Gambia Institute of Chartered Accountants Trains Members on Financial Reporting, Accounting Techniques 

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By: Kebba AF Touray

The Gambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (GICA) Friday, 24 and Saturday, 25 May 2024 conducted a two-day capacity development training aimed at enhancing the technical capabilities of its members.

The topics discussed include financial reporting techniques and accounting using Google Sheets and Excel spreadsheets.

All professional accountants must undergo 40 hours of continuous program development (CPD) each year to refresh their technical skills and be kept abreast with new developments in the profession.

Gambia Institute of Chartered Accountants was established by an Act of The National Assembly under The Financial Reporting Act 2013 to strengthen Accountancy in The Gambia.

The Council and Secretariat of the Institute organized the landmark event.

Participants were drawn from various public and private institutions including the Central Bank of The Gambia, the Accountant General’s Department, the National Audit Office, Gambia Ports Authority, Gambia Revenue Authority, Gambia International Airlines, National Roads Authority, Gambia College, GAMTEL, Gambia National Petroleum Corporation, National Food Security & Marketing Corporation and Vista Bank (Gambia) Limited.

The objective of GICA is to enhance the accountancy, audit, and commercial skills of its members, as well as promote the interest of the public by further ensuring that high ethical and professional standards are observed at all times. 

In opening the CPD on the first day, the Second Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia, Dr. Paul Mendy, told GICA members that though there are good tools for financial reporting, there is need to support those tools with skills and expertise.

He lamented that Banks in the country are facing difficulties in rotating Auditors due to the shortage of firms specialized in the sector. He called on the profession to produce more professional accountants and to continue the technical enhancement of its members.

Dr. Mendy encouraged GICA members to be fully abreast of highly technical accounting areas such as the IFRS 9 (Financial Instruments) Impairment Model and Basel 2 and 3. 

The financial system, he went on is moving towards digitalization, and accountancy/audit firms should continue to develop their capacity to be able to keep pace with technological developments in the profession as well as the financial services industry.

In his welcoming remarks, Mr. Paul Gaye, the Managing Partner of Nexia Payce Consulting (Chartered Accountants, Registered Auditors & Business Consultants) who is also President of The Gambia Institute of Chartered Accountants, said, “As the regulatory body of the profession, it is our role and responsibility to ensure that we work to assist our members to enhance their technical skills and capabilities”.

One of the ways, he said, is to organize Continuous Development Programs to touch on various aspects of accountancy, audit, and soft skills such as Corporate Governance, Building High-Performance Teams and Influencing Techniques. He reminded members that the profession must respond to the needs of the market and business community.

The factor behind the CPD, he said, is in line with the requirement for every Chartered Accountant to have 40 hours of training annually, and organizing an event of such nature will enable everyone to meet that obligation, particularly the members of ACCA, CIMA, ICAEW, ICAN, ICAG and other Chartered Accountancy bodies.

Mr. Gaye expressed optimism that the CPD will refresh the skills of GICA Members as well as fulfill mandatory professional requirements. He said the CPD will be an ongoing activity throughout the year. He further informed Foroyaa that more topics will be rolled out during the year.

Mr. Matarr Cham, Chairman of the GICA Council CPD Committee told the Participants that with more technical skills being acquired through continuous refresher courses, Accountants will be more productive at work and be of additional value to their employers.

Mr. Lamin Fofana, Chairman of the GICA Membership Committee who delivered the lecture on Day 2 in “Accounting Using Online Google Sheets and Excel Spreadsheets” said the use of modern technology in accountancy has now become a pre-requisite for all Accountants and Auditors. 

Participants also expressed their appreciation and gratitude to the GICA Council for coming up with such a required program, adding that the knowledge gained from the capacity-building event will undoubtedly enhance their efficiency at their various workplaces. The next Gambia Institute of Chartered Accountants CPD will be held in June 2024.

Photo: GICA Members during CPD