Sep 12, 2012, 10:16 AM
The training, meant to build the capacity of auditors and accountants in improving their standards on international financial reporting, was organised by the World Bank in collaboration with the Gambia Association of Accountants.
In his welcoming address at the opening ceremony of the workshop, the director of the financial supervision department at the Central Bank of The Gambia, Essa A. K. Drammeh, said the workshop was another effort of the World Bank in its first initiative to strengthening capacity in accounting and auditing in The Gambia.
He relayed the appreciation of the Gambian authorities to the World Bank through Mr Rahman for the Bank’s effort at transforming financial reporting in The Gambia.
Saying that a strong financial reporting environment will no doubt boost investor confidence, accelerate economic growth and alleviate poverty, Mr Drammeh further stated that effort being made so far since in 2009 indicates that the authorities subjected the country to a report on standards and codes (ROSC), accounting and auditing (A &A) to assess the strengths and weaknesses of auditing and accounting in The Gambia.
According to him, the shortcomings of financial reporting and auditing included unclear direction on the applicable standards for financial reporting and auditing.
Professional education and training is also not guided by a national qualification programmes. There are also no standards setting arrangements, which contributes to weaknesses in the financial reporting environment.
Based on the findings, the report recommended the development of a country action plan with specific activities to be implemented under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs in collaboration with all stakeholders and support from development partners to strengthen the accountancy profession and build a strong financial reporting infrastructures to enhance corporate financial reporting.
He further outlined that a major activity undertaken in this regard was updating of the statutory framework to ensure that the legislation in place protects the public interest.
Consequently, the financial reporting Bill 2011 was drafted to replace the Accountants Act, 1991. The draft Bill, he said, was validated by stakeholders before forwarding to the lawmakers.
He also stated that the World Bank recruited a consultant to conduct a diagnostic assessment of the financial sector, adding that the findings indicated capacity constraints across the board, from the Central Bank, commercial banks to external audit firms.
The consultant conducted two IFRS training programmes in November 2012 and February 2013.
According to Mr Drammeh the Bank in February 2013 issued a directive to banks requiring them to adopt IFRS with effect from the financial year ending December 2013.
“I am glad to inform the participants that the National Assembly on July 2, 2013 enacted the financial reporting Bill into law,” he disclosed.
The new law, he said, provides legal basis for adoption of IFRS, creation of the Gambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (GICA) and the Financial Reporting Oversight Board (FROB).