The 10th of November, this day is observed as International Accounting Day across the world every year to celebrate the deeds of accountants and the impacts of their contribution to smooth operation of businesses. The reason behind choosing this particular date is that the famous "Summa de Arithmetica, Geometria, Proportioni et Proportionalita" which means "Everything About Arithmetic, Geometry and Proportion" in English came out in Venice on the same day in 1494. It was originally the first book on double entry bookkeeping method that created a recorded foundation for any future work or study on business accounting being carried out. The book was authored by Luca Bartolomeo de Pacioli, an Italian mathematician who explained the use of accounting journals and ledgers.
In 1972, Accounting Day was officially celebrated for the first time. Somebody stated that the Accounting Career Day which the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) organised was first celebrated in San Diego the same year with the goal to encourage the young population to choose their careers in accounting. In 1976, organisers invited different other organisations to join the event which was later renamed "Accounting Day". The key purpose of this particular occasion is to uphold the field of accounting as a career path and the means to provide the society with professional services with quality, and for this, accountants are presented with the opportunity to enter public practice, banks, industries, private and government sectors.
People around the world pay their respect to accountants in different professional fields on this occasion. Letters of appreciations and presents are offered to both public and personal accountants along with their families and friends. Employees at accounting firms also receive treats from their bosses, and those who are top performers get special recognition. The same practice can be followed in Bangladesh as the top management and CEOs at different organisations can offer surprise rewards and "Thank-You" notes to high-performing accountants who work with dedication for their organisations.
Being complex, today's business structures require that accountants need to have the ability to overcome the associated pressure and challenges to lay the foundation for a reputable, credible, and competitive position in the market on behalf of the companies they work. For this to happen, their work needs to be of high quality. Following the tendency of most companies to go global, accountants need to be competent enough to handle day-to-day challenges which include but are not limited to improving accountability, transparency, harmonisation, governance, and value creation, all of which contribute to the smooth operations of businesses. This kind of commitment may call for those professionals to work beyond the usual business hours. This day presents an opportunity for us to pay tribute to those hard-working and devoted people.
In Bangladesh, "International Accounting Day-2020" can be celebrated in several ways just like we did previously. Rallies are held by the respected members of the Institute of Cost & Management Accountants of Bangladesh (ICMAB) and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB). People from different professional sectors including banks, universities, NGOs, and other institutions also participate in the rally to observe this special occasion. Following this enthusiasm, the South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA) has already come forward to celebrate the day joining the rest of the world to uphold the significance and value of the contribution of accounting as a profession and the people engaged in it.
Running a firm or an organisation without adopting efficient accounting practice is impossible in today's world. Acknowledging this reality, offices are now trying to automate the process by using software applications through digitisation that are designed to complete a task in just minutes or hours, which would take days if they were attempted manually. It surely is a remarkable achievement, and more optimistically, some of the companies in Bangladesh are ranked among the top companies across the world for their efficient and standard accounting practice as well as revenue generation.
The day can be announced as a holiday for accountants, and some reputable and well-established organisations can arrange seminars where prominent accountants can be invited to share their experiences, insights, and views. Some kind of accounting workshops or learning sessions can also be arranged so that employees can participate and get an opportunity to refine their skills while learning and gaining awareness from experts. Less experienced employees of an organisation can also get familiar with the level of excellence their seniors and more experienced professionals maintain while doing their jobs. Schools and colleges can arrange debates, seminars, and open discussions on accounting to allow students to take part in problem-solving events and learn from the teachers. These practices will go a long way in aiding people in their journey to become resourceful just like the experts in the field. These days, learners are getting aware of accounting as a field of study. More seminars on accounting practices would help new generations of students to become aware of the uses and growing significance of the subject area.
However, a lot of people including our colleagues and friends may still not be aware of the date when International Accounting Day is observed. Using social media or posting on different online media, people engaged in the profession may create awareness of the day among those who are not familiar with it. Even a status on Facebook as simple as "Happy International Accounting Day!" will help a lot and make professionals in this field feel respected, remembered, and appreciated. This would help mobilise their quest for gathering more knowledge on the subject.
Professional accountants working in an organisation can motivate other employees to take steps for innovation and development so that they can contribute to the society. On this day, we can always remember the famous remark made by the "Father of Accounting" Luca Pacioli, "A person should not go to sleep at night until the debits equal the credits". It is simply astonishing to imagine how many nights some of the accountants around us have to go without sleep just to keep our business on track!
Md. Touhidul Alam Khan is Deputy Managing Director of Prime Bank Limited. [email protected]