You are here because you value the role we as Chartered Accountants under the umbrella of the Institute continue to play in the development of our great nation Sierra Leone.
You are here amongst other important items on the agenda, to receive the Audited Financial Statements of the 2016.
Finally you are here to ensure we have successful and fruitful discussions of the agenda items to reach meaningful decisions that will advance the work of the Institute and the Accountancy and Audit Profession in Sierra Leone.
As we deliberate and move through the agenda items, I pray that the Almighty God will guide our deliberations to a successful conclusion.
The Year of 2016
It is a little over a year ago that I was given the mantle of Presidency of our noble Institute by you sitting here now. You bestowed that responsibility as a result of the confidence you have in my ability to transform the Institute and bring it to its deserved position of relevance.
As you are all aware, transformation is a process and I am pleased to inform that we are on an upward trajectory.
It has definitely not been smooth, the Institute has over the years been battling with inadequate resources (both financial and physical), lack of strategy, and apathy of members to name a few. It pleases me to inform you that over the past year, Council led by myself have been able to achieve the following:
A five year strategic document is now in place; prepared on the premise of our mission, values, goals and objective. We can now clearly define who we are and how we expect others to perceive us. This document will be circulated to all members through your emails.
We promised to raise the profile of the Institute and the Profession; through our cooperation with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) whom we signed an MOU with we were able to conduct two “CPDs” for Chartered Accountants and Non Chartered Accountants on topics pertinent to our professional development. Many more are planned and we should at the least hold one this year.
We continue our cooperation with the Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa (ABWA). We have a joint technician’s exams scheme Accounting Technician Scheme of West Africa (ATSWA). We are also member of the Pan African federation of Accountants (PAFA), and with the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).
We held several high profile meetings with both national and international players like the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED), The National Revenue Authority (NRA), The Irish Embassy etc., gaining visibility for the Institute. If given the number of invitations the Institute now receive on national issues can be used as an indicator, then I can proudly say we are on the road to recognition.
We revived the Education and Training Committee and the members held their first meeting after a very long while in October 2016. This key committee is key driver of the Institute and will play a pivotal role in the turnaround of the Institute through the ATSWA and our other strategic plans.
Since we assumed office in May 2016, we struggled to get our website off the ground; after a lot of technicalities, I am pleased to inform you the website is now up and running. I can categorically state here that if you visit http://icasl.sl, you will be able to access our website. We are yet to fully populate it be we can say it is up and running. Currently you can download our revised bill/act, and also the application membership forms, and a summary of our strategic plan.
We were able to relocate the office to its new site at 4d College Road, Congo Cross, Freetown. This is a much bigger facility than we one we had at Red Lion Building Siaka Stevens Street and it is more aligned to our strategic and other transformations plans going forward.
Although we received an increased funding from Government of Sierra Leone compared to previous years Le 200m; it is our desire to see funding to the Institute come from our Members and our other activities as outlined in the strategic plan.
We pledged to bring all Chartered and Qualified Accountants under the umbrella of ICASL; whilst we are not quite there, we have made significant strides and I am happy to inform you that we now have Affiliate Members on board.
Our desire on assuming office was to see a “Technical and Administrative Director” in place. Even if this was not achieved within the 2016 timeframe, I am happy to report that as of March 2017, we now have a director that fits the bill in the person of Ms. Fatmata Denton. She is also the first Director we have who is a Chartered Accountant and a member of the Institute.
Whereas I am happy to report all the above achievements, the flagship of them all is the completion of our draft Copy of the ICASL ACT of 2017. We are all aware the current Act of 1988 is outdated and long overdue for review, and therefore I have enormous pleasure to report that this review is finally accomplished. I hope that at the end of this meeting, we would ratify the document in order to move the process forward in getting the document enacted which would be more attuned to our profession.
I would be remiss if I fail to mention that there were some challenges along the way; we could not achieve all what we set to out to do. We were unable to turn out the quarterly magazines we had become accustomed to; however the wheels are currently in motion to resuscitate it. We hope to have two publications out before the end of 2017.
None of the above achievements would have been possible without the support of my colleagues in Council, the Finance Committee, the Membership Committee, the Education and training Committee, the support of the Erstwhile Acting Director of ICASL (Mr. Kweku Fraser) and the staff of ICASL. My special thanks to members and other well-wishers who contributed in one way or the other to the above successes. I Thank You All.
Plans for 2017
We plan to host a prestigious Dinner and Dance in November (1st Friday).
We plan to hold at least one more CPD event.
Complete the review of our Bye-laws and code of conduct to compliment the revised act.
Introduce & Commence the Computer Based Exams (CBE) in September
Increase the drive for active membership;
Plans for 2018
Next year, ICASL will be 30; we will hold series of events and activities befitting of such an occasion. The details will be shared with members in different forums (Website, Emails, What’s App & Facebook Page).
Hold four CPDs
Continue implementing activities designed to strengthen the accounting and auditing profession;
Expand the drive for active membership;
Introduce Computer Based Examinations
Develop ICASL’s website and ensure it is professional (already in its maiden state)
Provide tuition for the ATSWA exams
Introduce the ATSWA scheme in schools, Universities and Employers
Provide ACCA revision classes for Students
Fully complete the remaining activities under the ended World Bank project; and seize any other opportunities that would enhance our Institute and the profession at large.
As a result of the above plans, I crave on all of your support to make these plans a reality.
I thank you for listening and may God continue to shower his blessings on all of us.
God bless you.