General News of 2014-05-16

Terkper urges accountants to avoid judgement debt

Mr Seth Terkper, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, on Thursday appealed to the Chartered Institute of Accountants Ghana (ICAG) to reprimand members whose misconduct lead to the payment of judgment debts.

He also urged ICAG to monitor the proceedings of the Public Accounts Committee and the Auditor-General’s report and apply sanctions on members who cause financial loss to the state.

This was contained in a statement read on behalf of Mr. Terkper at the opening of a one day seminar organized by ICAG for its members as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations.

The Finance Minister appealed to the members to avail themselves and their services to various national committees and boards in an expert capacity on ‘pro bono’ basis as some of the committees were in dire need of expert advice in their financial management functions.

He said ICAG should not neglect one of its core functions of regulating the practice of accountancy in the country as that had resulted in the proliferation of mushroom accountancy schools.

The Finance Minister also urged ICAG to pay particular attention to the area of training professionals in public sector accounting through examination, mentoring and capacity-building initiatives.

“Charted Accountants seem not to be doing well in this area of national importance as its energy in the training of accountants appears to have been tilted to favour the private sector at the expense of the public sector,” he said.

He said at the moment the existing syllabus stood to benefit the private sector at the expense of the public sector even though the latter commanded the bulk of the nation’s human resources.

Mr. Terkper called for the review of the Chartered Accountants Act enacted in 1963 as it had been overtaken by events and required review in order to respond to contemporary accountancy practice and regulation.

“The Act we believe should be synchronized with the revision of the Company’s Code to enhance its relevance to nation’s commerce and business,” he added.

He said the accountancy profession had been able to infiltrate nearly every sector of the economy in the past 50 years making significant contribution to national development.

Mr. Terkper called on them to make available to Government a copy of the communique which would be issued at the end of the seminar as it would contribute to the ongoing national debate on restoring the economy.

He said the government had also introduced the District Composite Budgeting System to ensure the prudent management of the public budget at the local government level.

“Professional accountants are encouraged to keep an eye on the composite budget implementation process at their respective districts,” he added.

Mrs. Angela Peasah, President, ICAG, said the Institute had sent representation to the National Economic Forum due to its commitment to national development.

She reiterated the call on members to endeavor not to let their actions lead to the payment of unnecessary judgment debts by the state.