Accountants in Barbados must become more visible and vocal, because of the significant contribution.
This view was expressed yesterday by Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Clyde Mascoll, as he addressed the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados’ (ICAB) annual conference, at the Sherbourne Conference Centre.
According to him, “accountants, strangely, keep out of public view even though they are so critical to the process. Yet the information that is gathered and analysed by the accountant is the foundation to all the decisions that are really made in the economy”.
He pointed out that the recent decision about reducing the mark-ups on a 26-item basket of goods, could only have been made using micro-data provided by accountants.
“The accountant’s role in economic development, to my mind, is even more powerful than the other social sciences, because the decisions must be made on proper and available information,” the Minister added.
Noting that over the last few years there had been tax deductions, increases in tax thresholds and increases in the reverse tax credit, Mr. Mascoll pointed out that these decisions had also been based on access to micro-data.
“In essence, the accountant’s role in economic development is here to stay and should get even more powerful. You may be afraid of politics, but what you should not be afraid of is making information available such that good decisions could be made,” he advised.
With respect to the conference’s theme, “Managing the New Environment” Minister Mascoll suggested that managing the new environment had to start with the “new” individual. “Soon there is going to be somebody called a Caribbean man or woman and their perspective is going to be completely different to the Barbadian man or woman,” he said.
He added that as a result of the “new” individual, persons would be forced to refocus their thoughts and positions and become more outward looking as a people. “There is a human reality that is going to be calling upon you to reflect upon your new environment and then for you to reflect your new environment within you,” Mr. Mascoll observed.
Accountants attending yesterday’s ICAB conference benefited from several other presentations on topics such as Corporate Governance and Ethics; Dispute Resolution; and Capital Market Liberalisation.