Govt plans migration to new accounting model
ANAN, dons back policy implementation drive
The Federal Government may have concluded plans to migrate to the accrual accounting model of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) by January, going by indications from the Federal Ministry of Finance.
Under the accrual basis of accounting, expenses will be matched with the related revenues and/or reported when the expense occurs, not when the cash is paid.
The move, according to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, was scripted to enthrone a regime of transparency, accountability, probity and informed decision making in public finance management.
Adeosun explained that the adoption has become urgent and imperative, given the administration’s commitment to the global best practice in public sector financial reporting system.
The Minister, in a message at a one-day workshop held last week in Abuja, on “Making Change Happen in the Public Sector”, jointly organised by the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN), International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) and the Office of the Accountant- General of the Federation (OAGF), noted that IPSAS would enable the government to reap the benefits of transparency and accountability.
Represented by the Director of Revenue and Investment, OAGF, Omoniyi Fagbemi, she said that to ensure the success of IPSAS, discussions must unravel solutions to capacity gaps, Iinformation Technology infrastructure, inventory and valuation of assets, among other things germane to effective implementation.
Adeosun commended the initiative of the organisers of the workshop designed to enhance ongoing national efforts to entrench transparency, prudence and accountability in governance.
“Government has intensified efforts at introducing and strengthening reforms in Public Financial Management. This can be seen in the implementation of Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS); the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS); the Treasury Single Account (TSA); and the international Public Sector Accounting standards (IPSAS),” the minister said.
ANAN President, Anthony Nzom, said the association would support the Federal Government in its crusade of ‘Change’, as people resist change out of ignorance and stick to the old order.
“We know that this country is endowed with human and material resources. ANAN would not be claiming one of the foremost in Africa and in public sector without playing important roles in the change,’’ he said.
Prof Stephen Ocheni of Kogi State University, who spoke on Treasury Single Account (TSA), said the initiative was designed to achieve a consolidated view of government’s accounts at any particular point in time.
Ocheni said the TSA was also meant to undertake optimum utilisation of available funds, ensure efficiency, transparency and accountability in the budgetary process.
“The budget performance of government can be ascertained from one point and this is TSA,’’ he said.
Also, the Director, Consolidated Accounts, Office of the Accountant -General of the Federation, Prof. S.A. Zubairu, said that the office had prepared all levels of government for the scheme.
He said the office had issued a number of literature and IPSAS Accrual Accounting manual, which is applicable to federal, states and local governments.
However, the Chief Operating Officer of IFAC, Ms Alta Prinsloo, said Public Finance Management reform was the ultimate in public interest issues for the accounting profession.
Speaking on “Accountability Now”, Prinsloo said there “is need for a global campaign to raise awareness, facilitate partnerships and support capacity building’’.
Speaking on the challenges to effective public finance management, she noted that public sector finance personnel are often not qualified accountants, not even members of professional organisations.
The Accountability Now Leader at IFAC, Vincent Tophoff , while speaking on corporate governance, charged accountants to be accountable at all times.
“Do not wait until objectives are established. Instead, make risk management an integral part of the process to establish these objectives,’’ Tophoff said.
According to him, high quality information is crucial to good decision making and it reduces uncertainties and ensure access to timely and reliable data.