“The accountant that can follow seven basic tenets of the profession is on the path to career success.”

This was the advice given by Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Senator Darcy Boyce, as he addressed the annual graduation ceremony of the ACCA Professional Qualification and Certified Accounting Technician Scheme last Saturday, at the Hilton Hotel.

He listed the basic canons as:  Knowing the business that you are in; Helping to make the business more competitive; Helping the business in risk management; Understanding the economy in which you live and work; Seeking to develop entrepreneurial opportunities from experience; Staying close to emerging knowledge; and Seeking to influence the rules of the profession in the interest of companies operating in small economies.

With regard to knowing the profession, Senator Boyce told the graduands that this should be in a way that added value to process.  He observed that this could be done by constantly increasing one’s breadth of knowledge in related areas of the business and by being amenable to coaching by others.  He said that it was also important to know what was happening in similar businesses and draw on their best practices.

Making the business more competitive, Senator Boyce said, centred on translating the language of accounting for other business professionals. This, he said, would foster understanding of the value of accounting data. “It also means working through the processes with other professionals to identify where streamlining can deliver more effective results.”

Dealing with the issue of risk management, the Minister referred to the accountant’s training which taught identification of risk in business and approaches for managing those risks. It should, he advised, be applied in terms of profitability or sustainability of business. Scenario planning, he further suggested, would be useful in this process.

In relation to understanding the economy, he pointed out that this meant “understanding how it impacts your business, knowing the critical parts of the economy for your business and the economic theory used by policy makers for decision making.” He specifically alluded to monetary policy, international trade, taxation, public finance and financial instruments.

In addition, he urged that the acquisition of entrepreneurial skills was invaluable and he posited that the accountant should be alert to entrepreneurial opportunities. “This would enhance the role in growth and diversification within the business”, which he said should not be confined to Barbados.

In a global context, Senator Boyce explained, qualified accountants were in demand and added that this was why keeping abreast with emerging knowledge, including continuing professional development and learning new rules, was so critical.

He called on the graduating class to strive to influence the rules of the profession by studying rule-making proposals and understanding their implications, particularly in light of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which are characteristic of the Caribbean.

“Submitting commentaries and recommendations for change, as well as lobbying with accounting bodies in other small jurisdictions will help to ensure that new rules do not adversely impact on how small businesses in this part of the world have to operate,” he added.

Senator Boyce advised the graduates: “The key is in remaining relevant, adding value to your business, protecting that business, becoming entrepreneurial and creating your place as a luminary in your sphere of operation will make you an accountant who can reach professional excellence.”

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