The 27th Graduation and Admission ceremony of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana (ICAG), and the second Graduation and Admission ceremony in the year 2016, has taken place in Accra.
Certificates were awarded to a total of five hundred and thirty-three (533), comprising two hundred and fifty-nine (259) students who have successfully completed the Chartered Accountants (CA) Professional Programme in May, this year; two hundred and eighty-two (282) graduates and members of foreign accountancy bodies who have met the pre- or post-qualification criteria for membership of ICAG; seventy-nine (79) who have successfully completed ICAG’s Post-Chartered Diploma Programme in Forensic Audit and Treasury & Risk Management; and twenty-three (23) who pursued the Accountancy Technician Scheme West Africa Programme.
In an address delivered on her behalf on Saturday, the Guest of Honour and Minister for Education, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyeman, called on ICAG to assist in instilling sanity into the nation’s financial administration by providing inputs into the preparation of national budgets and in the formulation of economic and financial policies.
Prof. Opoku-Agyeman noted that new trends in accountancy practice, such as complex arrangements and transactions, risk management, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), the transnational nature of modern trade and commerce, privatization and legal action, and concerns for the environment and sustainable development, presented tremendous challenges and opportunities to the newly-qualified accountants to make greater contributions to society, more than ever before.
She urged the newly-qualified accountants to place emphasis on professional knowledge, professional skills and professional values, ethics and attitudes, broad enough to enable them adapt to new trends in the accountancy practice.
She stressed the need for accountants to have a working knowledge of more than one international language, preferably French, in order to be able to take up international appointments and assert their influence in the international business environment.
Prof. Opoku-Agyeman also urged the newly-qualified accountants to be conversant with the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), Ghana Integrated Financial Management Systems (GIFMIS) and the Public Financial Management and Income Tax Acts in order to be able to support and facilitate their implementation.
Prof. Joshua Alabi, Vice Chancellor of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) and Guest Speaker, in a speech delivered on his behalf, reiterated the need for Continuous Professional Development so as to be abreast of new trends in the practice of accountancy.
Prof. Alabi urged the newly-qualified accountants to use their qualifications for the good of their families, organizations, communities and the nation as a whole.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Christian Sottie, President, ICAG, urged the graduates and new members of ICAG to embrace transparency and accountability, and uphold the Code of Ethics outlined by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) which included integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality and professional behavior.
Mr Sottie disclosed that ICAG’s collaboration with the Liberian Accountancy Institute had yielded fruitful results as four Liberian nationals had sat and passed the ICAG examinations conducted in Monrovia, the Liberian capital city.
He said ICAG had transformed from a sole regulator of the Accountancy profession in Ghana to strengthening the regulation of audit in the Ghanaian business environment.
He explained that the transformation was a response to a World Bank ROSC Report (2004) which indicated that accounting and auditing practices in Ghana suffered from institutional weaknesses in regulation, compliance and enforcement standards, and rules, and that significant compliance gaps existed in financial statements while the lack of implementation guidelines hindered the application of auditing standards.
Mr Sottie said the Quality Assurance Monitoring (QAM) Department of ICAG had made inroads in its bid to bridge the gaps, especially with regards to auditing standards, so as to enhance good financial reporting by auditing firms.
He disclosed that the QAM Department had successfully registered more than two million firms and conducted assurance and monitoring processes on these firms.
Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)