Miss and Mister Universe of the accountancy profession (Part 2)

The winners in the accountancy profession in 2015 can be likened to Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach who was able to accomplish an outstanding milestone when she bested the rest of the universe in winning her crown. As written in last week’s column, there are a lot of Miss/es Universe or Mister/s Universe winners in the accountancy sector who have done much extraordinary achievements in the profession in 2015.

In the accountancy profession, major structural changes were either initiated or completed during 2015.  The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) board examination syllabi and Subjects were overhauled to make these more relevant and to meet the global standards.  The major change here involved the shift to meet the requirements of an outcome-based education; the new focus on effective communication; the reduction in the number of board examination subjects from seven to six;  and the introduction of a new subject called Regulatory Framework for Business Transactions. These changes will take effect on the May 2016 CPA board examination.

The Bachelor of Science in Accountancy (BSA) was also the subject of a major review and recommendation for revision.  The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Board of Accountancy (BOA)  undertook a review of the existing BSA, which was introduced way back in 2007. Finding the need to address the requirements of the current time, industry and profession, important recommendations were formulated. The CHED and BOA
reported the need to have four tracks in the  accountancy education. These four are the existing BSA leading to the qualification for the taking of the CPA board examinations; and three new programs that include the BS Management Accounting,  BS in Accounting Information Systems and  BS in Internal Audit.  The new accounting academic programs are expected to be in place by School Year 2018.

A lot of efforts were extended on these major breakthrough events.  In all of these activities, there are again a sizable number of Mister/s and Miss/es Universe of the accountancy profession doing their share and sharing in the achievements.

Other structural reforms where discussions have started in 2015 are the strengthening of the small and medium practices (SMPs); the upward adjustment of the audit threshold; and amendment of the Accountancy Law of 2004.

With the local and global developments, the SMPs have to strengthen their organization and practices for them to remain competitive and meet the growing demands of the market and the regulators.  Thus, SMPs may need to consider consolidation or merger of practices to cope better in the business environment.  The BOA has been discussing how to help the SMPs in this regard.

The audit threshold in the Tax Code prescribes that enterprises with sales exceeding P600,000 in a year are required to have and independent CPA perform audit work on their business.  The BOA has formulated a solution that will address this impractical and unreasonable audit threshold presently in place.  It has started discussions with the other regulators, including Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), on how this system can be rationalized to benefit all stakeholders, including the small and medium enterprises, as well as the regulators.

Finally, Republic Act 9892, or the Accountancy Law, which defines the practice and regulation of
accountancy in the Philippines, is in dire need of revisions.  This law was passed way back in 2004, and the developments in the past years have made it imperative to amend the accountancy law.  The BOA has been receiving and compiling suggestions from the various stakeholders on the provisions, which can be incorporated in a bill that can be submitted to the next Congress for their consideration. This discussion will go full blast in 2016 to come up with  proposals on the amendments that can be submitted  to the next Congress.

The accomplishments achieved to date in the profession can be attributed to a great extent to the effective communication and interaction between the BOA and all its constituents and stakeholders.  This interaction has been facilitated by the information and communication system that was put in place by the BOA for the accountancy sector.  This includes the creation of the BOA web site (boa.com.ph), Facebook account (Professional Regulatory Board of Accountancy), twitter account (PRC BOA), e-mail account (bo*************@gm***.com) and a notification alert or release on BOA updates that is sent on a regular basis by e-mail to the concerned parties.

Feedback on the various initiatives and issues confronting the profession are also obtained from the three Sectoral Surveys and the CPA Career Tracking Survey that can be accessed and accomplished online by the respondents.  To date, thousands of respondents have taken the survey, which continue to be available for responding in the BOA web site.

The BOA has developed an information-technology (IT) system that will help in the tracking of documents that the regulator handles in the course of its regular work and special projects.  This IT system is also geared to process the many information that the BOA receives and requires to come out with inputs to aid the  BOA in its decision-making and work-management functions.

To assist the BOA in its varied activities, many volunteers have joined the Expanding Horizons bandwagon to contribute their ideas and efforts in the many activities and events in the profession.  A special project team has been organized with the composition coming from the volunteers and the interns of BOA. Plans for the creation of a technical and secretariat office have been done and submitted to the concerned government office for its consideration.

It is also noteworthy to know that in 2015 a total of 7,630 CPAs joined the growing roster of professionals.  These new CPAs passed the three licensure examinations given by the BOA last year.  Feedback from the industry and profession indicates that even this number of new CPAs are inadequate to meet the large market demand for accountants here and abroad.

Despite the limited resources of the BOA, a lot of milestones have been achieved.  Thanks to the contribution of the many unnamed and selfless individuals and organizations, the projects and
activities under the Expanding Horizons initiative of the BOA on behalf of the accountancy profession have been planted and have borne fruits already.  These Mister/s and Miss/es Universe of the accountancy profession are truly deserving of the gratitude and appreciation of the entire profession.

On the part of the BOA, we would like to initiate something to acknowledge the fine efforts of our beloved supporters and contributors.  To the followers of this column, the BOA Facebook and web site, we would like to hear from you as to your choice of the accountant (CPA or otherwise) who has done most in the various accountancy sectors or profession in 2015…our Miss/es and Mister/s Universe winners.

This accountant need not be a luminary but can be one who did extraordinary achievements in 2015 in the various accounting fields of government, commerce and industry, public practice, academe (both for teachers and students)
and international.

This search will be an  unofficial one without any formal board of judges involved, complex criterion and rules, and formal awarding ceremonies.

Instead, it will just involve you, as the social netizens of the accounting Facebook and web site, sharing your choice of the outstanding accountant whom you feel deserve a recognition in the BOA Facebook and web site.

For your choice/s, you can post in the BOA Facebook at Professional Regulatory Board of Accountancy your choice of the outstanding accountant with a photo and short description. Alternatively, you can e-mail the same information to bo*************@gm***.com.

By mid-January 2016, we will post on the BOA Facebook the choices whom we feel are the “most outstanding” accountants based on the feedback from our accounting netizens.

We like to end a very successful and event-filled year for the accountancy profession by extending our warmest appreciation and congratulations for all your efforts leading to a job well done.  May our 2016 be as memorable and uplifting as in the past year, where a great number of accountants joined together for the good of the profession.

Notice: The article was written by Joel L. Tan-Torres, the Chairman of the Board of Accountancy. This is an article from the Debit Credit column published by the Board of Accountancy. Permission was obtained to published this article in this website.

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