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Accountants urged to ensure transparency in management of public purse

BY: Vincent Amenuveve
Dr Abdallah Ali-Nakyea, Director of Ali-Nakyea & Associates
Dr Abdallah Ali-Nakyea, Director of Ali-Nakyea & Associates

A tax and legal accountancy expert, Dr Abdallah Ali-Nakyea, has urged accountants to let their impact be felt in the implementation of government policies to ensure transparency in the management of the public purse.

He said the functions of accountants must not be limited to the disbursement and receipt of funds; they must also “spearhead the country's economic transformational agenda”.

Dr Ali-Nakyea was speaking at this year’s Accountants Week of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICAG) in Accra.

It was on the theme: “Accountancy and accountability: Transforming Africa's economies”.

Reforms

Dr Ali-Nakyea said the success of the government’s financial reforms was hugely dependent on accountants.

He, therefore, asked that they should consider themselves as part of the overall management of finances at their respective workplaces to ensure the success of the government’s economic transformational agenda.

“Accounting has a powerful range of tools which, over the years, have been applied to optimise the economic performance of organisations and institutions to ultimately transform economies,” he added.

According to him, research showed that an increase of 500 accountants per million correlated to an increase of $5,073 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita.

“In short, accountants make significant contributions to their national economies. Indeed, the role of accountants in educating, sensitising and assisting businesses across Africa to understand, appreciate and take advantage of the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in transforming their economies cannot be gainsaid,” he said.

Embrace change

Dr Ali-Nakyea, who is also the Director of Ali-Nakyea and Associates, a firm of tax attorneys, solicitors and consultants in Accra, said accountants must adapt to changes driven by emerging technologies.

“The profession has moved far beyond mere bookkeeping and payroll, and like its partner procurement, it is taking on an increasingly strategic role for forward-thinking businesses.

“While some pundits say accounting has a dim future in the digital world of tomorrow, technologies such as cloud-based data management, process automation and advanced analytics are actually poised to further elevate accountants in new and empowering ways,” he said.

Dr Ali-Nakyea added that events between then and now, including the COVID-19 pandemic, had shown that accountants, like other professionals, needed to worry much more about adaptation than replacement.

“There is no question that digital transformation has radically changed the playing field. Big data have become a rich resource that needs to be tapped to compete effectively. But for businesses ready to leverage the potential of digital tools, this shift is an opportunity, not a threat,” he said.