Wednesday, March 30, 2016

ARI to Host ERASMUS Staff Mobility Program

In 2014, the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Burgas Free University in Bulgaria.  In 2015, Burgas Free University in collaboration with ARI and Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) submitted an application for the Erasmus+ Staff Mobility for Teaching Mobility programme.  Erasmus+ is the European Union (EU) programme for education, training, youth and sport. Many of the initiatives are based on opportunities for students and recent graduates, but funding is also available to help teachers, lecturers and non-academic staff develop their skills in schools, universities, colleges and adult education environments around Europe – through job shadowing, teaching and training activities.  At the end of 2015, we were informed that the application was successful and three scholars from Burgas Free university will be visiting Universiti Teknologi MARA during May and June 2016.  Professor Milen Baltov, Vice Rector of Research and International Cooperation, Burgas Free University will be visiting UiTM on 2nd to 7th May 2016 and his teaching assignment will be at the Arshad Ayub Graduate Business School. The Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Business Studies Prof. Lina Anastassova will be in UiTM on 29th May to 4th June and will conduct her teaching assignment at the Faculty of Hotel and Tourism Management.  The third scholar, is  Assoc.
Prof. Tatyana Kotzeva from the Faculty of Humanities, who will visit UiTM and will be teaching at the Faculty of Communications and Media Studies on 13th to 19th June 2016.  ARI will be hosting the three scholars and will be organising related programs for them. Likewise, Universiti Teknologi MARA will also be sending three scholars (two of whom will be from ARI) to Burgas Free University during the periods of May and September 2016.  This is a great international collaboration for ARI and Burgas Free university.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Research Strategic Planning

The Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation) of Universiti Teknologi MARA, Prof Dr Abdul Rahman Omar and members of the university's Research council committee attended a one-day research workshop to discuss research strategies and performance indicators for two groups of researchers at the university: (i) members of faculties & academic centres, and (i) members of centres of excellence and community of researchers (CoRE).
Since the currently available Malaysia Research Assessment (MyRA) instrument is fairly comprehensive and detail, the workshop decided to use it as a foundation for discussions.   At the end of the workshop, there were some interesting proposed strategic actions that could be undertaken by researchers.  The Institute of Research Management and Innovation (IRMI) who acts as a secretariat will tabulate the discussions which will be presented in the next Research Council meeting.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Non Profit Organisations and Governance

In both industrialized and developing countries, there is a growing body of experience, which attests to the positive roles that non-profit organizations (NPOs) play in  the economic development of a country. In many developed countries, NPOs have been recognized as a "third sector", after public and private sectors.  These roles may include:-

  1. providing goods and services - especially meeting needs which have not hitherto been met by either the public or by the private sector;
  2. assisting the government achieve its development objectives - in particular through contributing skills for which NPOs have comparative advantage, such as public information, education and communications campaigns, or providing information about the situations and needs of particularly vulnerable groups;
  3. helping citizens to voice their aspirations, concerns and alternatives for consideration by policy makers, thereby giving substance to governments' policies regarding freedoms of association and speech;
  4. helping to enhance the accountability and transparency of government and local government programs and of officials.

Recently, a national level NPO Symposium was  organised by the the Legal Affairs Division (Bahagian Hal Ehwal Undang-Undang or BHEUU) of the Prime Minister Department, Malaysia. Currently, there are 370 NPOs in the form of  "Trustee Incorporated" that are registered with BHEUU.  The main aim of the symposium was firstly, to allow BHEUU and other regulators such as Bank Negara Malaysia and Inland Revenue Board to directly engage with  NPO members and secondly to create awareness among NPO members in Malaysia on legislations such as Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (Act 613), Income Tax Act and "Best Practice Guides pn Managing NPOs".  Professor Dr Normah Omar has also been invited to give a talk on "NPO Governance" at the symposium.  The symposium was officiated by the YB Hajah Nancy Haji Shukri, Minister of the Prime Minister Department.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Economic Transformation Program in Terengganu

In 2012, as part of its research in Islamic Financial Criminology, the Accounting Research Institute (ARI HICoE) initiated three Islamic-based economic transformation programs: Islamic microfinance, Islamic-based social enterprise and corporate waqaf.  When reviewing existing Islamic microfinance model, ARI researchers identified one very important gap - the need to link micro entrepreneurs to a complete supply chain, including both supplier(s) of reasonably-priced raw materials for the business and buyers of the business's finished products.  A pilot research project was carried out in Tanjung Karang with a group of microfinance recipients from Amanah Ikthiar Malaysia (AIM) - a microcredit organisation.  The entrepreneurs were involved in a tailoring business.  Since their clients were mainly among locals from Tanjung Karang, the market place for the "baju kurung" business was not only limited, more unfortunately, it was also seasonal in nature.  ARI researchers invited Mydin Holding Berhad to act both as a supplier of fabrics for baju kurung and as a buyer of ready-made baju kurung.  ARI developed a training module where entrepreneurs were exposed to new competencies of financial management, business planning and business governance.  With the much improved version of business framework, the entreprenuers were able to increase their sales, profits, capital and savings.   The Tanjung Karang micro business was later replicated to two other locations in Terengganu through a tripartite collaboration of ARI (UiTM), Yayasan DiRaja Sultan Mizan (YDSM) and Mydin Holding Berhad.  YDSM identified two locations - Paka and Kuala Terengganu.
 Using the same framework, Mydin Holding Berhad supplies fabrics to the tailoring business entrepreneurs. and later on, buy-back the completed baju kurung for sale in Mydin Hypermarkets.  To mark the successes of both the Paka and Kuala Terengganu micro-business groups, ARI organised a three-party Memorandum of Agreement between Universiti Teknologi MARA, YDSM and Mydin Holding Berhad.  The Islamic microfinance programs in Tanjung Karang, Paka and Kuala Terengganu had significantly transformed the economic status of the entrepreneurs.  In fact UiTM is planning to replicate the program to other states through the respective state campuses.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Visit to Royal Malaysian Customs on GST

With the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in Malaysia effective 1st April 2015, there are a lot of interest among researchers to conduct studies on GST.  Popular topics include GST compliant, Indirect tax evasion, GST audit and GST implementation.  Today, three researchers from the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) of Universiti Teknologi MARA visited the Goods Services Tax (GST) Unit of the Royal Malaysian Customs (RMC) in Putrajaya.  Basically the basic aim of the visit was to discuss with officers from RMC on ARI's ongoing research on GST and how researchers can get assistance from the department. There are a number of new PhD students who are interested to embark on GST-related topics within ARI's PhD program in Financial Criminology. In April, ARI is to organise a GST seminar titled "GST after One Year of Its Implementation".  The target participants are those industry players from manufacturing companies from the Small and Medium category.  In comparison to sales and service tax, GST is more comprehensive, effective, transparent and business friendly. GST should be able to overcome the various weaknesses within the previous consumption tax system.  GST is expected to increase tax compliance and is easier to administer in view of its self policing method.  In addition, businesses are required only to submit simplified tax returns based on prescribed formats.  In fact, all records and documents relating to the relevant transaction are required to be kept in the business premises for audit by the GST auditors. 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

International Research Collaboration with the Faculty of Economics, Universitas Riau (UNRI), 11-12 February 2016, Riau, Indonesia

Recently the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) has been invited by the Faculty of Economics, Universitas Riau, Indonesia to provide a research proposal and publication workshop. The workshop was a 2-day event, 11-12 February 2016 and was attended by 51 participants from UNRI and another four universities in Riau such as Universitas Islam Riau, Universitas Islam Negeri, Sekolah Tinggi Ilmu Ekonomi Riau and Universitas Lancang Kuning. Prof. Dr Takiah Iskandar, ARI Distinguish Research Fellow and Assoc. Prof Dr Zuraidah Mohd Sanusi, ARI Senior Research Fellow have given two talks on “Selecting a right journal for your publications” and “What Makes A Good Journal Article? ” to the audience. The workshop was facilitated by three other lecturers, Assoc. Prof Dr Amrizah Kamaluddin, Lecturer of Faculty of Accountancy, UiTM Selangor, Dr Hatta Hj. Sapwan, Lecturer of Faculty of Accountancy, UiTM Perak and Dr Siti Haliza Asat, Lecturer of Faculty of Accountancy, UiTM Perak.
The objective of the collaboration is to boost the research output of the Accounting and Business lecturers in Riau Province at the international level. As stated by the Dean of Faculty of Economics, UNRI, Dr. Sri Indarti, SE., M. Si., this workshop is very timely in line with the objective of the Indonesia Ministry of Education to increase the number of journal publication in Scopus index. In order to meet this objective the Ministry Education as well as the university provides monetary incentives for the lecturers. The working committee of the workshop receives a strong support from the faculty management members, Dr Rita Anugerah, Head of the Research Development of Accountancy and Finance, and Prof. Dr Ria Nelly Sari, Senate Members of Faculty of Economics, and the top management of the Faculty of Economics of UNRI.  The Faculty organizes activities for research, conferences and publications involving the faculty members jointly with other universities. The Faculty of Economics of UNRI has demonstrated conceited efforts to increase the research output of the Faculty and to enhance the credibility of the academic staffs.  At the end of the workshop, about 20 research proposals and 25 draft papers for publications have been compiled. The Faculty of Economics of UNRI is also planning to submit 10 papers from this workshop for the upcoming conference in Perak, the International Conference on Accounting Research and Education (ICARE) 22-23 Aug 2016 being organized by the Faculty of Accountancy, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Perak. This conference is being chaired by Dr Hatta Hj Sapwan with the Faculty Economy, UNRI and ARI, UiTM as the conference partners.