In line with the adoption of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) by the Federal Government as a new global accounting package for public institutions, staff of the Bursary Department and Audit Unit rounded off a three-day Training/Workshop aimed at keeping them abreast of the new accounting procedures.
Declaring the well-subscribed workshop open at the Information and Communication Technology Centre (ICTC), University Park, Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Administration, Professor Anthony Ibe, who stood in for the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ndowa Lale, charged participants to make judicious use of the opportunity designed to enable them switch over to the new package.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria, in line with global best practice, approved adoption of the new IPSAS as a global best practice framework and accounting guideline for preparing and presenting General Purpose Financial Statements (GPFS) for all public-sector entities of which the universities are inclusive,” the address of the Vice-Chancellor read in part.
Professor Lale, who was hopeful that the Resource Persons would impart requisite knowledge on participants with skills to convert financial statements from cash-basis to the IPSAS Accrual-based financial reporting, expressed strong conviction that they would avail themselves of the training opportunity to acquire knowledge to post transactions in line with the new system.
Welcoming participants to the training, the Bursar, Mr. Vitalis Aliezi, showered praises on the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Lale for approving the workshop to equip Bursary staff to key into the new package.
“This is a global package that is being keyed into by other universities in Nigeria in line with the directive of the Federal Government. At the end of the training, we should be able to embrace the new technique which is the way accounting is going worldwide in the present time,” the Bursar said.
In his address, Consultants to UniPort IPSAS Conversion Project, Martins Ugboaja recalled that the approval for the new system was adopted by the Federal Executive Council, following a Stakeholders’ Committee Report on July 28, 2010.
“The conversion to IPSAS is compulsory for the Federal Government and Ministries, State Government and Ministries, Universities, Boards, Government Agencies and Commissions. The deadline for conversion of financial statements was December 31, 2016. In other words, the Financial Statement of the University of Port Harcourt for December 31, 2016 must be IPSAS-compliant,” Mr. Ugboaja observed. He pointed out that the IPSAS aimed at improving the quality of general purpose financial reporting by public sector entities for better assessment of the resource allocation to further ascertain transparency and accountability in the system.
Lead Presenter and a member of the team, Mr. Iheanyi Anyahara, who spoke on Overview of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) in Nigeria, disclosed that the need to have uniform standards for accounting at public sector organisations to enable comparison of data and improve financial accounting transparency, informed the adoption of the new accounting plan.
Mr. Anyahara listed some of the anticipated gains of the package to include the need to build standards for confidence of donor agencies, enhance service delivery and public-private partnerships, boost peer review mechanism of financial reports among the three tiers of governments, the governments of other countries and MDAs.
On how to surmount possible challenges in migrating to the new package, the Lead Presenter stated that: “To ensure seamless transition to IPSAS-based standards, there is the need to first take up pilot studies in select Departments and offices to migrate IPSAS accounting requirements (cash or accrual).”
Another paper presented by the Partner Consultant, Mr. Chidi Okonkwo was entitled: Presentation of Financial Statements. The partners also presented more papers that included: Cash Flow Statement; Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors; Borrowing Costs and Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets.
Other presentations were: Revenue from Exchange Transactions; Revenue from Non-Exchange Transactions (Taxes and Transfers); Employee Benefits; Effects of Changes in Foreign Exchange Rates; Fair Value Measurements; Preparation of Opening Statements of Financial Statements in line with IPSAS 33 and First Time Adoption of Accrual Basis IPSAS: Practical Application.
The three-day event featured interactive sessions with the participants which had the Bursar, Mr. Aliezi and Director of Internal Audit Unit, Mr. Edwin Harcourt, Deputy Bursars, Mrs. Helen Owhonda-Wopara and Mr. Dominick Nwikobe, among dignitaries in attendance.