The Liberian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (LICPA) has commenced the administration of its fourth professional accountancy certification examinations in Monrovia.
The professional certification program is aimed at building the capacity of participants. Upon completion, successful candidates will be eligible for admission into the LICPA as Certified Public Accountants or CPA.
The program consists of four levels, each of which consists of four professional subject areas in which candidates are examined. Candidates, who either have an undergraduate degree in Accounting or have completed the technician certification examination program, are exempt from the first two levels of the professional certification program.
The examinations are those of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICAG) which are administered in Liberia under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the LICPA and the ICAG signed in 2010. Candidates, who complete the examinations here, are also eligible for admission into the ICAG as Chartered Accountants (CA).
The Executive Director of LICPA, James Dorbor Jallah, noted that these professional exams are administered simultaneously in Ghana, Liberia, United Kingdom and United States of America twice each year in May and November, respectively.
He said in this round of examinations, 94 candidates registered at Level 3; 65 for Financial Reporting; 62 for Financial Management Strategy; 73 for Cost & Management Accounting, and 60 for Public Sector Accounting, respectively. Additionally, two candidates registered for all four subjects at Level 4.
Speaking to journalists at the examination Hall on Thursday, November 8, 2012, Mr. Jallah said the two level 4 candidates are husband and wife, Mr. Zinnah Sackey and his wife, Mrs. Decontee King Sackey, who is an Assistant Minister at the Ministry of Finance, Revenue Department.
He said Mr. and Mrs. Sackey are the two LICPA candidates, who have successfully cleared level 3 of the exams, since the LICPA commenced the exercise in May last year.
The professional certification program is a component of a much larger capacity development program of the LICPA which aims to increase the pool of qualified professional accountants in the country.
The other component of the capacity development program is the Accounting Technician Certification program which is administered in Liberia under the auspices of the Association of Accountancy Bodies of West Africa (ABWA).
Since the inception of these certification programs in Liberia, considerable progress has been made in expanding the programs and implanting them in the education system here.
Meanwhile, besides its regular evening tutorial classes for working candidates, the LICPA has embarked on collaborating with tertiary institutions through which the syllabus of its two professional accountancy credentialing programs have been integrated in the undergraduate accounting curricula of tertiary institutions.
The Executive Director of LICPA stressed that this way, it is envisaged that accounting students enrolled in participating universities would either qualify as professional accountants by the time they complete their standard undergraduate accounting curricula or be close to such qualification.
This academic innovation is being piloted at Stella Maris Polytechnic (SMP), Cuttington University (CU), and the Adventist University of West Africa (AUWA),starting this academic year with a plan to roll-out to all universities in the country.
Mr Jallah said to help prepare students at participating schools as well as assist working candidates who attend the LICPA's coaching classes, the institution will field a cadre of full time instructors, who are themselves qualified accountants well experienced in preparing candidates for the exams.
This is being done with funding provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Agency's Governance and Economic Management Support (GEMS) program for the Government of Liberia. Mr. Jallah concluded that the LICPA's target is to qualify 50 or more Liberian professional accountants in the next five years or so.