crimes with the level of governance being enforced in any organisation.  In a nutshell, effective governance requires more than mere compliance of rules and procedures.  The keynote address set the direction of the three plenary sessions afterwards.  The first plenary session which was moderated by Tuan Awang Armadajaya (AGC) focused on the topic "The Evolution of Forensic Accounting in the Asia Pacific Region: What Does the Future Hold?".  Two invited speakers to discuss the topic were namely (i) Mr Chris Fordham, Managing Partner, Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services Asia Pacific, Ernst & Young Advisory Services Ltd (UK)  and (ii) Mr Petrus Gimbad, Member of the Board of Directors, Sabah Development Bank.  The discussions highlighted the fact that globally, financial crimes which are dubbed as "crimes of the new millinieum" are on the rise.  Whilst enforcement agencies and regulators are enhancing their competency level in this new knowledge, perpetrators are finding ways to hide "evidences" and to destroy audit trail.  As such, effective fraud prevention programs must integrate multiple investigation techniques with the latest technologies and skills.
The second plenary session titled "Combating Tax Evasion and Money Laundering" was moderated by Professor Dr Normah Omar from ARI.  To discuss the topic, ICFC 2013 has invited two speakers namely (i) The Chief Executive Officer of the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia, Tan Sri Dr Mohd Shukor Haji Mahfar and Mr Aaron Lau, an accredited trainer for the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) certification program.  Since 2010, the Anti Money Laundering and Anti Terrorism Financing Act (AMLATFA 2001) has been amended to include Tax Evasion as one of the predicate offences under this jurisdiction.  As such, tax evasion constitutes a "proceed from an ill-gotten gain activity".  Tan Sri Dr Shukor further proposed for the setting up of a "task force" from among various regulatory and enforcement agencies when investigating money laundering and tax evasion cases. 
Professor Dr Syed Noh Syed Ahmad, moderated the third plenary session on "Economic Crimes & their Impact on the Socio Economic Development".  The two speakers for this session were (i) Dato' Akbar Satar, President of Transparency International Malaysia and (ii) Tan Sri Datuk Seri Dr Sulaiman Mahbob, Chairman, Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER).  Discussions centred on the "causes of economic crimes" and the "costs of Crimes".  Globally, economic crimes have escalated and there is an urgent need for governments and countries to review  possible "loopholes" in public and private policies that might give rise to financial crimes. 

After the lunch break, participants were presented with two more "heated" plenary sessions.  The fourth plenary discussion titled "Prosecuting Economic Crimes" were presented by Supt Lee Ewe Kiang from the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP), Tuan Syed of AGC and Ms Shanti Geoffrey, from the Prosecution and Enforcement Division of the Securities Commission Malaysia.  The three speakers gave relevant statistics to implicate the seriousness of the subject matter.  It was concluded that the fight against economic crimes should be shouldered by everyone.  Though it is almost impossible to totally eradicate financial crime, everyone can play a role to prevent fraud from happening. 

The final plenary session for the day was deliberated by three more renowned speakers: Dato' Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed, Chief Commissioner of MACC; Mr Alex Tan of PwC Malaysia and Mr Nizam Ali of the Malaysian Institute of Integrity (IIM).  Basically, the speakers discussed on the topic "The Global Challenges of Economic and Financial Crimes and How They Affect You and I".  Participants were given a "small survey" to find out if they have given any kind of "bribes" within the last 12 months.  The "result" from a total of 74 sample participants  implicate that only a small number of four respondents (5%) have admitted bribery.  Ironically, "Corruption Perceived Indexed" stood at a much higher rate, hence the issue of "reality vs perception" needs to be  specifically addressed.  Instead of subjecting themselves to "perceptional verdict", countries should develop their own indices.  Mr Nizam of IIM spoke of the Corporate Integrity System that had been initiatited by his institute as a possible instrument to measure and benchmark integrity at work places.  Throughout all five plenary sessions on the first day, participants were given the opportunity to interact with the invited speakers.  The face-to-face interactions have produced some very interesting suggestions and recommendations.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

UiTM Website Competition

In a recent website competition organized by the university (Universiti Teknologi MARA), the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) won the "third place" position of the competition.  Congratulations all ARI members for your continuous cooperation in keeping the website up-to-date.  In particular, we wish to thank our web administrator, who is also our research officer, Ms  Munirah for her dedication and hard work.  ARI website address is:

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

UTM RU Visit

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) was the last Research University (RU) to be audited recently.  Unlike the other four "matured" RUs who were assessed using the "MyRA 2" instrument, UTM is assessed using the first MyRA tool or better known as MyRA 1.  A total of nine RU panels (assessors) were assigned to audit UTM.  The Accounting Research Institute (ARI) director, Professor Dr Normah was appointed as the Head of RU panel for UTM.  One very interesting and successful RU initiative undertaken  by UTM is the establishment of its "Research Alliance", which is a research-based responsibility centre.  Currently, there are ten Research Alliances.  Each Research Alliance is headed by a research dean.  In principle, the Research Alliance constitutes a strategic partner to the faculty, who in turn is headed by an academic dean.  Whilst academic deans focus on students, programs and academic matters, research alliance deans dedicate their efforts on research-related activities and output.......

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

ARI Upcoming Events

The Accounting Research Institute (ARI) will be co-organising several international conferences between May and November 2013.  The 5th International Conference on Financial Criminology (ICFC 2013) will be held in Holiday Inn Hotel, Glenmarie, Shah Alam on 28-29 May, 2013.  Themed "Global Trends of Financial Crimes in the New Economies", the conference which is co-organized with ACFE and ACAMS will showcase renowned global researchers and practitioners as speakers.  A total of fifty research papers will also be presented during the conference.  Just like in previous years, the conference expects to attract about 300 participants.  On 24-25 June 2013, ARI will jointly co-organize the International Seminar on Government and Financial Criminology (ISGFC 2013)which will be hosted by the Faculty of Accountancy, University of Chullalongkorn, Thailand.  ARI will send twenty paper presenters to Bangkok for the event.  Following ARI's visit to the Philippines in March 2013, the International Conference on Islamic Finance, Muamalat and Financial Criminology (IFMFC 2013) will be co-organized with the Philippines Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PIPA Cagayan de Oro-Misamis Oriental Chapter), National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) and Mindanao State University.  IFMFC 2013 will be held on 23-24 October 2013 in Cagayan.  Prior to the conference, a roundtable discussion will be held to discuss the viability of initiating Islamic Microfinance project with the Islamic community in the state.  ARI will send 20-30 paper presenters to the conference.  Two of ARI's research centres: Corporate Governance Research  Centre and the Public Sector Accounting Research Centre will co-organize the International Conference on Corporate Governance (ICGC) 2013 with two international research centres - Institute of Public Enterprise (IPE) India and the Institute of Business Research (IBR), University of Waikato, New Zealand.  ICGC 2013 will be held in Kuala Lumpur in October 2013.  The annual  Asia Pacific Management Accounting Association (APMAA) International Conference 2013 will he hosted by the University of Nagoya Japan on 1-4 November 2013.  As steering committee members of APMAA, several ARI researchers will attend the management meeting as well as present papers at the conference.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Congratulations Prof Dr Ibrahim Kamal

The Accounting Research Institute (ARI) congratulates our associate member Professor Dr Ibrahim Kamal Abdul Rahman for a special service recognition award given by CPA Australia this evening.  The award acknowledges Prof Ibrahim's wide contributions both to the accounting academic and the accounting profession.  A special event known as "CPA Members' Recognition Evening" (i) recognizes newly admitted  CPA members, (ii) awards CPA fellowship to qualified CPA members and (iii) awards long standing service contribution of CPA members.  Prof Ibrahim was admitted as a CPA by CPA Australia in 2003.  During the past ten years, Prof Ibrahim has held various positions: Dean of the Faculty of Accountancy, Universiti Teknologi MARA; Council member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA); Committee member and later on a Chairman of the Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee and Steering Committee of the  MIA's "Halatuju" for the accounting programs in Malaysia.  Indeed, Professor Dr Ibrahim Kamal Abdul Rahman has contributed  a lot.  Congratulations to you Prof Ibrahim Kamal and well done.  You certainly deserved the recognition...

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Congratulations Scholars

The Accounting Research Institute (ARI) congratulates all recent graduates of Universiti Teknologi MARA who, today, received their scrolls from the university's Pro Chancellor, Tan Sri Dato' Seri Utama Arshad Ayub.  In particular, congratulations to two PhD graduates: Dr Adnan Ameen Abdullah Bakather (Thesis: The Impact of Board and Ownership on the Value of Firms Listed on FTSE Bursa Malaysia Shariah Index) and Dr Yosef Kalefa Hosen (Thesis: The Influence of Change in Business Environment on Change in  the Adoption of Management Control System).  Also our congratulatory messages and best wishes go to all graduates of the Master of Accountancy and Master in Forensic Accounting and Financial Criminology.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Research University Audit

As a member of the Research University assessment committee of the Ministry of Higher Education, Professor Dr Normah Omar, director of the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) has been and will be involved with the audit of the country's five research universities: University of Malaya (UM); Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM); Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM); Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM).  UM, UPM, UKM and USM (the first four research universities) are considered as "matured RUs" and MOHE uses the MyRA 2 instrument to evaluate them.  Meanwhile, UTM as a relatively new RU,  is assessed using the MyRA 1 instrument.  A total of fourteen assessors are involved with the research university audit, which is expected to be completed by the end of May 2013.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Professional Linkages with the Philippines CPA

Universiti Teknologi MARA (UITM) and the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Philippines Institute of CPA Chapter in Cagayan.  The MOU was respectively signed by UiTM's Vice Chancellor Dato' Seri Prof  Ir  Dr Sahol Hamid Abu Bakar and the President of Philippines CPA Cagayan, Mr Eshmael Amanoding. Among  the programs agreed by the MOU include (i) the organization of a joint conference in Islamic Finance and Financial Criminology in October 2013, (ii) collaborative research in Islamic Finance and Financial Criminology between ARI and Philippines CPA (Cagayan), (iii) joint publications by researchers from ARI, Mindanou State University (MSU) and (iv) joint training programs in Islamic Financial Criminology.