Finance Officers from various MDAs in the River State have been urged to key into the unified global accounting, reporting and disclosure standards in the presentation of their financial transactions in line with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).
Speaking at a One-Day Consultative Forum organised by the Office of the Auditor General (AUoG), the State Acting Auditor General, Mr Elias Akasua said the forum was organised to bridge the gap and differences existing amongst state Auditors and Auditees as well as stimulate mutual understanding and respect among stakeholders.
Mr Akazua stressed that the forum would create a good reform environment, autonomy of the office of the auditor, help to modernize audit laws and clear back log of unaudited annual accounts of the State.
He explained that the forum is to sensitize participants on the need to move from cash basis to presentation of reports to Accrual that is the internationally accepted means of presenting financial reports.
Delivering the keynote address titled: An Indebt Theoretical Guide for Application of IPSAS in Preparation of General Purpose Financial Statements for Reporting Entities, Dr Chris Yorkina looked at the road map to the adoption of IPSAS.
He stated that IPSAS require qualitative transparent and comparable information that makes it easy to compare financial information prepared by entities in different parts of the world, it also entails the creation of Assets register for all government assets. He added that the adoption of IPSAS would change the way and manner in which financial statements are prepared, reported or presented.
Dr Yorkina further disclosed that IPSAS Board currently comprises of individuals from: International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development and The World Bank Group.
Speaking on behalf of participants Mrs Oba Comfort said the forum has afforded participants the opportunity of learning how to move from cash basis to accrual, which implies that every transaction is recognized as soon as it is consummated unlike the cash basis where transactions are only recognized when cash transaction is made.
She noted that the training is necessary for every modern accountant in the practice of their profession, she thanked the government for the opportunity and promised that they would utilize the opportunity in the execution of their daily financial transactions.
The Forum was organized as part of the Audit Reform sub-component of the Public Financial Management Reforms of the State Employment and Expenditure for Results (SEEFOR) Project. The objective of the Reform is to review the office of the State Auditor-General, consolidate the state external audit function and capacity building for members of the public accounts committee of the state legislature.
Participants at the forum include Commissioners, Permanent Secretaries, Directors and Finance Officers from various MDAs, representatives from Rivers State House of Assembly Public Accounts Committee amongst others.