Passage of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana Bill, 2020, and its subsequent assent by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has been described as the beginning of a new era for the country’s accounting profession.
The coming into effect of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana Act 2020 (Act 1058) automatically repeals Chartered Accountants Act, 1963 (Act 170), which established the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana (ICAG) some 58 years ago.
The new Act has been in the works for the past decade, according to the President of ICAG, Prof. Williams Abayaawien Atuilik, and marks a significant milestone for the ICAG – given that the repealed act had lost its relevance in this modern age.
“It is acknowledged that the study and practice of accountancy has undergone a substantial transformation, largely driven by the application of technology, improved regulatory standards and new auditing requirements for greater transparency and accountability in the application of public financial resources. It is against these developments that the need to put in place the requisite regulatory mechanisms to uphold ethical and professional standards in the profession has become non-negotiable,” he said.
With implementation of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana Act, 2020 (Act 1058) set to begin from now, Prof. Atuilik said plans are in place to undertake a series of engagements with all stakeholders which the act seeks to regulate.
Announcing the development at a press engagement ahead of this year’s annual conference of ICAG in Kumasi, he explained that the Act mandates ICAG to promote the study of accountancy, and regulate the accounting profession as well as the practice of accountancy.
“This is to bring everybody up to speed with respect to the requirements of this Act, and also its implications,” he said. This will include all members of ICAG and “all other constituents the Act touches on”, to arrive at a better understanding of its workings.
Furthermore, the ICAG also announced its adoption of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), working through the Controller and Accountant General and consulting with the Auditor General, and in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and others.
This is aimed at improving the quality of reporting in the public sector, so as to provide relevant information that will help government and all its agencies in taking decisions which will enhance quality-of-service delivery. “This is a very important project because it brings to the fore the need for proper accountability and broader transparency, and very detailed disclosures which make statements meaningful,” he said.
As part of the development, ICAG is set to provide training for over 5,000 accounting staff across the public sector. This includes Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), autonomous institutions and other constitutional bodies. “We are excited to be involved in this, and we are hoping that it will bring a lot of transformation to the financial reporting landscape.”