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Training-of-Trainers on IFRS for SMEs underway

May 10, 2011, 2:51 PM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

A three-day workshop for Training-of-Trainers on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which commenced on 9 May, is underway at the Ocean Bay Hotel in Cape Point, Bakau.

Supported by the World Bank through the Gambia Association of Accountants (GAA), the training is conducted under the auspices of the Association of Accountancy Body in West Africa (ABWA) for its Anglophone member bodies.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the chairman of the training programme, Winston Percy Onipede Cole, Snr., Financial Management Specialist at the World Bank, said: "Such collaboration with ABWA as a regional institution is more economical and effective as it strategically targets our intervention in addressing national challenges with financial reporting infrastructure in the sub-region; especially for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)."

A separate event will be planned for Francophone countries, he said, adding: "A harmonized framework for financial reporting that is commonly understood and applied will improve the regional integration efforts of ECOWAS and this is a major theme of the Bank's Africa Regional Integration Assistance Strategy 2008-2011- pillar II: Institutional Cooperation for Economic Integration: focus areas (d) improving regional environments for business, investment and industrial cooperation; (e) developing regional financial markets and related institutions; and (f) developing regional dimensions of initiatives to improve governance and financial management.

Mr Cole said further: "Comprehensive training material developed by the IASC Foundation to support implementation of the IFRS for SMEs will be used over the three-day workshop by Michael Wells (Director, IFRS Education Initiative, IFRS Foundation) and Paul Pacter (IASB member and Chairman of the SME Implementation Group) to deliver presentations covering the various sections of the Standard."

The training aims to enhance the understanding of participants to apply IFRS for SMEs to eligibly base on particular jurisdictions.

"As a Training-of-Trainers event, participants representing their accountancy bodies are required to replicate the training to their members as Continuing Professional Development (CPD) events," he stated.

Speaking on behalf of Hon. Mambury Njie, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Serign Cham, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, said the training was the first step in implementing the Country Action Plan by specifically targeting IFRS for SMEs, "which is relevant for most businesses in The Gambia", and the West African sub-region.

Mr Cham added that between May 16 and 19, 2011 a World Bank mission will carry out discussions with the key stakeholders regarding the development of a new legal framework for accounting and auditing as part of a first initiative project that was launched by the Bank in response to a request from the Gambia government.

"With the objective of the Training-of-Trainers to build a critical mass of trained specialists to train others in the application of the IFRS for SMEs; and to provide a forum for interaction between trainers for the sharing of experience and discussion of common issues related to application of IFRS for SMEs, I wish you all fruitful deliberations," Mr Cham encouraged the participants.