President's Message
Atty. Benedicta Du-Baladad Message from the President:

Benedicta Du-Baladad

To FINEX members and friends,

November 2017 Issue

We are now on the final stretch of 2017. This year has been one of the busiest and exciting for both FINEX and the country.

Earlier this month, our country was once again placed in the limelight as we hosted this year’s ASEAN Summit. The summit provided us to showcase what our country can share to the world and the creativity of the Filipino people. Indeed, the recent hosting of the ASEAN summit placed our country

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2017 Year-Round Corporate Sponsors




US Oversight of Accounting Firms: the Hong Kong & Big Four Experience (Can an Override Be Allowed?)
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By Dr. Conchita L. ManabatBy Dr. Conchita L. Manabat

August 11, 2017

US Oversight of Accounting Firms: the Hong Kong & Big Four Experience (Can an Override Be Allowed?)

Finex Free Enterprise is a rotating column of members of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines appearing every Wednesday & Friday in BusinessMirror, banking & finance Section.

“In the absence of sound oversight, responsible businesses are forced to compete against unscrupulous and underhanded businesses, who are unencumbered by any restrictions on activities that might harm the environment, or take advantage of middle-class families, or threaten to bring down the entire financial system.”

- Barach Obama

On July 25, 2017. Michael Rapoport of the Wall Street Journal Online reported that the US Public Oversight Board (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board or “PCAOB”) sanctioned Crowe Horwath (HK) CPA Ltd. from auditing US traded companies for three years. This translates to the revocation of the accounting firm’s US registration, though it may reapply after the period of restriction.

The sanction was on account of the accounting firm’s refusal to turn over the audit work papers and related documents re audits of un-named Chinese company that PCAOB was investigating. (The oversight of PCAOB on audits of all entities traded on US stock markets extends beyond the US shores.) It was reported that Crowe Horwath admitted to its conduct in settlement with the US government audit regulator.

The report further stated that the sanction is the second that PCAOB took against a Hong Kong audit firm. The Hong Kong accounting firm PKF was barred by PCAOB in January 2016 due to the firm’s refusal to cooperate in PCAOB’s investigation.

The sanctions by PCAOB also covered the “Big Four” accounting firms in the past. Rapoport cited that in 2015, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, KPMG and Ernst & Young paid US $2 million in a settlement with the US Securities & Exchange Commission over their past refusal to hand over required work papers and documents.

One major observation worth citing on the news affecting the accounting profession is the role of the professional accountant in an engagement to express an opinion on the financial statements of a client. One basic principle that the professional accountant observes is the principle of confidentiality.

The Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (developed by the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants) enumerates circumstances where disclosure of confidential information may be appropriate (Section 140.7) –

a. Disclosure is permitted by law and is authorized by the client;

b. Disclosure is required by law; and

c. There is a professional duty or right to disclose, when not prohibited by law.

In the cases mentioned by Rapoport, jurisdictional considerations may have been a factor in the professional accountants’ decisions not to cooperate with the US regulator and possibly, the clients’ wishes.

Close to home, there had been incidents of late involving listed companies that may have references to audited financial reports of publicly listed companies. While it could be a wish to have a Philippine counterpart of PCAOB to protect the interests of the investing public and other third parties, of what relevance would it be if matters may be settled for a consideration?

Dr. Conchita L. Manabat is the President of the Development Center for Finance and a Trustee of the FINEX Development & Research Foundation. A past Chair of the International Association of Financial Executives Institutes (IAFEI), she now serves as the Chairperson of the Advisory Council of the said organization. She is a member of the International Auditing & Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) Consultative Advisory Group (CAG) and the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) CAG. She can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Managing Millenials
Mr. Ronald S. GosecoBy Ronald S. Goseco

December 14, 2017

Managing Millenials

I was recently asked by our principal how different it is to manage today’s millenials as compared to a similar group of individuals twenty years ago. They asked me this since I previously managed auto dealerships twenty years ago with individuals with the same age profile.

Will RP Fit in the Integrated ASEAN Mold?
Zoilo By: Zoilo "Bingo" P. Dejaresco III

December 13, 2017

Will RP Fit in the Integrated ASEAN Mold?

THERE HAVE BEEN REAL TRIUMPHS during the ASEAN Meeting in Manila. Sometimes, Filipinos pinch themselves if these are indeed sustainable?

The ASEAN with 600 million people and with the highest regional GDP growth rate-necessarily- attracts many seller-nations and investors. But with the ASEAN integration- with tariffs down among the ASEAN nations- this would ensure ASEAN should be for ASEANs, first.

Asian economic integration
By Mercedes B. SuleikBy Mercedes B. Suleik

Business Mirror (FINEX Free Enterprise)
December 05, 2017

Asian economic integration

On October 25 the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released a report on Asian Economic Integration and commented on the lessons learned after the Asian financial crisis 20 years ago. It stated that growing trade and investment linkages in Asia and the Pacific have helped to improve the region’s economic resilience to uncertainties in the global economic environment. Asia’s intraregional trade rose in 2016 and acted as a buffer against headwinds from uncertainties in global trade and policy. Subregional trade integration was strongest in East Asia, followed by Southeast Asia and Central Asia.

Flor G. TarrielaBy Flor G. Tarriela

Business World (FINEX Folio)
November 24, 2017


Philippine Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increased by 6.9% in the 3rd quarter but agriculture grew at a slower pace at 2.5% vs 3.0% in 3rd quarter 2016. Still, agriculture showed better growth of 4.6% YTD 2017 vs -1.3% in 2016.

Mr. George S. ChuaBy Mr. George S. Chua

BUSINESS MIRROR (Free Enterprise)
November 22, 2017


A number of months ago, I saw a Bloomberg interview of two young enthusiastic gentlemen who were the co-country directors of this relatively new multinational company called Transportify. As I was listening to the interview of Noel Abelardo and Paulo Bengson, of what Transportify was all about, I thought it was a great idea. The easiest way to explain it is if you have Uber and Grab as an app to transport passengers, you have Transportify to transport goods and packages.

The Importance of Development Finance
Mr. Benel D. LaguaManila Bulletin
MANILA BULLETIN (Business Option)
October 30, 2017

The Importance of Development Finance

Access to finance is always a daunting topic as it addresses two basic issues. Financial exclusion occurs when those denied access have economic and social return on investment better than those with regular access. The second issue is the response to concerns of inequality and the need for better redistribution of wealth.