The International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) have come to stay, and Ghanaian Accountants must embrace and practice them or be left out of the profession, Mr. Eugene Asante Ofosuhene, the Controller and Accountant-General has hinted.
According to him, the International Public Sector Accounting Standards are a global set of standards issued by the IPSAS Board of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) to regulate and guide preparation, presentation and disclosure including recognition and measurement of general-purpose statements in the public sector the world over.
Opening a 2-day sensitisation and educational seminar for Accountants and Finance Officers of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in Accra, the Controller and Accountant-General disclosed that the standards apply to all Public Sector entities other than Government business and State-Owned Enterprises set up for commercial purposes.
He urged Accountants, Finance and Treasury Officers to open up their minds and accept the changes, or there is no way they can practice the accountancy profession from 2023 when Ghana will have become fully compliant with the standards; and so far, over 100 countries across the globe have signed onto it, including 15 African countries.
Welcoming participants to the seminar, Mr. Kwasi Owusu, Deputy Controller and Accountant-General in charge of Financial Management Services and Chairman of the IPSAS Implementation Committee in Ghana, outlined the benefits of IPSAS to include an improvement in transparency by providing a complete view of government business and performance, and ensuring high levels of accountability by accurately recording government performance status.
Other benefits, he observed, are the provision of greater credibility as governments use the same accounting standards globally and guide equitable matching of cost to revenue by depreciation of fixed assets; and this it also leads to more effective monitoring of the existence and value of assets and liabilities.
In a presentation, Dr. Williams Atuliq, Vice-President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana (ICAG) – regulator of the IPSAS implementation in Ghana – told participants that the new standards ensure better decision-making for governments by using quality information as well as harmonising accounting reports and statements across nations.
In its efforts to further strengthen the Public Sector Financial Management reforms, Ghana adopted IPSAS in 2014 but formally launched its implementation in late 2018, and is expected to be fully-compliant in 2023. The implementation is under the Controller and Accountant-General Department’s supervision, with the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana (ICAG) as regulator.