Dr Eric Oduro Osae, Director-General, Internal Audit Agency (IAA), has underscored the crucial role that accountants can play in the development of the country.
He said through joint efforts, accountants could help solve the economic challenges of the nation.
“As accountants, if we put our heads together, we will be able to develop an intervention strategy that can help Ghana be on its feet,” he said.
“Let us prepare our systems, let us prepare ourselves, let us have the assurance that we are the ones that can save this country,” he added.
Dr Osae said this at the 2023 Practice Management Conference organised by the Practice Society, the first wing of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICAG).
This year’s conference, being part of activities to mark ICAG’s 60th anniversary, was on the theme: “Responding to Climate Change and Sustainability through Stewardship and Innovation—The Role of the Auditor”.
The Director-General said there were abundant opportunities in both private and public sectors for accountants.
It was left for accountants to properly position themselves in order to utilise those opportunities, he said.
He said it was rather sad that many times Ghanaian firms were unable to win internationally competitive contracts by government, making those contracts go into the hands of foreigners.
He urged the ICAG to do a capacity gap analysis among all practice firms and interface with central government to establish the causes of such challenge.
He said doing so would enable ICAG develop an intervention measure that could empower local firms to access local resources.
“If you have local firms growing with a good base, they are able to employ a lot of Ghanaians, and it will reduce our unemployment rate, and the multiplier effect is good for our country,” Dr Osae noted.
He called on the Practice Society to develop a mentorship programme for newly qualified accountants to enable them to gain the requisite experience in the practice.
“Have technology champions. Have people within your firms who are techno-savvy who can run with the times, if not, by the time you realise, it would be late,” he added.
The Director-General called on accountants to embrace the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) S1 and S2 which dealt with sustainability and climate change reporting.
He said to fully operationalise the IFRS S1 and S2, there was the need for effective partnership among the ICAG, the Practice Society, the public sector, and other key institutions.
He said ICAG must also assist firms to develop a client-centred roadmap that would support clients to fully adopt, implement, integrate, and comply with the reporting requirements under IFRS S1 and S2.
Dr Osae urged accountants to hold fast to the ethics of the profession in order to be relevant and continually win the trust of the public, particularly in the expression of independent opinion.
“As accountants, we hold the key because of the integrity flag we fly. Take the integrity flag out of the life of an accountant, and we are nobody,” he emphasised.