Concord Times (Freetown)

Sierra Leone: U.S.$498,000 Boost for Salone Accountants

Freetown — The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sierra Leone (ICASL) has received a grant of US$498,050 from the Institutional Development Fund (IDF) of the World Bank towards the cost of strengthening the accounting profession in Sierra Leone.

The objective of the proposed World Bank IDF grant is to support the implementation of ICASL's critical reforms programs and also to deepen and further develop the accounting and auditing profession in the country in line with the growing economy, as well as with international best practice.

Speaking during the launch of the maiden chartered accountant's magazine, the new president of ICASL, Dr. Claudius William Tucker, said with the provision of the grant the institute will now be able to introduce wide-ranging reforms and programs that are relevant to the development aspirations of Sierra Leone, adding that some of the intended programs will include immediate adoption of international financial regulations standards for large companies and SMEs, undertaking preparatory work for future international compliance, and establishing a credible and sustainable mechanism to support public practice.

"ICASL will also use the World Bank fund to create a credible investigative and disciplined mechanism for its members and develop information and communication strategies to raise public awareness on the activities of the institute," Tucker explained.

The ICASL president promised to initiate several reforms during his tenure and encourage increase participation of members in the programs of the institute.

He further promised to introduce local variants to the current joint scheme with the ACCA as well as work with other institutes in the sub-region to introduce its own local examination. "I'll ensure the enactment of new laws and regulations to make the monitoring of the profession more robust," he said.

World Bank Country Representative to Sierra Leone, Madam Joyce Agumbaide, noted that the underpinning of the ICASL project was based on a 2006 report on observance of standards and codes for accounting and auditing. She saida well-functioning system operates to strengthen professional behaviour, educate and reinforce best practices and advance the profession.

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