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Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICAG) Launches Revised Syllabus

June 23, 2014



A revised syllabus for the professional qualifying examinations of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICAG), has been launched in Accra.

The revised syllabus, the implementation of which will begin in May 2015, now has a three-level structure covering 14 subjects with plans to introduce computer-based multiple-choice questions for level one and elective papers at the professional level.

According to the plan that will guide the implementation of the syllabus, while ICAG will grant exemptions to graduates from the academia, professional level accountants will not be exempted from any of the courses, while Part 4 candidates will have two more attempts within one year of implementation to qualify or write Part three examinations.

The development of the revised syllabus was a World Bank and ICAG collaboration, with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW) as consultants.

The ACT that established ICAG in 1963 mandated it to conduct qualifying examinations as part of the process of producing accountants and admitting those with the requisite experience into membership.

In executing this mandate, ICAG went under the tutelage and mentorship of ICAEW, but weaned itself off that that mentorship five years later to conduct its own examinations.

It is that initial syllabus developed by the Institute that has been revised and launched.

Speaking at the ceremony, the president of ICAG, Prof. Kwame Bosiako Omane-Antwi, said the knowledge that professional accountants needed to acquire to function competently was constantly changing and expanding, while local conditions also required variations in the knowledge base.

Prof. Omane-Antwi said the aim of every professional examination syllabus was to ensure that candidates had enough advance professional accountancy knowledge to enable them function as competent professional accountants in an increasing complex and changing environment.

The revision of the syllabus, he said, was, therefore, necessitated by the desire to keep pace with other internationally-recognised professional accountancy bodies.

Prof. Omane-Antwi said in developing the new syllabus, inputs were sought from stakeholders in the accountancy profession, including the universities, regulatory bodies, the Controller and Accountant-Generals' Department Internal Audit Agency and the Office of the Auditor-General.

The others, he said, were the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), World Bank and large employers of accountants, among others.

In an address, Mr S.O.Annan, a past president of ICAG and Guest of Honour, described the revision of the syllabus as an appropriate and proactive response by the ICAG to current global developments in the accountancy practice and demands.

Mr Annan said there was the need for periodic reviews to meet global standards and to ensure that candidates and potential graduates became competent professionals and effective on the job.

Mrs Angela Peasah, immediate past president of ICAG and chairman for the occasion noted that in the past, professional bodies had often worked on the assumption that their reputation was sufficient to maintain future success.

Mrs Peasah said that assumption was untenable in a competitive world which required a more affirmative approach.

She commended the World Bank and ICAEW for the role they played in the development of the syllabus as part of the twinning arrangement to help build the capacity of the national Institute.

The revised syllabus, she said, had complied with the prescriptions of IFAC's SMO 2 International Standards for Professional Accountants and other IAESB Guidance.

Furthermore, Mrs Peasah said, the revised syllabus had also been benchmarked with the syllabuses of other reputable professional accountancy bodies and an added value of national uniqueness which linked accountancy education in the academia and professional accountancy practice.

She urged the Deans of Business Schools to seek collaboration with ICAG, especially in the area of syllabus structure and content, to facilitate the professional qualification of graduates from the universities and polytechnics.

Mrs Peasah expressed the hope that the revised syllabus would help produce competent and knowledgeable accountants for Ghana, West Africa and the world at large.

Welcoming the audience to the launch, the Chief Executive Officer of ICAG, Mr Fred Nana Kweku Moore, said the Institute had a role to play in the growth and development of both the private and public sectors of Ghana's economy.

Mr Moore stressed the need for accountants to make their voices heard on important national issues, for which reason the Institute was creating a data base for knowledgeable accountants who would speak for the Institute on issues of national importance.

Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)


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