The Chartered Institute of
Management Accountants (CIMA) has been commissioned by the World
Bank to lead a project to strengthen the Institute of Cost and
Management Accountants of Bangladesh (ICMAB).
The project is part of a growing “world phenomenon”, according
to CIMA director of employer and strategic development Rick Sturge.
CIMA expects it could provide a model for other World Bank
initiatives with the institute in developing countries.
“This is a real pilot for us, but I think it’s going to become
something that will become more important with the globalisation of
accounting and the traditional geographic borders coming down,
language borders coming down and work being moved all around the
world,” Sturge told TA.
“There is a general requirement around the world to develop more
finely tuned, value-creating skills, really up-skilling accountants
and finance professionals in developing countries. [There is a need
to] improve the overall governance aspects around financial
reporting in different countries, but also to help support the
development of those countries so countries that are creating value
also have the sustainability factor. You need professionals with
the right sort of skill to be able to manage the structure and help
develop the countries as they move forward.”
Sturge expects future development projects with the World Bank to
involve different models in different countries. “You’ve got
countries like Bangladesh, where they’ve got existing bodies like
our client, and the programme there will be to work with them and
develop a roadmap. Other countries where [there are no existing
accounting bodies will involve a] different model altogether, where
you’re going in to create something… and we might need to work with
other bodies to get the all-round skills to create that strength in
the individual country,” he said.
Sturge suggested Central Asia and the Caucuses are regions where
there are likely to be future projects. The project in Bangladesh
involves a team of four CIMA staff assessing the structure of the
ICMAB and the Bangladeshi profession. This includes working with
the ICMAB council and its members to develop a picture of how the
institute operates, how it structures its syllabus and holds exams,
and how it encourages graduates to take up membership. The CIMA
team will prepare a short report and produce a guide for the ICMAB
that will provide advice on how the institute can develop.
One of the reasons Bangladesh has been chosen for the initial
project is its growing economy. Sturge explained it is a big
country with more than 150 million people. “I think seeing what
we’ve seen in terms of inbound investment going to places like
India and Sri Lanka, it’s natural that that part of the world is
going to be taking more in – particularly outsourcing, for
instance. [It’s estimated] the global market for that is going to
be worth something like $1 billion in three years’ time, just in
finance outsourcing alone, of which 70 percent is probably going to
end up in India,” Sturge said.
“Now, at some stage you need to create more pools of talent
elsewhere to soak up that sort of market, so I think if Bangladesh
has the right skill set, companies are going to be interested in
moving work there.”