The Liberian Institute of Certified Public Accountants or LICPA has inaugurated its newly elected official. Addressing the occasion in Monrovia, the Country Manager of World Bank- Liberia, Inguna Dobraja, said LICPA’s contribution will remain indelible in the developmental journey of the Liberian accountancy profession.
Dobraja indicated that although the Institute has made commendable progress over the past four years, the new leadership still has a daunting task to train more qualified accountants to meet the growing needs to strengthen accounting, auditing and financial reporting in the public and private sectors of the economy.
‘’ I would like to congratulate LICPA on the successful leadership transition. It is indeed a privilege to be part of this festive occasion, and I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the new corps of executives led by Mr. Arthur Fumbah.
I also want to commend the immediate past President, Mr. Nim’ne Monbo and the outgoing executive members of the LICPA for the notable achievements made during their tenure,” he said, noting that coming out of the civil war, Liberia was faced with weak audit and financial reporting and regulation regime, as well as inadequate avenues for professional training of accountants. “For example, LICPA had just about 20 members even in 2012.
As the nation transitions from ‘post-conflict’ to rebuilding the foundations for economic growth and long term development, the need to have a strong national professional body like LICPA cannot be over-emphasized. A vibrant LICPA is indispensable for the rebuilding of Liberia’s institutional and regulatory infrastructure for auditing and financial reporting, “ the World Bank-Liberia Country Manager averred.
He said the World Bank was pleased to have been in partnership with the Government of Liberia and the leadership of the LICPA in identifying this need and working jointly to chart a new path for the Institute in the developmental process.
“Pursuing this path was challenging for the Institute and World Bank, considering limited resources and lack of full time staff at the LICPA. In spite of the challenges, LICPA has demonstrated a strong commitment to pursue this path of reforms, essential in making it a viable, relevant and enviable public accounting organization (PAO) in the sub-region,” he said, further disclosing that the World Bank did not relent, but provided technical and financial support to LICPA (between 2011 -2014).
The Bank’s assistance has led to the following results; Institutional transformation of LICPA through the preparation of a strategic development action plan (DAP) with policy recommendations, including a governance and management structure that meets the requirements of international best practice; Implementation of International Accounting and Auditing Standards and training through the provision of technical assistance for the dissemination of and training the trainers on the said standards, with an aim of developing a pool of competent technicians and professionals; Professionalization of the accountancy profession through the provision of technical assistance for the implementation and upgrade of the ABWA’s Accounting Technicians Scheme in West Africa (ATSWA) examination to a full professional examination, including the development of training materials, training of tutors; and The development of a Public Financial Management (PFM) professional accreditation scheme as a variant of the professional examination, including short-term training for a number of adjunct lecturers of the University of Liberia,” he added.
He said with support from the World Bank, the collective efforts have yielded so much for the LICPA and the accountancy profession in Liberia, expressing the belief that this is part of the reason why ceremony was being held.
According to him, a sound governance structure that allows for smooth transitioning from one leadership to another was in place, while the membership of the Institute has grown from just 20 in 2012 to now 58 in 2015, and more candidates were enrolling in its qualifying professional examinations. “For the first time, full professional accountancy exams are offered in Liberia through a memorandum of understanding with the ICAG. This is in addition to the ATSWA exams; the Institute under the twinning arrangement with ICAG, has been able to develop a capacity strengthening strategy, and delivered for the LICPA members a capacity-building training on International Standards on Auditing (ISA).
Appropriate manuals for the continuous professional development (CPD) program were also developed for the members in Liberia which now has a modern financial reporting standard, consistent with the International Financial Reporting Standards,” he told his audience.
According to him, LICPA was also representing West Africa on the board of the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA). -Edited by George Barpeen