Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has called on professional accounting bodies in the country to enforce discipline and ethical conduct to enable them achieve best global standards.
Governor Diri, made the call while declaring open the fourth Southern Zonal Accountants Conference with the theme: “The Future of Accounting Profession in the Face of Multiple Challenges”, organized by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) in Yenagoa.
Speaking through his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the Governor observed that accounting as one of the oldest professions in the world, plays a pivotal role in national development.
He pointed out that as professionals, accountants could help government to maintain fiscal discipline and make sound financial decisions through effective public sector financial accounting.
Describing the theme as appropriate and proactive, Governor Diri urged the leadership of ICAN not to lower its standards on the altar of large membership, stressing that what makes an organization stand out in the crowd is quality and not quantity.
On the latest financial ranking of the state, Governor Diri said there had been significant improvement, noting that more financial information about Bayelsa had been made available on the state’s official website for easy access and assessment.
Senator Diri, who expressed delight at the provision of more ICAN campuses within the state, said the lecture centres would create opportunities for more people to become specialized in the accounting field.
His words, “We know that before now, it was easier for the carmel to pass through the eye of the needle than to pass ICAN exams to become a chartered accountant. Can we boldly say that the same standards are still being maintained today in the face of challenges and competition from other professional accounting bodies in the country?
“Accounting is among the oldest professions that laid the bedrock for development of society. Without accounting, it would have been outrightly impossible to add figures to make development possible.
“Public office holders are very impatient when it comes to money. They will always ask the Accountants to bring the money. It is your duty to give them the right advice to make proper financial decisions.”
Earlier in her remarks, the National President of ICAN, Mrs. Comfort Eyitayo, charged members of the accounting body to continually update their knowledge to remain relevant in the profession, especially with the advances in technology.
She said, “The unprecedented advances in technology have reshaped all professions and raise the urgent need for professionals across all fields to think and rethink their value propositions.
“Failure to do this may result in high risk of professional irrelevance, together with the dynamism in regulatory oversight functions, emergence of new policies and multiplicity of related professional bodies appear to have heightened the challenges facing professionals and professionalism across all fields”, she added.
In his welcome address, the ICAN Chairman of the Southern Zonal District, Mr. Joseph Idumesaro, said the theme of the conference was targeted at addressing the issue of proposals lining up before the National Assembly seeking the establishment of several professional bodies with the same objectives.
According to Mr Idumesaro, some of the proposed bodies will end up performing duplicated functions, which he noted, was already causing confusion in most professional associations in the country.