The Government of Liberia through the Office of the Comptroller and Accountant General of the Republic of Liberia, with support from the African Development Bank (AFDB), has conducted a three-day workshop aimed at improving the preparation of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) compliant financial reporting for all spending entities.
In Grand Bassa County, 67 participants including Comptrollers and Accountants from across spending entities were given the opportunity to learn and have hands-on training in the preparation of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) financial reports from July 13 thru 15, under the theme “Enhancing Transparency Through financial reporting.”
Additionally, the purpose of the three-day workshop was to prescribe and guide the accounting treatment for all of government’s financial transactions in consonance with IPSAS.
The Comptroller and Accountant General of Liberia, Janga A. Kowo, said that the training was meant to sharpen the skills of accountants and comptrollers across spending entities on the IPSAS reporting system.
“As comptrollers and accountants,” he added, “we have noticed over the years that there have been series of challenges in putting together financial reports for the government, [hence] the need for us to make sure to capture all issues and concepts of the IPSAS reporting system that will enhance timely reporting of government transactions requisite capacity.”
Kowo said the training was necessary, given his office’s responsibility to ensure that all ministries and agencies of government are in compliance as relates standardized reporting in conformity with IPSAS and resolving or mitigating the existing concerns raised by the General Auditing Commission (GAC) and the Internal Monetary Fund Mission (IMF).
He further said that it was expected that at the end of the workshop, comptrollers and financial officers would have understood what IPSAS is and why it was was adopted by the Government of Liberia, as well as to enable them to adequately compile and analyze quarterly and annual financial data of their respective entities. Participants were also expected to be able to prepare IPSAS compliant financial statements, understand the legal implications for not preparing and submitting quarterly and annual financial statements as required by the Public Financial Management (PFM) Act and its accompanied regulations; and lastly use the knowledge acquired to build the capacities of other staff within their entities.
Deputy Auditor General of the General Auditing Commission (GAC), Winsley S. Nanka, lauded the MFDP, specifically the Comptroller and Accountant General’s Office, for such initiative and urged comptrollers and accountants from across spending entities to utilize the three days hands-on training.
“For us to do financial reporting in the right way, it is very important for us to pay attention and ask questions that are necessary because at the end of the three days we will go back with the new knowledge that will change our reporting system,” he told the trainees, encouraging them.
It can be recalled that the Government of Liberia began to implement a wide range of Public Financial Management Reforms in 2006 with the aim of improving the effectiveness of the budget process through better preparation, execution, reporting, and auditing.
A key component of that reform agenda was the adoption of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) to prescribe and guide the accounting treatment of all government financial transactions.
The three-day workshop was attended by comptrollers and accountants from Liberia Airport Authority, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labor, Center for National Documents Records and Archives, National Commission on Higher Education, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Public Works, among others.