ICASL awareness on intellectual property for accountants
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL) spoke on
Intellectual Property at a seminar "The accountant's contribution
towards corporate integrity - mitigation of business risks during
audits". The seminar targeted finance professionals and other conscience
keepers in the business community.
Head of Audit of KPMG in Sri Lanka Suren Rajakarier, said that over
the years, risk management and internal controls have steadily grown,
and thus companies have had to step up their investment in this area.
The auditor's primary statutory role is to express an opinion whether
the financial statements are prepared, in all material respects in
accordance with an identified accounting framework and give a 'true and
fair' view. They cannot report on the future viability of a company nor
do they issue a compliance report.
Whilst auditors are not responsible for preventing their clients from
non-compliance with all laws and regulations according to the Sri Lanka
Auditing Standards, auditors do have responsibilities at various stages
of their audits (planning, performance and completion) to assess whether
any non-compliance may result in a material impact on the financial
statement. Thus they make their clients aware that management and those
in charge of governing companies are responsible to prevent
non-compliance with laws and regulations, such as the IPR Act No. 36 of
2003, the Companies Act, Accounting Standards, as well as other
regulations, by implementing good risk management procedures and
internal controls. In respect of Software Piracy, still rampant in our
country as identified by many a corporate company who are at times
fooled by their suppliers into buying i.e. pirated products without
their knowledge, Shalini Ratwatte - Consultant - Business Software
Alliance (BSA) recommendation was to conduct the checks and tools made
available by the relevant software supplier so as to ascertain its
authenticity, and conduct Software Asset Management reviews.
In many parts of the world, the Chartered Accountants also play a
leading role in awareness creation and piracy reduction. Nonetheless, it
always remains the responsibility of management to ensure that the
entity's operations are conducted in accordance with the provisions of
laws and regulations.
Among the many negative consequences of piracy, is the crippling of
local industries because of competition with pirated products, lost tax
revenues and jobs from the lack of a legitimate market, and when it
comes to pirated software, decreased business productivity and security
risks from using unsupported and unwarranted software. As illustrated by
BSA, in broader economic terms, Vietnam has benefited substantially from
a reduction in pirated software which resulted in 11 per cent of all new
jobs created in the IT sector, 6 per cent of new 9 in country IT revenue
and 11 per cent of increased Government tax revenue. (according to the
Economic Impact study done by IDC in 2009).