Engineer Sultan bin Saeed Al-Mansoori, Minister of Economy and Board Chairman of the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA), has said that the UAE attaches great priority to the development of the accountancy as a profession and supporting it within the legal and administrative framework to boost investment environment. The minister made the statement in his opening address to the 5th Forum of Accountancy and Auditing Companies and Offices of member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The statement was read on his behalf by H.E. Abdullah Al-Turifi, SCA Chief Executive Officer at the opening ceremony of the forum, which was organised yesterday in Dubai under the auspices of the Economy Minister. He pointed out that his ministry remains committed to supporting the practising of the profession of accountancy and auditing through the Auditors Department, which has been tasked with implementing Federal Law No. 22 of 1995 and its executive instrument regarding the regulating of auditing, adding that the department oversees the registration of auditors in accordance with the best practices. The minister said his ministry is also collaborating with the SCA to guide accountancy and auditing companies to abide fully to the rules and regulations which seek to boost transparency in the management of public joint stock companies (PJSCs) and to uplift the level of corporate governance in them to ensure they adopt and implement the best international practices, in view of the fact that accountancy remains a major pillar in corporate governance, with its significance clearly acknowledged in the wake of the growing trends in the business sector, particularly the financial sector. "This has necessitated the need to have in place effective corporate governance rules to achieve good governance through transparency, equity and by holding executives of companies accountable, to achieve protection for all investors," he stated. On the regulating of accountancy and auditing profession in accordance with effective legal framework, the minister said his ministry had developed Federal Draft Law No. 22 of 1995 regarding regulating auditors profession with the aim of boosting and developing UAE's economic infrastructure and competitiveness. This, he added, was done by developing the auditing profession in all aspects to enable it contribute effectively in achieving the anticipated transparency and disclosure in all institutions operating in the country. He noted that the transformation in the international concept of accountancy had reflected positively on the profession in GCC countries, which are striving hard to fully acclimatize with the new developments. "That is why it is necessary to hold this kind of interactive meeting, which seeks to evaluate the general situation of this noble profession in the GCC states, deliberate on international experiences and take a cue from them in order to avert risks and challenges that others found themselves in as a result of their wrong practices and lapses in their accountancy practices," he stated. The minister underscored the need to simplify accountancy standards. He said the accountancy profession is undergoing a comprehensive restructuring following the global financial crisis, which led to sharp criticism of some international accounting standards. "Despite the challenges facing the accountancy profession, the GCC region has taken a giant stride forward regarding accounting standards and has made progress in adopting international accounting standards although there are many issues and challenges which we failed to focus on them effectively up to date. These issues and challenges, which had been tabled for discussion during the 4th forum last year, include education, orientation and accreditation of accountants, inadequate resources and lack of legislations and laws which strongly supports the profession," he stated, adding that these and others are what the forum seeks to discuss here to ensure the proper remedy is found for those issues. The minister underscored the need to spread awareness on the significance of accountancy and its role in the development of national economy. He also underscored the need for advanced educational curricula supported by Information Technology and accredited accountancy systems to teach those curricula. He called for redesigning of accountancy curriculum through continuous interaction between teachers of accountancy and professional accountants practicing the profession to ensure the latter always remain abreast with the latest developments in that field.
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