CIPFA talks Public Financial Management in the Caribbean at Annual ICAC conference


by Emilie Wilcox, Director, CIPFA North America

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, CIPFA, was honored with a membership to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC) in June 2018. The two organisations were drawn even closer after CIPFA Past President Andrew Burns spoke at ICAC’s Annual Conference, held in Bahamas on 22 June.

Andrew delivered a presentation on good governance in the public sector which offered an incredible opportunity for CIPFA to develop strong ties with accounting bodies in the Caribbean region.

ICAC was established under the laws of Jamaica and incorporated in 1988 in order to bring together accountants of English-speaking countries of the Caribbean. The founding members of ICAC were Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and Trinidad & Tobago, joining forces to advance the accountancy profession in the region. 

Today ICAC boasts around 4,000 member as the leading organisation of its kind in the region, and has been formally recognised by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). The Annual Conference is ICAC’s flagship event, providing accountants and finance professionals within the Caribbean an unparalleled learning and networking opportunity. The theme this year was “Regional and Global Opportunities: Preparing for Success”

Andrew stressed in his address the important role public sector accountants play in the reformation of financial management systems and the implementation of standardised ethical practices.  Andrew was joined by the Honourable K. Peter Turnquest, MP, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Bahamas, and the Right Honourable David Lammy, MP in British Parliament.  

Both individuals spoke on the great need and requirement for stronger public financial oversight in the public sector, and the need for the region to band together to compete in the global marketplace. 

CIPFA took the opportunity to send one of its North American representatives, Emilie Wilcox, to the region to establish connections with accounting professionals from member countries. Emilie and Andrew were able to meet with representatives from the Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, St. Kitts & Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago. 

Following these discussions, it was found that there is significant demand for aid in the implementation of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), training of accountants on IPSAS principles, and creating action plans to facilitate the implementation of IPSAS. CIPFA was able to make connections and find exciting new opportunities to aid accounting bodies from the Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Suriname in matters concerning IPSAS. 

Participation in ICAC’s 2018 Annual Conference was an important step to establishing a strong presence in the Caribbean and aiding countries in implementing full IPSAS implementation.

Please join me and the rich line-up of speakers at the CIPFA International Conference in Abu Dhabi, 23 to 24 September 2018, to explore how attracting and retaining finance professionals within the public sector continues to be problematic for both developing and developed countries.

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