Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Visit to American University of Sarjah

While in Dubai, our team took the opportunity to visit an international private  university, American University of Sarjah (AUS).  Founded in 1997 by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Sharjah, the  university was envisaged by His Highness as a leading educational institution in the Gulf region. The university offers 26 majors and 45 minors at the undergraduate level, and 13 master's degrees programs through four academic divisions, namely (1) College of Architecture, Art and Design, (2) College of Arts and Sciences, (3) College of Engineering and (4) School of Business Administration.  Consciously based upon American institutions of higher education, AUS is thoroughly grounded in Arab culture and is part of a larger process of the revitalization of intellectual life in the Middle East. 
We met up with scholars and researchers from the school of business administration, including a fellow Malaysian, Associate Professor Dr Norita Ahmad who is now a full time faculty member of the university.  We see a lot of potentials for the Accounting Research Institute to collaborate with scholars from the university - in terms of staff & student exchanges, research collaboration and  and joint publications. 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Global Good Governance (3G) Awards 2017

The Accounting Research Institute (ARI) was nominated by the organiser, Cambridge IF Analytica, a UK-based Data Warehouse to participate in a global competition, to receive the 3G Awards 2017 along with three other international universities within the OIC countries.  A "voting system" was set up by the organiser and participating nominees are allowed to "invite" their members and friends to take part in the voting process.  At the final count, ARI won the competition and was invited to receive the award at an event held at the Fairmont The Palm Hotel, in Dubai, UAE on 24th April 2017.  Basically, the award "3G Excellence in Higher Education 2017" was in recognition of ARI's research and training works in corporate governance, corporate integrity and risk management.  As a Higher Institution Centre of Excellence (HICoE), ARI is driving research and innovation in these areas. The event in Dubai was attended by award recipients, business organisations, law enforcement agencies and business owners.  ARI was represented by its Director, Professor Dr Normah Omar, Deputy Director Associate Professor Dr Jamaliah Said, Research fellows Professor Ruhaya Atan and Dr Norazida Mohamed.  Congratulations ARIANs for job well done.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

ARI Research with Impact - Part 2: Corporate Integrity & Risk Management

To create a sustainable business environment, there must be  a deliberate effort to conduct research that strengthen the governance aspect of the industry.  At the Accounting Research Institute, there are three main research projects within this second cluster.
They are namely research in corporate governance, corporate integrity & ethics and enterprise risk management.  For each of the project, ARI collaborates with specific partner from within the industry and government agencies, either at national and/or international levels.  Research projects for this cluster are not confined to the Islamic Finance industry, it also includes other sectors - public, private and non-profit organisations.
Among ARI's  collaborative partners include Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM), Registry of Society (ROS), Malaysian Institute of Integrity (IIM), Accountants General Office, Auditor General Office, Centre for Risk Management Studies (CRMS-Indonesia), Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance (MICG), Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia and Agensi Inovasi Malaysia.  Many of our research output are used by the partners and stakeholders.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

ARI Research with Impact - Part 1: Governance & Shariah Compliance

One is often reminded to embark on research that produces "good impact".  But what exactly is meant by "Research with Impact"?.  According to the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) which is based in UK, Economic and societal impact is the demonstrable contribution that excellent social and economic research makes to society and the economy, and its benefits to individuals, organisations and/or nations.  Bearing this in mind, the Accounting Research Institute (ARI) is deliberate in making a difference in its research contributions.  In addition to the basic needs to produce good quality academic papers, postgraduate scholars and innovation in the niche research Islamic Financial Criminology, ARI collaborate with its respective stakeholders to create both social and economic impacts. For its 2015-2017 grants cycle, the first research cluster relates to Governance & Shariah Compliance.   There are four main projects under this cluster: (i) Corporate Waqaf, (ii) Islamic Microfinance and Social Enterprise, (iii) Shariah Audit, and (iv) Islamic Economics.
Basically, researchers examine existing products and explore innovative ideas that can sustain and propel the Islamic Finance sector to greater height. One of the research projects that have shown positive impacts to the community is our Islamic Microfinance & Social Enterprise.  We explored existing business model and saw a gap that could retard the sustainability of this business. Traditionally, the business model will involve only two main players: the entrepreneurs themselves and the micro-credit financiers (financial institutions, microfinance agencies, non-profit organisations).  The responsibility to ensure business progress and sustainability lies with the entrepreneurs.  More often than not, they lack exposure, business skills and linkage to the full supply chain, hence resulting in business failure.
 As a result of that, micro-credit entrepreneurs have problems with loan repayment and other multiplier effects.  The Accounting Research Institute (ARI) introduces a more sustainable microfinance model by introducing three additional important elements.  First is the need to get a supplier(s) that can supply raw materials in bulk at relatively low price.  Second, ARI researchers provide training programs - financial management, ethics, integrity, business plan, governance and marketing.  Third, is to find a buyer or group of buyers who can buy the finished products.  By having this complete supply chain mechanisms for the microfinance business model, the entrepreneurs only need to focus on producing high quality products.  Since this is a business arrangement, there will be contractual agreements that must be observed by all parties in the supply chain framework. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

ARI HICoE's Research Niche in Islamic Financial Criminology

When the Accounting Research Institute was accorded the higher institutions' centre of excellence (HICoE) status in 2010 by the Ministry of Higher Education Ministry Malaysia, it was entrusted to drive a niche research area in Islamic Financial Criminology (IFC).  Fundamentally, IFC comprises three basic research areas: (i) research related to developing new or innovating existing Islamic Finance Products; (ii) research to strengthen the governance and integrity of the Islamic finance sector and (iii) research to mitigate financial leakages in organisations, including the Islamic Finance sector. The main aim of the IFC research agenda is to establish a sustainable Islamic Finance sector for Malaysia and possibly globally. In driving the new knowledge corpus in Islamic Financial Criminology, ARI divides its research program into four main clusters: (1) Governance & Shariah Compliance; (2) Corporate Integrity System & Ethics; (3) Anti-Money Laundering & Mitigation; and (4) Methodologies in Financial Fraud Detection & Investigation.  In 2017, we will include another research project - Decision Support System- to integrate all these clusters.