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2nd Saudi-Pak Accountancy Seminar organised in Riyadh

Karachi, March 25, 2013 (PPI-OT): The Second Saudi-Pak Accountancy Seminar was recently organized in Riyadh by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) KSA chapter, operating under the patronage of the Embassy of Pakistan, KSA and with support from Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants (SOCPA).

The seminar at Sheraton was attended by some 180 professionals from accountancy, audit and the finance sector. A large number of Saudi finance professionals also attended including others who had flown in from Dammam, Jeddah and even UAE. The topic of the seminar was “Global Challenges, Local Solutions – Accounting to the rescue”.

Speakers at the seminar included His Excellency Muhammad Naeem Khan, Ambassador of Pakistan to Saudi Arabia, Dr. Ahmad Almeghames, Secretary General of SOCPA, Mr. Ahmed Saeed, President of ICAP and Kashif Rana, CFO for Acwa Power.

President of ICAP KSA chapter, Mr. Amin Qureshi welcomed the participants and in his speech highlighted the achievements of the chapter including holding ICAP exams in Riyadh as well as monthly Continuing Professional Development activities in Riyadh and also in Dammam and Jeddah.

ICAP President, Mr. Ahmed Saeed, who had flown in from Karachi for the seminar, congratulated the ICAP KSA chapter on the scale and relevance of the seminar. He highlighted the importance of the profession of accountancy and how its core values remain sought after in these times. He reiterated the resolve that ICAP has accorded to SOCPA and welcomed initiatives to further that mutual cooperation.

Speaking on the occasion, His Excellency, the Pakistani ambassador expressed his admiration for the successful event and promised continued support. He spoke of the recent visits made at the highest level of leadership in both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan which are expected to take the relationship to a whole new level. He spoke warmly of the brotherly relations and praised the Kingdom as being a key country for the global economy.

Dr. Almeghames, in his speech praised the good ties that SOCPA and ICAP enjoy. He presented on the latest developments within SOCPA on the convergence to IFRS and highlighted that last year the project to converge had received the offical approval from all stakeholders, with H.E. Dr. Taufiq Al Rabiah, Minister of Commerce and Industry in Chair.

He expected the convergence to take approximately 5 years given the complexities still surrounding the Shariah compliance aspects of transactions that IFRS has now started to review. He also announced a breaking news of great pride and privilege of SOCPA nomination as becoming the first from the Muslim world accepted on the IFRS trustees Board.

The key note speaker for the event Mr. Kashif Rana gave an insightful speech on importance of Convergence of IFRS and its practical implications and challenges. He cautioned that it is not a one size fit all approach and with the standards continuously evolving, the practitioners alongwith the regulators need to be nimble and focused.

A very engrossing one hour interactive panel deliberated on the “Impact of Convergence of Saudi Standards to IFRS”. The panel was moderated by Mr. Asher Noor – CFO of AlTouq Group and Mr. Taha Ali Khan – National Operations Controller at AlJomaih Automotives.

The panelists included Mr. Kashif Rana and Dr. Al Meghames alongwith partners of Big 4 audit firms; Mr. Steve Drake from PWC, Mr. Ehsan Makhdoum from Deloitte, Mr. Fahad Al-Toaimi from EY and Mr. Ebrahim Baeshen from KPMG. The consensus was that the convergence, while it may come at a cost requiring developing an eco-system of expertise, manpower and skillset to emerge, also provided an upside in terms of transparency and global recognition.

The Master of Ceremony for the seminar was Mr. Aakif Hasnat from Olayan Group who expertly managed the seminar agenda on stage. The evening culminated with a grand dinner alongwith mementos to speakers as well as lucky prize draws which were ably conducted by Mr. Asif Iqbal – Secretary of ICAP KSA Chapter who also gave the vote of thanks.

For more information, contact:
Muhammad Rafiq
Media Coordinator
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP)
Chartered Accountants Avenue, Clifton
Karachi-75600, Pakistan
Phone: +9221 111-000-422
Fax: +9221 99251626
Cell: 0300 2128185

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