Accountants asked to be agents for financial reform

Mr. Albert Kan Dapaah,

Mr. Albert Kan Dapaah,

A FORMER chairman of the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, Mr. Albert Kan Dapaah, has asked accountants to be agents of change in the steps being taken to reform Ghana’s financial sector.

He said as professionals, the accountants, especially those in the public sector, had a major role to play in ensuring accountability at their various departments and agencies.

Speaking at a public lecture organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants –Ghana in Accra on Monday, Mr. Kan Dapaah said poor financial governance was the bane of Ghana’s development.

The lecture was to enlighten the accountants and educate them on the nitty-gritty of Ghana’s engagement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and what benefits and disadvantages were in the agreement for the country.

It was on the theme, ‘The IMF bailout: what is it?’ and it brought together accountants both in the public and private sectors in the country.

Mr. Kan Dapaah said accountants should make themselves more relevant in the socio-economic dispensation of the country by engaging in public discourse on how Ghana’s financial kitty could be safeguarded.

“Do not assume that you would not be listened to by the politicians, because if you do so, then they would have their way and manage the money they way they liked.

“You must bring your professional competence on board and your suggestions would be considered,” he said.

In his view, civil society organisations’ fear of attacks from political commentators was unhealthy for Ghana’s development, adding “just speak out as professionals without political twists, and independent-minded people would agree with you for the speedy development of the financial sector”.

“Be bold and tell government where it has gone wrong, and that is how you have to do it as professionals,” he said.

According to him, the over-politicisation of issues was a result of the economic conditions the country found itself, and said the IMF deal with the government, was anticipated.

He said owing to the financial over-runs in the 2012 elections and the subsequent economic indicators, the IMF bailout was the best thing the government could have done, and hoped that it would yield positive results.

Mr. Joe Winful, an economist and one of the resource persons, said the initiatives being undertaken by the government would yield no results if accountants did not adhere to their professional ethics.

He said until the economy was reformed with the help of effective and efficient accounting, Ghana would continue to run to the IMF for assistance, which would be an indictment on the country.

He said indiscipline and corruption in the financial sector was the reason why financial leakages continued to transcend governments, with no solutions in sight.

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