ICAG to improve financial literacy — Sena Dake
THE Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana (ICAG) is implementing an initiative to improve financial literacy, as well as support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with free accounting services.
The President of ICAG, Sena Dake, said ICAG was working in collaboration with its districts societies, the associations of chartered accountants in various districts, to educate businesses in the informal sector such as artisans, market women and SMEs on basic accounting practices to help improve their businesses.
Ms Dake was speaking at a media engagement as part of the year-long 60th anniversary celebrations of ICAG.
As part of the initiative, she said ICAG would also extend the financial literacy education to the media to enable journalists to become more informed about financial matters to help improve their reportage on the sector.
“We are also looking at providing the financial literacy education to Parliamentarians to help build their capacities especially when it comes to making laws relating to finance,” she said.
She said the accountancy regulatory body was further working with the districts societies and accounting firms to provide free basic accounting services to some SMEs and businesses in the informal sector to help them effectively manage their finances for sustainable growth.
“These free services seek to help the informal sector file their returns, book keeping and overall financial awareness to help them expand their businesses. We are therefore encouraging our 23 district societies to continue with the pro bono work, while we also engage with other partners to sustain the initiative,” she added.
ICAG which was set up by an Act of Parliament in 1963 regulates accounting professionals and firms, provides certification for chartered accountants, as well as set standards for the accounting practice.
The 60th anniversary celebrations is on the theme: “Promoting sustainability, deepening trust, nurturing partnerships.”
In line with the theme, Ms Dake said ICAG had made sustainability a hallmark of the accountancy profession with emphasis on standards that take into consideration environmental and societal well-being.
“In an era defined by concerns for the environment and social responsibility, ICAG has taken a proactive step by embracing accounting standards that emphasise sustainability. We are integrating these standards into our practices.”
We have set up a steering committee on sustainability reporting. We will ensure that financial reporting goes beyond mere numbers, becomes a means to communicate the environmental and social impact of organisations,” she said.
The President, ICAG, explained that the regulatory body was contributing positively to public financial management in line with its new mandate under the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana, 2020 (Act 1058).
As part of its new mandate, Ms Dake said ICAG had already submitted four discussions papers to the government between December last year and May this year on the debt restructuring programme.
“The institute is geared to play the key roles enshrined in the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana Act, 2020 (Act 1058) which include making significant contributions for a sound, stable and solid public financial management system and sustainable economic development,” she added.
For his part, the Chief Executive Officer of ICAG, Paul Kwasi Agyemang, said per Act 1058, ICAG was mandated to regulate every aspect of the accountancy practice, even those not done by chartered accountants.
In view of the new mandate, he said the regulatory body had put in place guidelines based on international standards to improve practice of accountancy, and would therefore not hesitate to discipline any accountant or firm that failed to practice in accordance with the guidelines and standards.