Auditor General Calls for Greater Use of International Accountancy Standards in the Public Sector

Photo: Rudranath Fraser Auditor General, Pamela Monroe Ellis (second left) introduces General Manager of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Country Department, Therese Turner-Jones (second right), to Chairperson of the Caribbean Organisation of Supreme Audit Institution (CAROSAI), Charmain Felter (left), at the 30th anniversary conference launch of CAROSAI at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on April 16. Looking on (at right) is President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC), Anthony Pierre.

Story Highlights

  • Auditor General, Pamela Monroe Ellis, says there is a need for greater use of international accountancy standards in the public sector, which are essential to providing transparency and accountability to the citizenry.
  • The accrual basis of accounting conforms to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) frameworks because it results in a more accurate representation of the financial results and financial position of a business.
  • The Auditor General was speaking to JIS News, following the 30th anniversary conference launch of the Caribbean Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (CAROSAI) at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, on April 16.

Auditor General, Pamela Monroe Ellis, says there is a need for greater use of international accountancy standards in the public sector, which are essential to providing transparency and accountability to the citizenry.

Mrs. Monroe Ellis acknowledged that international accounting standards require the adoption of accrual accounting, rather than cash accounting, which is currently being practised in the central government and some public sector entities.

The accrual basis of accounting conforms to the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) frameworks because it results in a more accurate representation of the financial results and financial position of a business.

“This is where we want to move. It (accrual accounting) is fundamental for informed decision-making,” she said.

The Auditor General was speaking to JIS News, following the 30th anniversary conference launch of the Caribbean Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (CAROSAI) at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, on April 16.

The CAROSAI conference will be held between August 15 and 17, at the same hotel.

The call for change in the accountancy process is being supported by President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC), Anthony Pierre, who believes the time is right for regional dialogue in the management of public funds and reform in public-sector financial management.

As part of the conference launch, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed between ICAC and CAROSAI, to initiate a partnership between both entities.

The MOU is intended to support improved public-sector accountability through collaborative research, the exchange of knowledge and experiences, and the promotion of internationally acceptable standards and best practices in the accountancy profession.

Mrs. Monroe Ellis, who also serves as Secretary General for CAROSAI, said the MOU “provides an opportunity for greater synergies in advocacy through a combination of professional expertise as well as influence”, which will lead to improvements to public financial management and governance.

Meanwhile, General Manager for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Country Department, Therese Turner-Jones, hailed the work being done by those in the accounting profession, describing it as ‘very important”.

The IDB is providing financial and technical support for one of the component activities of the conference, which is the compliance procurement audit programme report-writing workshop.

The workshop, which runs from April 16 to 20, seeks to provide guidance in writing impactful audit reports. It seeks to strengthen the capacity of CAROSAI member countries to be more effective in carrying out procurement audits and to deliver on certain agenda.

Headquartered in Jamaica, CAROSAI, among other things, aims to increase the exchange of knowledge and experiences between member Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) and expand training and continuing education possibilities between SAIs.

JIS Social