Liberian comptrollers and senior accountants in the public sector have been urged to report on all public and donor funds when preparing their quarter and annual financial statements.
The call was made by Mr. Cytrian Kamaray, USAID Governance and Economic Management Support Program (USAID GEMS) Deputy Chief of Party on Friday, December 18, 2015 at the closure of a five-day training workshop organized by USAID GEMS in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.
Mr. Kamaray who also served as one of the facilitators during the five-day training workshop, noted that the essence of the training was to improve public sector financial accounting.
According to him, the training included preparing quarterly and annually financial reports as required by the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act of 2009 and at the same time to admonish comptrollers and senior accountants to include other public fund, as well as donor funds in their financial reports.
“What we want them get used to is, to report on all public funds and donor projects; not just the all monies classified to them from the treasuries, but all monies given to them including the donor project monies should all be included in the financial statements,” Kamaray stated.
He added that Cash Basis IPSAS will improve information about entities that uses the General Purpose Financial Statement for accountability purposes and decision-making.
He informed the audience that USAID GEMS in collaborated with the Comptroller and Accountant General’s office has developed a proper and enhanced financial reporting template.
“In the template we brought in the donor financed project because in the past this has not been considered in our financial reporting practices,” Mr. Kamaray asserted.
He said USAID GEMS is working closely with some government ministries, agencies and commissions by providing them with accounting software which would enhance their efficiency.
Mr. Kamaray further noted that most of these entities work with the traditional Microsoft Excel which, according to him, has some limitations. Also speaking during the workshop, Mr. Eugene Versini, representing the office of the Comptroller and Accountant General Department of Liberia, said the training would bring about consistency in the financial reporting in government.
He stressed the need for general purpose financial statement which the training workshop sought to address. Mr. Versini indicated that it was imperative to conduct the training workshop because there has been change in personnel in several government ministries and agencies. He said the need to increase new staffs knowledge on the new accounting systems adopted by the government was important.
He added that the frequent change of personnel either by resignation or dismissal remains a major challenge, thereby making it necessary to periodically conduct such a training workshop.
The five-day workshop brought together about 137 comptrollers and senior accountants from various government ministries, agencies and commissions. Participants were trained to follow the basic ethics of how the Government of Liberia’s approved chart of account and the cash basis of accounting adopted in accordance with the Cash Basis International Public Sector Accounting Standards (Cash Basis IPSAS) in February 2010.-press release