BY MARGARET I. UNUBUN EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, ABWA. THE ROLE AND CHALLENGES OF A PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANCY ORGANIZATION IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT. PREAMBLE.
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BY MARGARET I. UNUBUN
EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, ABWA.
THE ROLE AND CHALLENGES OF A PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANCY ORGANIZATION IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
I am delighted to be here with you to discuss the role and challenges of a PAO in national development at this august gathering of eminent professional accountants on whose broad shoulders lie the responsibility of steering the ANAN ship. Let me hasten to say that I see this RETREAT as a highly interactive one that seeks to enhance our individual and collective learning curves.
I am therefore enthused by the Retreat Caption of “Good Governance Code for a PAO. Also the essence of the Retreat is embedded in the ANAN mission statement and core values of integrity, probity, honesty and good conscience.
It is a welcome outreach. May I now, congratulate and commend the President and Council of ANAN and all those who have been involved in putting together this very laudable programme. It is a demonstration of the avowed dedication to progress the accountancy profession.
Accountancy Profession being so undisputably dynamic, innovative and still developing, Roles and indeed Challenges of PAOs in national development vary albeit not too significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction if we focus on basic commonalities. However, it is important to remind ourselves on what the definition of a PAO is and or what it represents.
It is essentially a membership body comprising of individual professional accountants, who perform a variety of roles in the accountancy field (including financial & management accounting, auditing & quality assurance, taxation, insolvency, liquidation, consultancy and advisory services, etc) and adhere to high quality standards of practice and acting in the Public Interest thereby promoting good corporate governance and consistently applying global standards.
When the PAO functions properly and fulfils its role in the economy, financial information from members would be of such credible and reliable high quality that enhance public confidence and trust in the quality of the work of the accountants. Both existing and potential investors will be able to make better informed decisions.
This also is a panacea for the development of Capital market which it is given requires credible and reliable financial information to build investor confidence, enhance economic development and increase the attractiveness of a country’s investment climate and thereby encourage inflows of FDIs and general business development.
Businesses continually require high – quality financial information to support business planning, facilitate access to credit, expand operations and enhancing also the propensity for SMEs to thrive and grow. Further high quality financial information in the public sector enhances impact assessment of fiscal and monetary policy decisions, facilitating transparency and accountability in the use of public funds.
It also aids internal management decisions in resource allocation, planning and budgeting, and monitoring. When the PAO has the capacity to facilitate the production of high quality financial information by its members, the donor community and development partners would start to show interest in providing assistance.
The PAO can impact positively on national development where those at the helm of affairs, the governing council remain totally committed and put in place facilities to assist and monitor its members and continually promote professionalism.
These challenges are interrelated and unless adequately addressed could diminish the positive role and impact of a PAO in its jurisdiction and thereby reduce its ability to contribute to economic growth, alleviate the poverty of the citizenry and make wealth creation a mere mirage.
The main question really is where do we as a PAO stand. What is our score card like. Are we poised to face the reality on ground and pursue sustainability initiatives and embrace our corporate and social responsibility and continually raise the professional image of our members. Do we have a system of feedback from members to assess their needs. Is there a concerted effort to balance these needs of our members in the various sectors of the economy?
Can we emphasize the import of consultation, buy –in where necessary, demonstrate high sense of commitment as well as maintain good member relations.
Can we kick start international debates on emerging issues relating to the education, development and assessment of professional accountants.
Can we establish a system of recognizing and rewarding excellent performance.
Can we cooperate with other PAOs and leverage on their experience and strengthen the profession for posterity.
No member should be given the opportunity to say “ what is the PAO doing for him or her”.
What we need is the brightest and the best, active, vibrant and effective.
Thank you for tolerating me and God bless you all.
Margaret I. Unubun