By Louise Jobe

The Gambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (GICA), inaugurated new members of the Financial Reporting Oversight Board (FROB) on Thursday February 21st 2019, at a local Hotel.

FROB which was established by the financial Reporting Act 2013, is an Agency of Government for the promotion of public confidence in the accounting profession, with particular focus on the audit of reports and financial statements of public accounting and audit firms.

Babucarr Khan, acting vice president of GICA said the institutionalization of yet another important pillar in the development of the accountancy profession on financial reporting, has been the missing piece in the governance structures of the Institute as enshrined under Section 48 of the financial Reporting Act 2013; that globally, the role of accountants and auditors have come under increasing public scrutiny due to the fast changing world of business, technology, markets and structures; that this calls for a response that commensurate to or is even faster, to ensure that they remain at cutting edge, and to provide assurance to stakeholders.

Khan said the Gambia has not been spared; that regrettably, evidences disclosed at the ‘Janneh’ Commission of enquiry on the conduct of both public and private Companies, is troubling to say the least. ‘‘There is an urgent need to review the capacity of the accountancy profession which is characterized by a declining number of students pursuing professional accountancy training and sub-standard auditing. This has impacted confidence in the local audit firms by few of the multi-lateral donor agencies, resulting in the beginning of the importation of external special audit firms, to the detriment of our member firms,’’ he said.

The functions of the FROB is to among other thing supervise the activities of the auditing profession in general; ensure that the activities undertaken by the Institute is conducted in accordance with the standards and other requirements set by the International Federation of Accountants and its various organs; oversee the functioning of the quality assurance review system which may be established to ensure good quality audit; monitor compliance and enforce the corporate governance standards for the public interest issued by the standards committee, and monitor compliance of public interest entities with the provisions of the Act. Khan concluded by seeking Government’s support in funding GICA.

Mambury Njie the Minister of Finance on his part, said GICA is tasked by Government to transform the accounting landscape of both the public and private sectors; that Government through the Ministry of Finance, would strive to achieve this goal through the Financial Reporting Act. He however said the Act is meant as an end, but not an end in itself, and urged all to take GICA seriously and participate fully towards the achievement of its goals.

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