ACCA to offer free consultancy services to SMEs

BY: Emmanuel Bruce
Professor Omane Antwi, speaking at the AGM
Professor Omane Antwi, speaking at the AGM

The Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants (ACCA) is to offer free consultancy and advisory services to small and medium enterprises in the country (SMEs).

The free consultancy is to be offered from a speicla desk that the association intends to set up.

President of the Network Panel of ACCA Ghana, Mr Henry Tetteh Djangmah, told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS in Accra that the service, which is expected to start by end of this year, seeks to add value to SMEs by educating them on how to prepare financial results, make investments, and how to ensure proper corporate governance.

It will be made available through the toll free line that will make it possible for people to place calls to the association for free advice, he said.

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He added said the initiative formed part of ACCA’s plans to give back to society.

He said the association currently had elderly members who had free time and would therefore use that free time to share their experiences with the SMEs to improve their businesses.

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“Our services demand money and most SMEs don’t have the money to hire a certified accountant so we are going to offer this services to them for free,” he stated on the sidelines of the association’s annual general meeting in Accra.

“It will now be up to the SMEs to take advantage of the service and to tap into our resources,” he added.

2016 performance

Mr Djangmah said 2016 was a remarkable year for the association as it solved most problems of its members through education and networking.

He said its strategic partnership with the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank also continued in 2016 as they successfully organized three corporate governance programmes in the year.

“The association in collaboration with KPMG also organized a corporate governance training for all our members and also collaborated with the Controller and Accountant General Department to organize a capacity building for their staff on International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS),” he said.

As part of efforts to romp in more student into the accounting field and the association, he said the association organized career workshops in 41 schools which included Universities and Senior High Schools.

He said it also completed the ACCA University of Ghana Resource Centre Project which is expected to be opened in the 2017/2018 financial year.

The resource centre is made up of a conferencing facility, a library, and a computer laboratory.

Move out from comfort zones

The Chairman for the AGM, Professor Boasiako Omane-Antwi, in his keynote address urged accountants to move out from their comfort zones and fully participate in the development of the economy.

He urged accountants to move away from the normal accounting practice which is bookkeeping to accountants that would add value to their institutions through advice.

“We need to do more as accountants. We should think of what we can do as chartered accountants to help in economic development,” he stated.

“When it comes to looking at business, we have the right eye, we are the priesthood of industry and commerce and that is why I want my colleagues to ensure that they will bring to bear their value adding function to their respective institutions,” he added.

He noted that the success of the progress in an economy was influenced by the performance of the accounting systems used at the micro and macro-economic levels.

“Accounting has a role to support the government, which is the main actor of economic development, to make decisions at both macro and micro economic levels,” he said.

He also pointed out that accounting was a technical instrument which could contribute to the effort of achieving some better socio-economic living conditions in the country, stating that “accounting collects, analyses, interprets data and reports them to the final users, being a help in the economic decision making.”