The securities regulator has disclosed the name of 36 Chartered Accountant (CA) firms by whom the financial statements of the listed companies will be audited, officials said.
Listed companies from now on will have to get their financial statements audited by appointing CA firms from 36-member panel formed by the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC).
The regulator formed its Auditors Panel in an effort to ensure more quality auditing by the firms having good reputations, sufficient manpower and foreign affiliation.
"The issuer of listed securities shall get its financial statements audited by any firm of chartered accountants which is in the panel of the commission," said a BSEC directive.
The CA firms included in BSEC Auditors Panel are: A Qasem & Co., A. Wahab & Co., ACNABIN, Ahmad & Akhtar, Ahmed Mashuque & Co., Ahmed Zaker & Co., ARTISAN, Ashraf Uddin & Co., Aziz Halim Khair Choudhury, G. Kibria & Co. and Hoda Vasi Chowdhury & Co.
The other CA firms included in BSEC panel are: Hussain Farhad & Co., Islam Aftab Kamrul and Co., Islam Quazi Shafique & Co., K. M. Alam & Co., K. M. Hasan & Co., Khan Wahab Shafique Rahman & Co., M. J. Abedin & Co., MABS & J Partners, Mahfel Huq & Co., Malek Siddiqui Wali, Masih Muhith Haque & Co., Nurul Faruq Hasan & Co., Octokhan, Pinaki & Co., Rahman Mostafa Alam & Co., Rahman Rahman Huq, S. F. Ahmed & Co., S. K. Barua & Co., Shafiq Basak & Co., Shahadat Rashid & Co., Shiraz Khan Basak & Co., Syful Shamsul Alam & Co., Toha Khan Zaman & Co. and Zoha Zaman Kabir Rashid and Co.
Arif Khan, a BSEC commissioner, said the formation of Auditors Panel is not anything new in Bangladesh as the central bank had already formed similar panel.
"Questions regarding auditing standards maintained in listed companies were raised several times. That's why we have formed the panel comprising CA firms having good reputations to ensure required standards in certifying the financial statements of listed companies," Mr. Khan said.
He said listed companies in other developed countries always get their financial statements audited by the firms having good reputations.
Asked, Khan said their Auditors Panel may be revised time to time on the basis of auditors' performance and criteria.
"In that case other auditors, which are out of our panel, will get the chance to be included in panel by fulfilling required criteria," Khan added.
The 36 CA firms have been selected for the BSEC's panel as per criteria set by the securities regulator.
According to the criteria, an auditor or a partner of the audit firm shall be a qualified chartered accountant, the audit firm shall be a partnership firm of chartered accountants within the meaning of Bangladesh Chartered Accountants Order, 1973 (P.O.2 of 1973) consisting of not less than: (i) two partners, in case of foreign affiliated audit firm; or (ii) four partners, in case of having no foreign affiliation, at least two partners of the audit firm (foreign affiliated or not) shall have the practicing experience in auditing for a minimum period of seven years.
And the audit firm shall have adequate qualified audit staffs, at least eight for each partner.
The president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) Masih Malik Chowdhury welcomed the regulator's initiative stating that BSEC's panel should be revised on periodic basis.
"Any CA firm whatever it has affiliation with any one of world's big fours should be treated as accused if the regulator finds allegations against that firm," Mr. Masih Malik said.
He said before investing in listed securities, foreign investors see whether the companies' financial statements are certified by qualified CA firms.
"I think the regulator is right in forming its auditors' panel in boosting confidence of foreign investors. At the same time, professional chartered accountants should be appointed in the regulatory body to help raise its capacity building," Mr Malik added.