Saturday, 23 June 2012 02:30
By caribarena news
Antigua St John's - Regional accountants must take an interest in public sector financial administration. This is the appeal made by Sir K. Dwight Venner, Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), as he delivered the feature address at the 30th ICAC Caribbean Accountants Conference in Antigua.
According to Sir Dwight, what he has observed in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) is that the level of government financing has become complex but the systems in place and the training of people to manage those systems have fallen way behind; and Antigua is no exception.
“We cannot expect to fix our problem unless we have the requisite trained manpower to do so,” he said, adding that the task is indeed a monumental. He continued that in order for the private sector to be successful, the public sector must be well managed and this in some cases could be done with assistance of private sector professionals.
“We (private financial professionals) have to devote some attention and resources to getting the public sector into shape,” the ECCB Governor said.
He encouraged the gathering of over 400 professionals in the industry from across the region to continue to exemplify a level of transparency and professionalism that adds to the sustenance of both private and public sectors.
The milestone event, held in a packed conference room of the Grand Royal Antigua Resort, was lead by a team of less than a dozen on the ground in Antigua. Among the speakers of the three-day event were Acting Prime Minister Harold Lovell; Mr. Frank Myers, President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Eastern Caribbean; Mrs. Joan Brathwaite, President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean; and Mr. Warren Allen, Deputy President of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).
Minister Lovell acknowledged that accountants are the ones in the “engine room” of corporate society with a significant role to play in the economic recovery and sustainable development of Antigua & Barbuda and the rest of the region.
“Accounting has become part of the central planning policies which are essential to growth and sustainable development. Your conference comes at a time when the region is grappling with the effects of three tiers of economic recovery and financial crisis. We have demonstrated resilience as well as the ability to adjust and adapt accordingly,” Lovell said.
The finance minister reminded the gathering that it is they who have a significant role to play in making sure that adequate data is available to regional governments so that they can effect the changes necessary to combat the challenges of the day.
“With the assistance of accountants, policy makers will be empowered both at the nation and regional levels to systemically collect, analyze and apply data as indicators for informed decision making, effective monitoring and the evaluation of implementation of sustainable development management programs,” Lovell said.
Topics discussed on Friday included: ‘Strategy for the Development of the Accountancy Profession in Caribbean Countries’ by Mozammal Hoque, Senior Financial Management Specialist; ‘The World Bank’ by Svetlana Klimenko, Senior Financial Management Specialist with The World Bank; ‘Regulatory Changes Within the Banking and Financial Sector - Is Enough Being Done’ by Aubyn Hill, Chief Executive Officer of Corporate Strategies Ltd, Jamaica; while ‘Anti-money Laundering and Terrorist Financing - the Changing Role of the Accountant’ was handled through a panel discussion.
Other topics on the conference agenda include: ‘Fraud - the New Schemes, Red Flags and Cost Implications for Caribbean Economies’, and ‘The Auditing profession - Independence, Quality and Reforming the Regulations as Proposed by the European Commission’.
Dr. Gaynor Emily Dick-Forde, Head of Special Projects, UWI Open Campus, Trinidad & Tobago, closed the day’s proceedings with the topic: ‘Deploying the New Ball: Strategic Management Accounting and the Challenges of 21st Century Governance’.
On Saturday June 23, the gathering returns to the Grand Royal Antigua Resort for another day of financial enlightenment and professional development.