A day’s sensitisation seminar, to build the capacity of Chief Directors, on the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) implementation has ended in Accra.
The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), in its bid to establish and promote adherence to high quality professional standard practices in the Public Sector Account Reporting, established the IPSAS Board (IPSASB), to focus on the development of financial reporting standards for use by public sector entities.
Speaking at the forum organised by the Controller and Accountant-General(CAG) ‘s yesterday, the acting CAG, Mr Kwasi Kwaning-Bosompem said IPSAS would ensure the effective usage of the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS), which sought to replace all legal financial management systems at the Ministries, Departments, Agencies (MDAs) and the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
He therefore urged chief directors to ensure the use of the GIFMIS platform for all financial transactions.
He said his outfit existed to provide prudent financial management services to the government and the public, using the most appropriate technology.
“In line with this, the department has undertaken reform programmes such as electronic pay slip and Electronic Salary Payment Voucher to strengthen public financial management,” he added.
He explained that, the IPSASB had developed a comprehensive set of standards to regulate and guide the preparation, presentation and disclosure of general purpose financial statements in the public sector.
While commercial entities across the world adapt to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), Mr Kwaning-Bosompem said governments and public sector entities were gradually adopting IPSAS.
According to him, since 2012, the public accounts of Ghana had been prepared in compliance with the generally accepted accounting principles in accordance with the law, adding that his outfit had in recent years moved to modify accrual basis which was not totally in line with international standards.
This, he said, had invariably affected the country’s Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) ratings.
He therefore described the Ministry of Finance’s approval of the implementation and adoption of IPSAS, which ensures that public accounts were prepared in accrual basis as a relief.
“An enhanced financial information will support decision making across the public sector and also guarantee consistent and comparable financial information across jurisdictions,” he added.
Mr Kwaning-Bosompem revealed that, the accrual basis IPSAS, when implemented, would lead to matching of revenue with expenditure in the period it relates, to give accurate assessment of financial performance of the government.
The vice president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana (ICAG), Dr Williams Tuilik in his presentation mentioned that, the standards, issued by IPSA board were to regulate and guide the preparation, presentation and disclosure of general purpose financial statements.
He disclosed that so far, more than 100 countries across the globe had adopted IPSAS, adding that several African countries were at various stages of implementing IPSAS.
International bodies like the United Nations, African Union and the Organisation of American States, he said, had already adopted IPSAS.
Throwing more light on the benefits of IPSAS, Mr Atuilik said it also amongst others, ensures high level of accountability by accurately recording government performance and status, supports better decision making by using quality information and harmonises accounting reports and statements across nations.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU AND MALISA TETTEH