Professor Dr. Md Salim Uddin
FCA, FCMA, MBA, CPFA(UK), CIFRS(UK), PhD
Networking is very crucial both in business
function and successful career development
Dhaka Press-You proved something different as Professional Accountant. Having outstanding record of accomplishment in teaching, you awarded with a prestigious role as the Chairman of country owned finance organization BHFC. What are the main driving forces or motivations for you for this move?
Dr. Salim: As you know that the present position of Chairmanship of Bangladesh House Building Finance Corporation-BHBFC is not a new for me in the honorary position of Public sector. Before appointed as Chairman of BHBFC, I was the Director of Rupali Bank Ltd, Rupali Investment Ltd, and Chittagong Stock Exchange Ltd-CSE for different term and years. I was also independent Director of Premier Bank Ltd.
From the very beginning probably at the time of graduate study, I strongly believe in (i) “Self Development” and (ii) “If you are not developing yourself, you are not growing”. By keeping these believes in mind and due to session delay in post graduate, I planned to admit ICAB and ICMAB in order to become Chartered Accountant-CA and Cost & Management Accountant-CMA. Accordingly I qualified as CA and CMA and during in course of CA and CMA, I qualified BCS (Education) serving the Government College for very short period because in the meantime, I joined in the department of Accounting, University of Chittagong as Lecturer. After joining University, I discovered that I have a time to contribute part time in the corporate world on part time basis after performing the duties in the University. Last 25 years, I was engaged in one merchant banking organization and two big groups of industries as consultants and adviser where I gathered vast business experiences in different sectors and all most all functionalities of different business which not only enrich my knowledge, experience, skill, competence, foresightness, insightness, abilities, intelligence, internalization, creativity, attitude, objectivity, capability, efficiency but also increase my confidence, belief and trust to a significant level in some cases. Hope you understand the above driving forces but the biggest and fundamental main driving forces which I always nurtured are: (i) academic interest and knowledge; leading to (ii) professional knowledge; (iii) professional practice; (iv) professional engagement and (v) finally professional self-development.
Dhaka Press-Which one of the professional career you enjoyed most? Or If I ask you this way; which are the interesting parts in your both professional life –Teaching & Corporate Leadership.
Dr. Salim: It is very fortunate for me and rear case to work both in education and corporate. In a simple word, both sectors are very interesting and enjoyable to me and both the sectors are working as one of the main sources of great motivations for me because education sector create the interest to apply in the corporate sector and corporate sector motivate and encourage to disseminate knowledge as case study in the education sector which is very true nature in general and very particular in business education.It is not only very interesting but very happiest parts of my life. If you ask me again why it is happiest? In reply, I can give you the some comparative between sectors such as there are two different fields one is academic field and another is practical field. One engage in knowledge developer and another is knowledge user i,e knowledge development and knowledge application are one of the key features. For better understanding I can explained you more my interest and enjoyment by considering my present engagement in academic and corporate in the following manner. Public sector or education sector followsthe Administrative – Bureaucratic Model and Corporate follows the Managerial-ProfessionalModel. Education sector is input orientation and corporate sector is output orientation. Other features are: (i) Accountability for maintenanceand control Vs Accountability for growth andoutcomes; (ii) Relationships based on authorityand jurisdiction Vs Relationships based on expertiseand autonomy; (iii) Rigidity in rules and procedures Vs Flexibility in rules andprocedures ;and (iv) Reward system linked toseniority Vs Reward system linked toperformance.It is interesting for me because of distinguishing characteristics under two models are seen in public or private sectors alsovice versa to some extent which call for professionalism. It is now clear that both sectors are potential and interrelated between professionals’ ongoing development and their engagement in innovative practices at work place. It may conclude that Academic and professional education, with its link to industry, practice, research and innovation, play a crucial role in personal development and economic growth, providing competent and highly qualified professionals who contribute to developing prosperity and sustainability.
Dhaka Press-How CMA as a certification helps you through the career up to now?
Dr. Salim: As you know that for more than 22 years I have been a Certified Professional Accountant registered with three Professional Institutions. These Professional Certifications are not only helping me to success in my career but you know it is a profession where I am proud to work in each day, one that is vibrant, dynamic and full of exciting opportunities. In addition, a professional accountant in Bangladesh earns special social status in exchange for valued and often unique services that support societal objectives. Individuals who hold professional designations are expected to acquire and maintain an established set of competencies, and uphold a commitment to high ideals in support of the greater public good. It is well recognized that Professional Certifications is a quick path to career advancement and success in life. Because Professional certifications signal to an employer that you have proven mastery of a given, industry-recognized topic and can be a faster route to career development than earning an academic degree. The significant benefits and credential of professional accountants’ certification which come from professional education, qualification and practice is a proof of Professionalism. It means to be practical and professional in life. One who hasknowledge, skillsand attitude and uses them is called aprofessional. The attitude which a professional shows is called professionalism.Professionalism is the expertness characteristic of a Professional person. Again, Professionalism is following the rules and regulations and has the courage to change them and finally Professionalism is balancing the personnel and professional life. Therefore from above view point, it is clear that the certification helps a lot for self and career development as because professional accountants’certification shows: (i) professional knowledge, skill, and abilities’ (ii) as a proof of competencies and aptitude; (iii) as increase of confidence and effectiveness; (iv) Professional association; (v)Extensive period of education; (vi)Skill based on theoretical knowledge; (vii)Licensed Practitioners or professional; (viii)Work autonomy; (ix) Code of Professional conduct of ethics; (x) Self-regulation; (xi) Exclusion, monopoly and legal recognition; (xii) High status and rewardsetc,. Still certification is corroborative evidence to the practical field or in practice or the employer to sustain in the work place.
Dhaka Press- How you manage your networking? Is CMA community supports you to continue enrich the networking which helpful for your career?
Dr. Salim: Firstly, I am interested to reply your second part of question: Is CMA community supports you to continue enrich the networking which helpful for your career? My simple answer is yes, definitely. You as member of CMA community and your good office are motivating, encouraging and reminding to reply the interview questions for the publication in the Journal of Cost and Management in order to disseminate my thought about your desired fields which is one of the best example to enrich my networking among the reader i,e to the bigger population. This is great help and supports for me from you and thank you so much to add me in this networking under this category. In this way, CMA community such as our honorable President Mr. Mohammed Salim FCMA and councilors of ICMAB, DBC and CBC invited me so many times as chief guest, special guest, paper presenter, discussants and other capacity etc in the different seminars, CPD, and occasions which are cordial and spontaneous supports and help to continue enrich my networking and also people also recognize meas member of CMA community for which I personally feel proud.
Now first part of the question is about the management of networking. I try my best to maintain network due to perform well in working place and for bringing more success in life. Networking is very crucial both in business function to be done smoothly and successfully and also successful career development. Networking is not easy. That’s why I always remember that “every person I meet is a potential door to a new opportunity both personally or professionally”. Business and career require to network and in today’s marketplace are more active and complex than ever. Networking is a responsibility and it requires active behavior. We must be extremely engaged about what others are saying. It is about how well we integrate other voice and perspectives into conversations which help us to connect with the opportunity and potentially act as an enabler for performing in an efficient way. The more we maintain network with a positive outlook, the more we will learn. And if we are always learning, we are growing and thus developing ourselves. If we are strategic and view networking through an opportunity lens, it can serve as a powerful professional development boot camp experience.
Dhaka Press-Do you think CMA as a profession can play pivotal role in getting Finance & Business Leaders for local & Global companies? What challenges & improvement areas you can suggest?
Dr. Salim: Now a days, in many local and global corporate world professional accountants occupied the top position and of course everyone is working in C-suite to lead the corporate professionally. Because certified Cost and Management Accountants -CMAs are professionals charged with the efficient and effective utilization of financial and non-financial resources. Each member possesses a distinguishing blend of core competencies in accounting, management, and strategy – the three pillars of the profession. Integration across these three dimensions defines the differentiated territory for CMAs as strategic management accounting professionals.The roles and responsibilities that define a CMA are diverse in comparison with other accounting designations, and often highly specific to the context in which the CMA practices. Additionally, CMA career paths vary – some CMAs, for example, move up the corporate ladder to become chief executive officers, while others become specialists.
Regarding challenges for professional accountants, we have been observing everything is changing in the world due to changes in technology, environment, social, economic and political sphere. For replying what challenges and improvement needed for professional accountants, I like to quote from the article on “Future of Accounting Profession: Three Major Changes and Implications for Teaching and Research” published in the IFAC website which are reproduced here to understand the challenges and improvement of accounting profession also. It is recognized in the article that the accounting profession will face significant changes in the next three decades, and professional organizations, their members, and educational institutions should respond. The three changes—evolving smart and digital technology, continued globalization of reporting/disclosure standards, and new forms of regulation—are also major challenges for the profession. Three are highlighted below:
First, accountants will use increasingly sophisticated and smart technologies to enhance their traditional ways of working, and these technologies might even replace the traditional approach. Smart software systems (including cloud computing) will support the trend toward outsourcing services (including more overseas outsourcing), and greater use of social media via smart technology will improve collaboration, disclosure, engagement with stakeholders and broader communities. Social media (including Facebook, Twitter, and Google search) will reveal more data than any corporate assurance report and stakeholders will use tools to interpret “big data”.
Second, continued globalization will create more opportunities and challenges for members of the accounting profession. While globalization encourages the free flow of money from one capital market to another, enhanced overseas outsourcing activities and the transfer of technical and professional skills will simultaneously continue to pose threats to resolving local problems (with different cultural, financial, and tax systems). Accounting firms in the US, EU, and Australia are outsourcing services to India and China for the purpose of cost minimization, which will create a shift in employment within the accounting industry in the West. As globalization has already been negatively impacted by Brexit and Trump’s presidential victory, accounting professionals are likely to see themselves having a role in this transformation.
Third, increased regulation, and the associated disclosure rules, will have the greatest impact on the profession for years to come. For example, increased regulation is imminent because of massive tax avoidance, transfer pricing, and money laundering as exposed via the panama papers. Many professional (tax) accountants will be affected by intergovernmental tax action to limit base erosion and profit-shifting.
Dhaka Press-How the technology will impact our profession and what your advice for our young professionals?
Dr. Salim: Simply it is well recognized in many literatures that the technology infuse profession, professional accountants and professional development. As you know the world has changed in last 30 years, and the rigorous changes specifically technological changes still waiting that will occur in the next 30 years are sure to exceed our expectations. It is also noted that over the last decade, technology has been developing at an exponential rate. It has had a big impact on the way we live our personal lives, and the effect on the ways we work has been even greater. Over the last five years, technology has changed how we manage many different aspects of business operations. In such a context, technology is already changing the accounting industry at an alarming rate and profession and professional accountants need to be adaptable to keep up.
As stated earlier accounting and accounting profession has been transformed by technology over the past decade. The next few years will see a good number of key technologies impact the accounting industry immensely. In other words, the accounting profession is also rapidly transforming partially due to productivity optimization available through newer technologies. Today’s accountant is no longer burdened with task-oriented projects. It is true that professional accountants have always exploited emerging technologies to help them to complete their tasks more accurately, quickly or simply. Therefore, top technologies are helping the shift into accounting automation and creating new roles for accountants.
Again, it is impossible to predict the future with any degree of certainty. By keeping informed about technologies as they evolve, considering new technologies as they emerge, and then assessing their implications for finance and accounting professionals and those they serve and support, professional accountants can be prepared to minimise the burdens and maximise the benefits. In this way the profession can exploit technology and potentially change the scope of what it means to be an accountant. The following technology trends set to impact accounting most.The technology trends are: (i) Artificial Intelligence & Robotics; (ii) Cloud Computing; (iii) Mobile Accounting; (iv) Social Media; (v) Wearable internet; (vi) Data security; (vii) Automation; (viii) Optical character recognition (OCR) tools; (ix) Blockchain technology; (x) Mobility; (xi) Digital service delivery; (xii) Big Data; (xiii) Cyber security; (xiv) Augmented and virtual realityetc,.
From above discussions regarding the technological impact on the accounting and accounting profession, it is advisable that as a professional accountant in today’s world, it is necessary to stay up-to-date with the most recent advances in technologies in order to be competitive and increase productivity. Take the challenge and look further into all the intriguing ways technology has changed the accounting industry. Embracing these changes will prove to be greatly beneficial to profession, professional accountants and professional development.
As you aware, in recent years, globally technology has gifted us ways of making working practices more efficient than ever. From cloud-based accounting software to cryptocurrencies to the promise of making digital, digital economy, digitalized economy and new innovations are shaking up our working practices.
According to research conducted by information provider Thomson Reuters found that accountants are expecting to see the profession radically changed by 2028, with 96% predicting that technology is set to change their role within the next 10 years. Finally it is suggested for young professional that professional accountants will need to embrace the rapid advances in accounting technology if they want to remain relevant in the accounting industry. This includes staying up-to date with technological trends, optimizing and adapting current accounting software to meet the needs of their firm, and being open to accepting and learning advancing technologies.
Dhaka Press-What type of leadership style you follow?
Dr. Salim: Leadership style of course depends on the characteristics, qualities and attitudes of a leader or a person who lead the organization. Numerous researchershave identified a variety of leadership styles based on the number of followers and other features. The most appropriate leadership style depends on the function of the leader, the followers and the situation. As example leaders must be knowledge synthesizers. They must be intelligent to the leadership enterprise. Leaders need to be creative and to be able to create a vision and got others to share the vision and demonstrate a commitment to the vision and the mission it represents. Successful leaders are system thinkers who must also address the needs of complex environment. Again, a successful leader acts as a colleague, a friend, and humanitarian toward everyone in the organization. Considering the above, different leadership styles have been found both in practice and literature which are: (i) Democratic Leadership; (ii) Autocratic Leadership; (iii) Laissez-Faire Leadership; (iv) Strategic Leadership; (v) Transformational Leadership; (vi) Transactional Leadership; (vii) Bureaucratic Leadership; (viii) Servant leadership; (ix) Charismatic leadership; (x) Situational leadership; (xi) The Facilitative Style; (xii) Visionary Leadership; (xiii) Coaching leadership styleetc,.Leaders can carry a mix of the above leadership styles depending on their industry and the obstacles they face. Based on which some of the leadership styles are commonly effective, rarely effective and sometimes effective considering leaders’ attitude and environment.
Now come to the your question i,e which type of leadership style I follow. Considering the above discussion, most of the situation I always try to apply or follow “Trustworthy Leadership”.Trustworthiness can be thought of as the quality of someone being competent and benevolent so that others can safely be in partnership with that person. Biggest reasons are as follows. When your team trusts you as a leader, it increases commitment to team goals. Communication improves, and ideas flow more freely, increasing creativity and productivity. Perhaps most important, in the hands of a trusted leader, employees are more comfortable with change and more willing to embrace a new vision.
Dhaka Press-What do you look for in a subordinate finance team member?
Dr. Salim: always work and try to see a “Positive and Respectful Workplace”for which I encourage every member of the workplace to treat each other with respect, in every interaction. In such a context, I expect from team member (not at all interested to term them as subordinate) to act and perform for encouraging a positive and respectful workplace. Also expect that such actions to be reflected in the Basic Principles for a Positive and Respectful Workplace which should be shared and discussed with all working in the organization.Particularly my desired philosophy, principles, policies and practice are for examples: (i) Focus on the situation, issue, or behavior, not on the person; (ii) Maintain the self-confidence and self-esteem of others; (iii) Maintain good working relationships; (iv) Take initiative to make things better; (v) Lead by example; (vi) Think beyond the momentetc,.
Basically I look for in any member above mentioned principles not much looking others like achieving excellence, add value, meeting targets,intelligence, hard working. But I give more emphasis on sincerity,open mindedness, positive attitude, responsibility etc,.
Dhaka Press-The key to your success?
Dr. Salim: In replying questions from 1 to 8 so many factors have already been pointed out which one can consider as my key to success. But very strongly and spiritually what I believe about my key to success is “the blessings of my parent in general and blessings of my mother in particular”.
Dhaka Press-Message to Youngers who have desire to be a professional like you:
Dr. Salim:In the mean time, hope you easily understand that intentionally I elaborated all the answers and also try to discuss in details as per as possible and practicable. The purpose for such elaboration or detail discussions is to pass messages to the honorable readers. Additionally, an attempt has been taken in replying question to say something for becoming professional leader which are in order:
Firstly, every professional has to remove the decision making difficulties such as:
- Lack of Readiness: Lack of Motivation, General Indecisiveness, Dysfunctional Beliefs ( irrational expectations);
- Lack of Information (about): The process, Self, Occupations, Ways to obtain information; and
- Inconsistent Information: Unreliable Information, Internal Conflicts, External Conflicts.
Secondly, as per Certified Global Management Accountants-CGMA, we, the CMA have to promote the four pillars of our profession which also called a Management Accounting Framework for adding stakeholder value. These are:
• Creating and infusing shared beliefs;• Creating and infusing shared boundaries;
•Facilitating effective decision making;• Enabling organizational change/innovation.
• Formulating and communicating strategy;• Identifying and managing risks;
• Assessing performance;• Analyzing decision alternatives.
• Planning for the future;• Communicating vertically;• Coordinating horizontally;
• Evaluating and rewarding employees.
Continuous Learning and Improvement:
• Enabling individual and organizational learning;• Acquiring process improvement skills;• Streamlining compliance duties;• Partnering to improve operations.
Third, every professional accountant like CMA have to bear in mind the following points as own manifesto:
We Can– Believe in yourselves;
We Should– Commit to work together to make more of adifference to more people;
We Must– Provide services that make a difference and equipYourselves;
We Do– Grow your reputation;
We Prosper– Grow yourself.
It is crystal clear from different evidences that accountants can make a profounddifference. In fact you already are.
At a glance of Dr. Md. Salim Uddin : Dr. Md. Salim Uddin is a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA), Fellow Cost & Management Accountant (FCMA), and Certified Public Finance Accountant (CPFA). As Professional Accountant, he is fellow member of three professional accounting bodies which are: (i) the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh-ICAB (ii) the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh-ICMAB and (iii) The Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy-CIPFA, UK. He obtained his Honours in Commerce and Master in Accounting from the University of Chittagong. He was all through a brilliant student and stood First in the First class of M.Com Final examination. He joined in the department of Accounting of the same University in 1994 as a lecturer and has been promoted to the posts of Assistant Professor and Associate Professor and Professor in 1996, 2002 and 2010 respectively. In 1999 he went to Belgium to study MBA at the University of Brussels and obtained his MBA degree with the grade of distinction. He did his PhD on “Application of International Financial Reporting Standards-IFRS in Bangladesh”.
Before joining the University of Chittagong, he joined the Government College for a very short time after qualifying Bangladesh Civil Service-BCS Examination in 1993. Now he is a faculty member, Professor in the Department of Accounting, University of Chittagong, Chittagong, Bangladesh.
He was an Independent Director of The Chittagong Stock Exchange-CSE appointed by the Government. He was also an Independent Director of Premier Bank Ltd and Director of Rupali Investment Ltd. Lastly, he was a Director of Rupali Bank Ltd- a nationalized commercial bank appointed by the Government. At present, he is Chairman of Bangladesh House Building Finance Corporation-BHBFC and Chairman, Executive Committee of Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd-IBBL.
He has been working as Financial Consultant/Adviser in the different organisations since 1993 and gathered vast experiences in the field of designing accounting system, auditing and assurance practices, project management, project financing through debt and equity, business negotiation and regulatory compliance etc,. Mr. Salim has keen interest in theoretical and applied research. His main areas of interest are International Accounting, IAS/IFRS, Forensic Accounting, Creative Accounting and Capital Market. He has more than sixty research publications at home and abroad in various fields of Accounting and Finance. He also actively participated and presented valuable papers in many national and international seminars, training programs and workshops. He attended an extensive training program on IFRS and ISA during July-August, 2008 in the UK funded by World Bank jointly organized by Ministry of Commerce, Bangladesh and ICAEW, UK.
He worked and completed a project on E-Brokerage in Belgium and gathered experience in negotiating international business and finalising contract. For the above purposes he widely visited USA, UK, Japan, France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Nepal.