Dr. Conchita L. Manabat

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Dr. Conchita L. Manabat is the President of the Development Center for Finance and a member of the Consultative Advisory Groups for the International Auditing & Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) and the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA). She founded and retired as CEO of the Deloitte firm in the country that originally carried her name, C.L. Manabat & Co. She was once the Chair of the Board of Accountancy.
Dr. Conchita L. Manabat - FINEX Free Enterprise

On jobs

THE Philippine Statistics Authority reported the unemployment rate in the country in November 2022 at 4.2 percent from 4.5 percent the previous month. It was 6.5 percent the year before. The indicated unemployment rate in November 2022 was the lowest since April 2005. The information is an encouraging one as the country seems to be progressing from the pandemic era. However, it is interesting to know the types of jobs those statistics represent.

Sustainability reporting: Some insights

“Sustainability” terminology may be interpreted or used differently by stakeholders. The term ‘sustainability’ is broadly understood to refer to information related to environmental, social, or governance (ESG) matters (be they related to reporting on investor focused sustainability information material to enterprise value and the effective functioning of global capital markets or multi-stakeholder focused sustainability reporting that captures impacts of a reporting entity on economy, environment and people) and, therefore, is consistent with the public expectations for the work of this board.”

Professional skepticism: Varying views

“Professional skepticism is about asking ourselves ‘how do we know and how can we be so sure?’. It is about asking critical questions. Audit quality is best achieved in an environment where there is both support and challenge from other participants. Auditors also should be challenged by other stakeholders.”

Major aberrations in accounting, a look back

Recently, I received an e-mail from two students in accountancy of a state university down south. They sent me some queries re my opinion on what happened in the Tyco accounting scandal in 2002 as they were completing a paper on this. While obliging, I could not help but recall the major aberrations in the accounting discipline’s practice that hugged the headlines in the first decade of this century and now, being used as case studies in schools.

In pursuit of quality audit

Many may still recall the Enron accounting scandal and how it precipitated the significant changes in the accounting and auditing landscape. As a consequence of the incident that had global impact, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was passed in 2002 in the United States. This paved the way to the creation of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). The PCAOB (the Board) is the independent, quasi-government oversight entity that has the statutory authority over the registration, standard-setting, monitoring and disciplinary actions for public accounting firms that audit public clients. It conducts periodic inspections of audit firms meant to restore and enhance public confidence in the auditing profession.

A time to reflect

“Lent stimulates us to let the Word of God penetrate our life and in this way to know the fundamental truth: Who we are, where we come from, where we must go, what path we must take in life….”Pope Benedict XVI

‘Tis the season for love

conchita-l-manabat-3“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

Poverty: Another view

Dr. Conchita L. Manabat“Honey ants survive in difficult times by depending on certain members of their group known as “honey pots.” They take in so much nectar that they swell up until they resemble little round berries, hardly able to move. When food and water become scarce, these ants act as “social stomachs” and sustain the entire colony by dispensing what they have stored in their own bodies.”

The accountant and the struggle against fraud and corruption

Dr. Conchita L. Manabat“…In uncertain economic times, there is a stronger temptation to defend one’s interest without concern for the common good, without paying much heed to justice and legality. For this reason, everyone, especially those who practice a profession which deals with the proper functioning of a country’s economic life, is asked to play a positive, constructive role in performing their daily work.”

Expectations and realities in audit

Dr. Conchita L. ManabatTHE major financial debacles in the United States in the past brought about significant reforms in the regulation of the accounting/auditing profession. The Enron and World Com incidents, among others, paved the way to Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 that created the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) to oversee the auditing profession. It ended the profession’s framework of self-regulation.

Responding to Noclar and the professional accountant

Dr. Conchita L. ManabatLike any other professions, the accountancy profession has its Code of Ethics as set by the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA). The IESBA (or Ethics Board) is an independent standard-setting board that continuously develops and issues high-quality ethical standards and other pronouncements for professional accountants worldwide.

Brexit, the opportunities it brings and the accountant

Dr. Conchita L. ManabatON June 23 the United Kingdom had a referendum to decide whether it should “Leave” or “Remain” in the European Union (EU). The Leave vote had it at 52 percent to 48 percent. BBC reported it was highest in the UK-wide vote since the 1992 general election with a registered 71.8-percent turnout, representing more than 30 million people. The projected departure of the UK will still leave 27 EU member-states.

Burning issues and bold actions

Dr. Conchita L. Manabat“There are no magic answers, no miraculous methods to overcome the problems we face, just the familiar ones: honest search for understanding, education, organization, action that raises the cost of state violence for its perpetrators or that lays the basis for institutional change—and the kind of commitment that will persist despite the temptations of disillusionment, despite many failures and only limited successes, inspired by the hope of a brighter future.” —Noam Chomsky

A global call to fight corruption

Dr. Conchita L. Manabat“Defeating corruption—and, thus, immeasurably improving the lives of citizens—can only be achieved through reenergized collaboration between, and commitment of, leaders from both the public and private sectors. Both sectors require transparent, consistent and robust anticorruption measures, and effective internal controls that are critical to good governance and holding officials accountable. A greater focus on strong governance and compliance structures will help cultivate self-reporting cultures that empower individuals to do the right thing.” –Olivia F. Kirtley, President, International Federation of Accountants

Emerging trends of external reporting

Dr. Conchita L. ManabatOrganizations are using integrated reporting (IR) to communicate a clear, concise, integrated story that explains how all of their resources are creating value. IR is helping businesses to think holistically about their strategy and plans, make informed decisions and manage key risks to build investor and stakeholder confidence, and improve future performance. It is shaped by a diverse coalition, including business leaders and investors, to drive a global evolution in corporate reporting.

Financial regulatory principles

Dr. Conchita L. Manabat“This clear signal from a broad, nonpartisan group in one of the world’s most important trading centers highlights the urgent need for a more globally consistent approach to regulation…. The current fragmentation is creating a regulatory environment that encourages more risky trading and financing activities in often unregulated domains, and allows for the exploitation of gaps in regulation globally… ”

The changing world of the CFO

Dr. Conchita L. Manabat“The assets needed to be an effective CFO have changed. In a customer centric-economy, intangibles, such as data, brand, talent and innovation, are central to helping businesses succeed. As a study shows, how CFOs embrace and adapt to these is going to be really important in the future.”

Corporate sustainability and leadership

Dr. Conchita L. ManabatAs organizations become infused with value, they are no longer regarded as expendable tools; they develop a concern for self-maintenance. By making a distinctive set of values, the organization acquires a character structure, an identity. Maintaining the organization is no longer simply an instrumental matter of survival but becomes a struggle to preserve a set of unique values. A vital role of leadership is to define and defend these values.” –— Institutions & Organizations / By W. Richard Scott