Accountants have been told by Minister of Labour and Social Partnership, Colin Jordan, that they have a role to play in Barbados’ economic recovery efforts.
The Minister stressed this on Wednesday as he addressed the Fourth Annual Students’ Conference of the Institute of the Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB), at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Two Mile Hill, St. Michael.
Emphasizing that he believed “accounting is the profession”, he noted young accountants had the ability to help educate the public on financial literacy as there were many challenges across the society as a result of people not understanding how to manage their own finances.
“You have those skills, at least theoretical … but I believe accountants have a role in assisting others in managing their finances, interpreting financial information, making people comfortable with the technology that drives finances and financial information,” Minister Jordan said.
The young accountants also heard that there were three cornerstones which should be treasured for a successful career, namely attitude, education and experience.
Alluding to his past careers as an auditor and financial controller in the tourism industry, Mr. Jordan spoke about receiving little pay, but still maintaining a positive attitude throughout. This, he told students, helped him to recognize the value of the experience he was receiving.
Education, he added, would allow them to create a platform for intelligent approaches to problem solving and afford a theoretical base for strategic thinking and analysis of challenges.
He further noted that experience gathered through interaction with others was of equal importance and the fellowship which they obtained through ICAB should not be seen just for networking purposes, but for the sharing of experiences.
“You do not have to make the mistakes that others have made…. You can avoid some of those by sharing experiences even when you socialize.
Allow experience to help you to grow, whether it is your own experience or others; allow them to be a catalyst in your own development. Experience is important.”
President of ICAB, Lydia McCollin, speaking on the relevance of accountancy as a profession in this technological age, said: “I will be bold to state here today that the profession will never become irrelevant. The history of accounting is thousands of years old and we are as relevant today as we were in the past and will continue to be in the future…
“Just as the world around us changes, the profession will not only change and adapt to the needs of the current time, but also anticipate future needs. The profession will continue to lead in these areas of change and be innovative in the delivery of its services.”
Ms. McCollin advised the students to gain skills other than the core accounting skills; learn to adapt; continue on with education and stay on top of new developments, including gaining skills in the use of software solutions and cloud computing for routine