BY GEORGINA KEKEA
PREPARING annual financial statements is a crucial part of government’s work.
Commencing yesterday, a number of provincial officers are currently undergoing training on the International Public-Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS).
IPSAS are a set of accounting standards used by public sector entities around the world in preparation of financial statements and is said to be sustainable in the long run.
With the aim to equip officers on this standard, a two-week workshop is held in Honiara for provincial finance officers as well as Honiara based finance officers.
Speaking to participants of this IPSAS Training, Under Secretary Fiscal in the Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MOFT), Norman Hiropuhi says understanding the underlying concepts of the standard is an important pre-requisite for its proper application.
“Being a new standard, it may take time to understand every aspect of its application, but I believe this training is a right step in the right directions.”
Mr Hiropuhi says IPSAS cash basis is an international standard that Solomon Islands Government adopted in July 2010.
“And since then we have been obliged to prepare our financial statements based on the provisions of the standards for their onward submission to the office of the Auditor General.”
He said our Public Financial Management Act 2013 also calls for production of financial statement on Cash Basis IPSAS and therefore it is crucial officers responsible for financial reporting are familiar with every aspect of this standard.
He said it is the duty as heads of these important institutions to support in house trainings of this nature for officers to learn new skills and techniques in financial reporting.
Meanwhile Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening, Stanley Pirione says so far provinces have been producing financial statements before the PGA deadline because of trainings they have been conducting for them on IPSAS and other areas of public expenditure management system.
“I am happy that provincial financial statements are being submitted on time and that Western, Choiseul and Isabel have acquired qualified audit opinion for the past three years consecutively. This is encouraging and I thank all officers in those locations for the great efforts and I wish to encourage all other provinces to emulate.”
Pirione says they are now focusing on improving the quality of PG financial statement, hence training of this sort is very important.
It is hoped that every officer in treasury division should have a good understanding of the standard including staffs from provincial governments.
Participants to this training come from Temotu, Western, Malaita, and Choiseul provinces, Ministry of Finance, Office of Auditor General and MPGIS.