any accounting system adopted by Islamic banks should reflect all
Shariah requirements as closely as possible. For example, transactions
conducted on the basis of the Shariah principle of al-Bai Bithaman Ajil
consists of the following steps; the bank buys a house from the
developer and pays cash; next, the bank sells the house at cost, plus a
margin of profit. The accounting entries for these transactions are;
the bank buys a house from the developer and pays cash; Dr. cost of the
house; and Cr. amount in bankers-cheque.
banks - which mobilize deposits on the basis of the interest-free
principle should manage the fund separately. All interest-free deposits
should be used in interest-free or Shariah permitted investments.
the bank sells the house to the customer on a deferred payment basis
the record is -Dr. Bai Bithaman Ajil Financing (cost plus profit) Cr.
Cost of house (cost) and Cr. Unearned profit (profit margin) As shown
in the above example, the debits and credits of the cost of the house
cancel each other out. However to explain the logistics of a
transaction, a set of entries relating to the cost of the house must be
crucial aspect of this transaction is the Shariah principle on the
categorising of assets and liabilities, based on Shariah principles
such as al-Bai Bithaman Ajil., al-Murabahah, and al-Mudarabah, amongst
Requirements for a Dual Accounting System
banks - which mobilize deposits on the basis of the interest-free
principle - should manage the fund separately. All interest-free
deposits should be used in interest-free or Shariah permitted
investments. As such it is imperative that separate accounts are kept
for these funds, and ideally ,a separate accounting entity should be
is no direct Shariah ruling on depreciation, but for the purpose of
providing prudent banking services, BIMB have adopted this standard in
their financial reporting.
the end of the accounting period, separate statements of assets and
liabilities, and profit and loss accounts for each fund t are prepared.
Aggregation of interest-free fund accounts with the conventional
banking operation accounts will only be made in the annual financial
statement. If the interest-free fund is managed and accounted for in
the same account as the funds from conventional banking operations, it
will be very difficult for the banks to manage their investments, as
they need to segregate income derived from employment of the
interest-free deposits from the interest-based deposits. In some cases
it could run the risk of interest-free funds being used for investment
in non-Islamically acceptable assets.
may also be raised as to how the banks will allocate overhead costs; as
the two systems share the premises, equipment, personnel and
facilities. Strictly speaking, all these facilities need to be
segregated, but the issue such as practicality and cost factor should
receive careful consideration. If it is either impossible or
impractical to segregate, allocation on the basis of size of the
operations could be considered. However it would be best that the
management of the banks refer to Shariah experts for guidance.
of Existing Accountancy Standards Some of the current practices and
standards which are directly relevant to Islamic banking include:
i. disclosure of accounting policies,
ii. information to be disclosed in a financial statement,
iii. lease financing,
iv. provisions for potential bad debts.
Disclosure of Accounting Policies
Disclosure of Significant Accounting Policies is an important standard,
introduced by many professional bodies to help in giving a correct
reading of financial statement. The adoption of different standards for
certain accounting issues gives rise to different accounting effects.
standards become even more important when these policies affect the
position of Shariah principles. Some of the areas where accounting
policies usually the areas where accounting policies usually vary are
i. the conversion or translation of foreign currencies including the disposition of exchange gains or losses,
ii. overall valuation policy (such as historical cost, replacement cost etc.),
iii. leasing, hire purchase, installment transaction and related interest or profit,
iv. depreciable assets and depreciation.
v. investment: subsidiary companies, associated companies and other investments.
vi. methods of revenue recognition,
vii. maintenance, repairs and improvements.
survey carried out into the accounting standards of ten Islamic
institutions revealed that in some developing countries where there
were Islamic institutions operating there were no accounting standards
laid down by the accounting bodies. This means that the focus of
financial reporting has been left to the discretion of the management
of financial institutions, with the result that the emphasis given to
disclosure is often minimal.
these findings do not apply to BIMB or other Islamic institutions
operating in Malaysia, as when reporting the results of the bank's
operations and its financial position, the bank has to observe both the
Shariah requirements and the Ninth Schedule of the Companies Act of
1965, which requires the profit and loss operating revenue be disclosed
a long with the basis on which the income is determined. Also,
depreciation must be shown.
focus of financial reporting has been left to the discretion of the
management of financial institutions, with the result that the emphasis
given to disclosure is often minimal.
profit and loss account must show the amount charged for depreciation
in value on fixed assets, goodwill -and other intangible assets-and
investments, but it does not require the method or basis of provision
to be stated. There is no direct Shariah ruling on deprecation, but for
the purpose of providing prudent banking services, BIMB have adopted
this standard in their financial reporting.
it may become clear as to how the depreciation has been charged when a
customer's deposit is accepted on the basis of the Mudharabah principle
and the bank has informed the customer that operational costs can be
deducted from the Mudarabah revenue, to be charged at the
is no Shariah ruling on goodwill either, and as far as the Shariah is
concerned, whatever the banks paid, is the amount recorded.
information - necessary in making a financial statement clear and
understandable - must be disclosed. The general standards to be
observed are given, but in the case of specialised industries such as
banking and insurance, the layout and groupings are allowed to vary
according to the requirement of each industry and Bank Negara.
a result, Islamic banks are allowed to vary the layout and grouping of
their assets, liabilities and profit and loss items according to the
requirements of the Shariah, Companies and Islamic Banking Acts.
Generally, the classification and grouping of information, for the purpose of disclosure requirements are:
i. general items such as the method of allocating provisions
ii. long term assets
iii. current assets
iv. long-term liabilities
v. current liabilities
vi. other liabilities and provisions
vii. shareholders' funds
viii. sales and other operating revenue
x. income from investment etc.
be continued in next month's issue. This paper was originally presented
at the Interest-free Banking/Islamic Financial System Conference
organised by the Centre for Management Technology and held in January
of this year.