Ghana confirms five-year IPSAS implementation programme

28 Oct 14
Ghana has confirmed that it will implement accruals-based International Public Sector Accounting Standards from 2016, although full roll out is expected to take five years.

By | 28 October 2014

Ghana has confirmed that it will implement accruals-based International Public Sector Accounting Standards from 2016, although full roll out is expected to take five years.

IPSAS will be the basis for the preparation of public sector accounts of the West African country for the year ended December 2016. However, a step-by-step approach to implementation, spanning a five-year period, will be encouraged due to ‘the complexity of the issues involved’, the government said.

It added that its adoption of IPSAS followed recommendations made by the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICAG), the country’s Controller and Accountant-General’s Department (CAGD) and the Audit Service.

IPSAS requires the presentation and disclosure of financial transactions in a comprehensive and consistent fashion to enhance transparency and accountable management of public resources.

ICAG president Kwame Boasiako Omane-Antwi said the recommendation to adopt IPSAS was based upon a strong commitment to continuing advances in public financial management in Ghana. 

In particular, successful implementation of IPSAS would: aid a more effective and efficient management of the assets and liabilities of governments; provide more useful information that would lead to better decision-making; generate cost-awareness and efficiency in the operation of government; and facilitate improved service delivery to the people of Ghana and reduce poverty.

Ghana must learn from other countries’ experiences on how to be accrual IPSAS-compliant, Omane-Antwi said, adding that the process ‘would not be without challenges’.

Ghana’s finance minister Emmanuel Seth Terkper urged all the country’s accountancy and audit bodies to beef up their standards and strengthen their supervisory roles. He said members needed to develop best practice in accounting and costing and pricing contracts to eliminate fraud and malpractice.

Controller and accountant-general Grace Francisca Adzroe said that her office had set up an IPSAS planning work group, which has produced a draft paper on the implementation of IPSAS to the process go smoothly.

Last week, ICAG teamed up with the CAGD to boost the quality of PFM in the country. Under this collaboration, the skills and abilities of public accountants in Ghana are to be strengthened.

In addition, CIPFA partnered with the ICAG in August, to create high-quality PFM systems through a number of initiatives, including financial management reform, capacity building and training for government and public sector finance staff.  

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