Dear readers,

Another quarter in our rear view mirror upto September 2017 passes us and we have an opportunity to look at the ACCA and IMA Global Conditions Survey GECS for the Q2 of 2017. I have tried to tease out from this the MENASA indicators and cross narrated them with reports from IMF and the WB in the commentary “what’s in the atmosphere for CFOs….”

We also have a commentary around the leadership challenges in Sri Lanka from our own ACCA member Suren Rajakarier FCCA, Vice Chair of the MNP in SL. For more around leadership do read the Changing Role of the CFO.

As 21st century accountants we continue to be pushing the technology envelope and we have a piece written in this issue by our own Umar Farooq a finalist working at Pak Arab Fertilizer with a keen interest in harnessing technology. Again you can satisfy your deeper diving demands at ACCA’s technology page.

Lastly we have a honorary guest writer in this issue Ommara Raza Ali who is a consultant with deep knowledge of the microfinance industry. Ommara writes about women’s financial inclusion, an imperative in MENASA where we lag behind in women’s participation in our economies. For more on ACCA and gender visit women in finance.

Thank you once again for contributions and if you want to share your expert views and comments please write to me at

Head of Policy – MENASA
Featured below are brief commentaries on current topics impacting finance professionals in the region:
Leadership Challenges in Sri Lanka 
by Suren Rajakarier FCCA
Leadership challenges are different in a country like Sri Lanka which is undergoing changes in overall governance while also trying to improve respect for laws and regulations and curb bribery and corruption. Finance professionals in leadership positions or in finance lead positions are affected by such changes. 

What’s the atmosphere around the CFO – another look at MENASA economic conditions
by Arif Masud Mirza, FCCA
Looking ahead, the region faces a number of headwinds over the next year. A key drag on growth is likely to come from higher interest rates.

Techno- accountants: a modern accountant’s response to technology
by Mohd Umair 
A traditional accounting and finance profession in general has been positively affected by the advancements of technology where the concepts of Business Process Automation & Outsourcing, Shared Services, Enterprise Resource Planning, Big Data analytics have been introduced.

Inefficiencies failing the tax apparatus in Pakistan            
by Omer Zaheer Meer FCCA
The evident lack of trust of the taxpayers on the system and the resulting regressive taxation policies are a big hindrance in the attainment of an optimal taxation system. 

Microfinance in Pakistan: a need for inclusion of women
by Ommara Raza Ali
There is a need to establish frameworks that can help women gain credibility to obtain loans on their own. This can include financial education, creating strong backward and forward linkages for women led/run businesses and associations within the industry. 

  Look out for our next commentary in the next quarter...
Disclaimer: The content of this periodical does not reflect the official opinion of the ACCA. Responsibility for the information and views expressed lies entirely with the contributor(s).
Editorial Board
Malik Mirza FCCA
Omer Zaheer Meer FCCA