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Accounting professionals call for strengthening public finance management

By Our Reporter
Professionals and experts of accounting have underlined the need of improvement in the current accounting system for strengthening of public finance management as the country transitions toward federal system from the unitary system. Speaking at an interaction entitled ‘Role of professionals in public finance management’ organized by The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nepal (ICAN) and Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) Secretariat jointly on Friday, stakeholders say that there is need of skilled and professional human resources for the improvement of the public finance management in the new federal set-up.
Kewal Prasad Bhandari, joint secretary at the Ministry of Finance, said that the government was giving a priority in developing the technology-friendly, transparent and effective public finance management and accounting system in the country.
Also speaking at the interaction, Baikuntha Aryal, the acting head of the National Natural Resource and Fiscal Commission (NNRFC), said that there was a lack of awareness about the public finance management and accountancy. He also said that the commission which is authorized to devise a formula for the distribution of grants, revenues and royalties to sub-national governments in the new federal system is training human resources to enhance their capacity on public finance management.
“The government is taking initiative to enforce the international standards on accountancy from a ward level to the central level,” said Aryal.
Experts from ICAN and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) have presented their papers on public finance management and accountancy standards. While ICAN’s representative has presented a paper outlining the current scenario of Nepal’s accounting system, CIPFA representative made a presentation on international experiences and standards on accounting for ensuring accountability and transparency on public finance.
The interaction organized to discuss about the role of professionals in public finance management is one of the events amongst a half dozen programs organized in last four days including the South Asia Federation of Accountants (SAFA) International Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Conference held on Friday with a theme of “Evolving Economic Environment—Challenges and Way Forward”.
Over 100 participants from foreign countries and more than 300 from Nepal participated in the conference that brought together directors, CEOs, chief financial officers, managers, professionals, consultants, members and students from various South Asian countries. Various technical sessions related to the accountancy and public finance management were held in the conference which was inaugurated by the Vice President Nanda Kishor Pun.
Coinciding with the ICAN’s 21st anniversary, the autonomous regulatory body of the accountancy profession in Nepal organized various events for last four days.
Similarly, awards to a dozen firms of various sectors were felicitated with SAFA Best Presented Annual Report in 2016 on Wednesday by Nepal’s Auditor General Tankamani Sharma and Finance Secretary Shankar Prasad Adhikar. Earlier on Tuesday, the ICAN organized various events in Kathmandu on the eve of the formal inaugural session of South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA) International CFO Conference including SAFA Quiz Contest and Elocution Contest amongst the CA final level students of SAFA member bodies.

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