The World Bank in partnership with Central Bank of The Gambia and the Gambia Association of Accountants on Tuesday held a four-day training workshop for stakeholders on supporting International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) implementation through high-quality audit, at the Kairaba Beach Hotel.
The senior staff of the Central Banks, Commercial Banks and External Audit Farms attended the training.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Essa AK Drammeh, the director of Financial Supervision Department, Central Bank of The Gambia, underscored the significance of the workshop, which he said, is part of the efforts of the World Bank and FIRST initiative towards strengthening capacities in accounting and auditing in The Gambia.
He expressed confidence that a strong financial reporting environment will no doubt boost investors' confidence, accelerate economic growth and alleviate poverty.
Drammeh further explained that against the above background, The board of the Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG) in 2011 approved the adoption of IFRS by banks and other financial institutions in The country. "Subsequently, the CBG approached FIRST Initiative through the World Bank to provide technical assistance support for the implementation of IFRS for banks and other financial institutions', he said.
Drammeh said the World Bank recruited a consultant to conduct a diagnostic assessment of the financial sector and the findings indicated capacity constrains across the board.
The consultant, he added, conducted two IFRS training programmes in November 2012 and February 2013, and on a related note, DT Associates in collaboration with the executive Group also organized an IFRS training programme, which was attended by all sectors of the economy.
"The Central bank in February 2013, issued a directive to banks requiring them to adopt IFRS with effect from financial year ending December 2013," he revealed.
The director of Financial Supervision Department, CBG disclosed that, the National Assembly on July 2nd 2013 enacted the Financial Reporting Bill into law. He explained that the law provides legal basis for adoption of IFRS, creation of the Gambia Institute of Charted Accountants (GICA) and the Financial Reporting Oversight Board (FROB).
"We are aware that the implementation of IFRS comes with a number of challenges, but however daunting the challenges maybe, with your dedication and commitment, we will overcome them," Drammewh stated.
For his part, the president of Gambia Association of Accountants Amadou Sanneh, noted that, the training is a welcome development for the accounting profession in The Gambia. He noted that it will help developed the capacity of auditing firms, internal auditors of banks and other participants in the risk based auditing of IFRS financial statement.
In conclusion, he said, the accounting profession is dynamic and the World Bank sponsored training is a most welcomed assistance to the accounting profession in The Gambia.