ICAG holds forum to identify common platform for financial reporting

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The Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICAG) has held a forum for auditors and accountants within the various regulatory bodies and firms to identify a common platform on financial reporting for professionals.

The forum which brought about 60 auditors and accountants together was meant to discuss the regulatory changes within the financial sector and how that would impact the work of auditors and accountants.

It was also meant to help minimise the errors committed by professionals in the course of their work due to the different platforms professionals usually worked with.

Accountants and auditors from the regulatory bodies and firms present were Bank of Ghana (BoG), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), Insurance Commission and the Audit Service.

Others were the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department, PwC Ghana, Deloitte and Bakertilly.

The forum was used to forge a collaboration among the respective regulators for a uniform understanding of the requirements and directives issued by all other regulatory agencies and how to work for a common goal.

A representative from the Banking Supervision Department of the BoG, Mr Michael Atuobi, exposed participants to the new BoG and SEC reforms on how banks and other financial institutions should operate in the country to help bolster confidence in the financial sector.

They included the fit and proper policy and the governance structure in the financial sector.

The Deputy Director-General of SEC, Mr Paul Ababio, said the financial crises had made the commission strengthen its regulatory roles for finance houses and investment companies operating in the country.

In spite of the challenges, Mr Ababio said there was a functioning capital market, and that the commission was building upon it.

“We have introduced a number of guidelines for private equity and venture capital. We are doing all these to ensure that we have a sound financial market where people can invest their money with confidence,” he said.

In an interview, a participant, Mr K.B. Andah of Bakertilly, said the forum had come at the right time, noting that it would help remove the bottlenecks between auditors and their clients as they prepared financial reports and statements.

“There are usually points of disputes between auditors and regulators. There should be clarity on the roles of each of the stakeholders on what each is supposed to do,” he added.

The Chairman of the Professional Standards and Ethics of the ICAG and member of the council, Mr Michael Asiedu-Antwi, stated that the institute had resolved to have regular meetings with all other regulators for the purposes of transparency and good governance and “to ensure that our members and practitioners are aware and updated with the activities of other regulators in the country”.

“There are usually minimal engagements between auditors and regulators when it comes to financial reporting, and that is what we are trying to bridge.

Mr Asiedu-Antwi added that the ICAG had established a special desk at the institute for complaints to be forwarded to regulators for redress.

Source: Graphic.com.gh

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