In man’s life, challenges are inevitable. Nevertheless, it is optional that out of these challenges we breed opportunities out or just bow before them. To meet the future challenges of modern business world, our businessmen ought to have proactive mindset. Keeping in view the prerequisites of this modern era, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP), the governing body of Chartered Accountants in Pakistan, organized 7th Annual CFO (Chief Financial Officer) Conference in Lahore and Karachi on March 12 and 14, 2013 respectively.
Aiming at the theme “CFO – Meeting Future challenges”, the conference was graced by a large number of Chartered Accountants (CAs) employed in public practice, business and industry, and the public and private sectors. The conference conferred an opportunity to young CAs to meet and get benefited from a unique blend of thought provoking leaders, innovators, business and economic analysts.
The inaugural session commenced with the recitation of the Holy Quran that was followed by a welcome address by Ahmad Saeed, President ICAP. Addressing the role of a CFO in today’s fast pacing business world Saeed stated, “Indeed, the CFO has to play the most influential role in an organization, particularly at a time when economic uncertainty continues to cause unpredictable demand, capital availability and cash flows.” The address of the president was followed by a welcoming speech by Yacoob Suttar, Vice President – South ICAP. Talking on behalf of the institute Suttar said, “The institute since its establishment enjoys a long history of close association with the international accounting bodies and is an important member of international standard setter body The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). In addition to being an active member of the PAIB IFAC (Professional Accountants in Business – The International Federation of Accountants) committee the institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan also formed ICAP PAIB committee to bring the numerous professional accountants in business and industry closer.” After the formal addresses the conference boosted up with attention grabbing discussions and presentations by keynote speakers including Asad Umar, Former President, Engro Group, Saquib H. Shirazi, Chief Executive Officer, Atlas Honda Limited, Vincent TopHoff, Senior Technical Manager, International Federation of Accountants, Kimihide Ando, Managing Director, Mitsubishi Pakistan and President, OICCI, Muneer Kamal, Chairman Karachi Stock Exchange, Nauman Asif Mian, CFO, Bayt.com and Imran Daudi, Chief Information Officer, Engro Corporation. Discussing about “Financial Leader – Meeting Future Challenges” Asad Umar was of view that in order to meet the demanding challenges of modern business era a CFO should think beyond the maintenance of accounts. He should consider about business not accounts merely. Sharing his critical analysis on economy and its effects on business, Saquib H. Shirazi, CEO, Atlas Honda Limited, added an interesting remark, “Pakistanis are a unique and challenging nation. They work and give their best in worst and stressful working conditions.”
CFO Conference also served couple interesting panel discussions. “CFO as a controller or Business Partner?” and “Is there any expectation gap between auditors and CFOs?” were the questions that were brought to discussion in two different panel sittings. Abdul Aziz, CEO Ufone, Shahid Ahmad Khan, Managing Partner, Grant Thornton Pakistan & Afghanistan, Shahzad Hussain, Partner, A.F. Ferguson, Shabbir Hamza Khandwala, CFO, Mezan Bank Limited, Zia Ijaz, GCO, Allied Bank Limited, Rafi Basheer, Director Finance, Shell Pakistan Limited, Amer Tufail, DMD, Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited, Mohsin Raza, GDF, Kohinoor Maple Leaf Group, Tariq Gulzar, CFO, Warid Telecom, Farid Uddin Ahmed, Partner, KPMG, Taseer Hadi & Co., and Mujahid Eshai, Past President, ICAP chaired the panel discussion and shared their precious views.
After the full day’s prolific discussions and presentations, the conference was concluded with a hope that future CFOs of Pakistan would extend the horizon of their proficiencies from back door accountants to front riders and strategy developers as well.