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26.05.2004 General News

Scrutinise public accounts - Minister urges Accountants

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Accra, May 26, GNA - Mr Kwadow Baah Wiredu, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports on Wednesday challenged Accountants in the country to boldly scrutinize public accounts and other policies to bring the profession to mainstream governance.

"Sound financial management is fundamental to good governance and as professional Accountants your profession places you in a position to analyse auditing and un-audited reports of public statements which are crucial for the development of a vibrant economy," he said.

Speaking at the opening of a two-day Conference organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICA) on Wednesday, the Education Minister said discussions on issues such as the Public Procurement Bill, the "Cap 30", the national loan and 419 syndicates were crucial subjects, which could bring the profession into mainstream governance. He charged them not to leave the debates on such pertinent national issues to linger in other circles of the nation when they could equally render much inputs and suggestions to their effective resolutions and passage.

Mr Baah-Wiredu urged the ICA and its chartered members to work towards harmonizing the accounting principles and standards as well as take interest in impacting on key legislations that borders on the profession.

On employment, he said it would be unfair for the Institute to leave graduating colleagues on the job market, but rather the ICA must ensure that trainees were assisted in that regard.

The chairman, Mr Kwesi Abeasi, President of Ghana Investment Promotion Council said the inadequate numbers of professional accountants continues to pose great challenges to the efforts to develop the nation on a sustainable manner.

He said numerous forensic audits had indicated that there was a need for increased numbers of professional accountants to ensure that the finances of the various enterprises were properly audited to conform to acceptable accounting standards.

Touching on the theme of the conference, "The Eco and Regional Integration", Mr Abeasi noted that the opportunities for the creation of a single currency in the sub-region especially to trade and investment could not be overemphasized.

A single currency, he said would help businesses in making reliable projections in their international transactions due to a more stable exchange rate regime.

The creation of the currency was vital to ECOWAS' journey towards achieving regional integration, he said.

Mr John Klinogo, President of the ICA praised government and said despite the economy's vulnerability to external shocks and difficulty in making the economy grow at projected rates, it was making tremendous efforts in macro-economic stabilization.

He mentioned the President Special Initiatives, the poverty reduction programme and the achievement of most of the criteria for the introduction of the sub-regional single currency as commendable efforts to turn the economy around.

Mr Klinogo announced that efforts were in progress to deepen the training of the institute's professionals in Information Communication and Technology to make them play more proactive roles in corporate governance as well as influence national policies. 26 May 04