Back in 80s, one of the leading multinational banks of the country was encountering a challenge; going by the standards, they had to make a provision for a large amount of bad loan that would eventually put the bank at a loss for that year. Of course, this was not something quite pleasing to the management. Hence, they decided to talk to their auditor, Kazi Kamrul Hoda, the then Senior Partner of Hoda Vasi Chowdhury & Co, for his support in this matter. The top management of the bank brought this to discussion with Mr. Hoda. They had shared their views about how the matter of provision might be ignored and the company could be protected from the loss. It was expected that Mr. Hoda would respond positively to their will and go ahead as they desired. Nonetheless, that was not the case. Keeping his professional integrity and rightfulness intact, Mr. Hoda very politely refused to support their undue request and subtly stated, "I am probably not the right person for your audit. It's better you find someone else." Mr. Hoda did not compromise with his professional ethics even though it may have had cost him losing his client. Initially, this was not seen very optimistically by the bank's management, but later, realising and appreciating the morality and professional integrity of Mr. Hoda, the bank continued to take services from him as an auditor for many years and remembered him for his values.
On 29 January in 1998, we lost a brilliant chartered accountant and a dedicated professional, Mr Hoda, at the age of 66. He did his post-graduation from Oxford University, UK and passed the chartered accountancy course from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales in early sixties. He was a partner of the then A F Ferguson & Co, in the then East Pakistan. That practice was entirely inherited by Hoda Vasi Chowdhury & Co in 1972 in newly emerged Bangladesh. He was the founder member of the Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) in 1972, and became the president of ICAB in 1983. He was actively associated with the renowned business chamber MCCI, SAARC Chamber, Member of the National Pay Commission for two times, Director of Janata Bank, and so on. Business leaders, professionals and bureaucrats were fully aware of the role of this legendary professional and his firm for its ethical and quality practices, specially focusing on providing the professional services to multinational and foreign companies. The number of such big companies at that time was limited with few mentionable globally reputed companies like Grindlays Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, Lever Brothers, Berger Paints, Reckitt & Colman, Fisons, Squibb, Hoechst, James Finlay, Duncan Brothers, Gestetner, Locus, Hotel Intercontinental and some others.
As a direct student of late K K Hoda, and subsequently as Manager and then as his colleague in the CA profession, this scribe was fortunate and privileged enough to be closely associated with him. Our relationship at a certain stage went beyond our professional areas; rather, it went to family, and even in some cases, personal levels. He used to share with me in details many of his experiences in student life, family life and professional life, giving a lot of inputs for thoughts and ideas to follow for a perfect and dignified life. Renowned neurologist late Prof Rashid Uddin Ahmed, another brilliant chartered accountant late Zahir Uddin Ahmed and currently living senior chartered accountant Mr. A Rouf, FCA at Duncan Brothers were also closely associated with him and appropriately witnessed my association and relationship with him.
His dealings with foreigners were unique unlike many Bangladeshis. Normally in Bangladesh, foreigners often get an undue advantage. But he used to treat them very cordially, yet according to their position and status which they held and deserved.
He was a high qualified tax practitioner as witnessed and recognized by many tax officials who had the opportunity to interact him in dealing with tax cases. Even today, many of them warmheartedly remember him. We being the disciples of late KK Hoda undoubtedly feel proud of him.
He used to make donations to needy people, in most of the cases without disclosing his identity. He loved to entertain people formally at home or outside as a regular practice. Further, buying food items from 'kacha bazar' was another hobby he had, and many of those items were distributed to relatives, friends, even professional colleagues. I was fortunate enough to be included on his distribution list on a regular basis.
Unlike many others, he was a person without any greed and money-making attitude. He believed in simple living and high thinking. In his religious practices, he was a strong believer in Islam. He used to visit various mosques by rotation for prayers, specially Jummah, and this scribe had the opportunity to accompany him on many occasions.
Maintaining relations with extended family members and social friends was another remarkable quality he used to possess. Incidentally, the couple had no children, but both of them used to love all the children they knew and treated them affectionately. My daughter Mehreen, in late nineties was about 4 or 5 years old, was blessed enough to respond to his telephone calls and talk to her beloved uncle late K K Hoda for a long time, even sometime for an hour, just for the sake of chitchatting while encouraging her in education, sports, social life, personal liking and disliking, pretending that he was also a child like her. No doubt, this is amazing for a towering personality like him.
He used to recognize openly, at least with me, that he did not believe in publicity, and was not very interested in public speaking. However, he used to encourage many of us, especially me, for public speaking. He was very appreciative about his another close friend -- brilliant chartered accountant late Jamal Uddin Ahmed, his colleague since Ferguson period for his public speaking capacity, particularly as a ready and quick thinker.
It will be unfair if I do not mention his closeness with another renowned chartered accountant late Manzoor Alam, not only involving his firm's practice but also as a very close aide for most of the day time. In fact, late Alam used to play a bridging role between his students and clients apart from playing a vital role in the firm's administration and finance affairs.
A F Nesaruddin is a senior practising chartered accountant and past president of ICAB