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Caribbean And International Speakers Headlined The ICAC 35th Annual Conference Held In Guyana

An impressive line-up of Caribbean and international speakers was featured at the 35th Annual Conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC) held on June 22-24, 2017 at the Marriott Hotel in Georgetown, Guyana, which attracted over 400 accounting and finance professionals from the Caribbean and overseas.

Headlining the list of distinguished speakers were the Honourable Winston Jordan, Minister of Finance, Government of Guyana who delivered the opening address; Sir Ronald Sanders, Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to the United States who spoke on, “A Caribbean Perspective of World Economic Developments” and Rachel Grimes, IFAC President, who presented on “A Future Ready Profession”.

In his address entitled, Global Economic Developments, Sir Ronald Saunders highlighted the realities of globalization for the countries of the Caribbean including unfair and unequal trade arrangements that have been impeding the growth and development of the Caribbean; high debt to GDP ratios, and the growing gap of inequality between developed and developing nations. He said that bankers, accountants, auditors and traders in the private sector should all take a greater interest in the issues impacting the Caribbean and advocate for consultation with governments in the region.

Rachel Grimes in her address on, “A Future-Ready Profession”, highlighted key issues and opportunities ahead for the profession in the global economy, including the importance of ethics, technology and attracting next generation talent. Ian Ball, Chairman of CIPFA International and Chair of the Audit Committee for the financial statements of the New Zealand Government, who has served as an advisor on government accounting matters spoke on the topic, Public Financial Accountability - Getting It Right,” and Brian McEnery, President, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), presented on the topic, Future Proofing the Talent Pipeline – Accounting for Generation Next.

Other distinguished speakers included April Little, Partner, Grant Thornton LLP; Anthony Zamore and Assaad Sakha, Cyber Security Specialists, PricewaterhouseCoopers; Komal Samaroo, Chairman, Demerara Distillers Limited; Jan Mangal, Special Adviser on Oil and Gas to Government of Guyana; Paul Murphy, Executive Vice-president, Guyana Goldfields Inc. and Marla Dukharan, Group Economist, RBC Caribbean.

The 35th Annual Conference was hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Guyana (ICAG) under the theme, “New Horizons: Charting theCourse Together.” The 2-day conference, which was aimed at empowering business, finance and accounting professionals with the knowledge and strategies to advance the development of the region, focussed on topical issues such as the regional impact of global developments, opportunities presented by emerging sectors and markets, and the challenges being faced by established industries. Developments in financial reporting, auditing, public sector financial management and ethics were also addressed during the conference.

The wide range of technical presentations and panel discussions delivered on June 23 and June 24 included:

  • Promoting A Caribbean Perspective of World Economic Development? By Komal Samaroo, Chairman, Demerara Distillers Limited.
  • Future Proofing the Talent Pipeline- Accounting for Generation Next by Brian McEnery, President, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.
  • Public Financial Accountability- Getting It Right by Ian Ball, Chairman, CIPFA International and Patrick Smith, Director of Financial Audit, OAG Cayman Islands.
  • IFRS 2020 by April Little, Partner, Grant Thornton LLP.
  • Future of Finance- Impact of Disruptive Technology by Jim Collins, Performance Management Strategy Executive, IBM.
  • Addressing New and Emerging Cyber Security Risks by Anthony Zamore, and Assaad Sakha, Cyber Security Specialists, PricewaterhouseCoopers.
  • Key Challenges for SMPs Globally by Paul Thompson, Director, Global Accountancy Profession Support at IFAC.
  • The Future of Gold by Paul Murphy, Senior Vice President, Guyana Goldfield Inc.
  • Oil and Gas Prospect for the Region by Jan Mangal- Adviser on Oil and Gas, Ministry of the Presidency, Guyana; Rod Henson, Country Manager, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited and Conrad Enill- Group CEO, Eastern Credit Union Group.
  • Expected Credit Loss Models: Are Our Banks Ready by Kyle Rudden, Managing Director, KR Consulting and Gowon Bowe, Group Financial Officer, Fidelity Bank &Trust International Limited.
  • Tourism in the Caribbean: What the Future Holds by Marla Dukharan- Group Economist, RBC Caribbean and Jerry A-Kum, Director, Suriname Tourism Foundation.

Among the highlights of the conference’s social events was the annual President’s Dinner where recognition awards were presented to outgoing ICAC Directors and the ICAC Presidential Badge was handed-over to the newly-elected President, Anthony Pierre. Delegates enjoyed sumptuous Guyanese cuisine and an array of Guyanese entertainment.

The conference culminated with a promotional launch of the 36th ICAC Caribbean Conference of Accountants which will be hosted by the Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) on the beautiful island of Nassau, Bahamas over the period June 21-23, 2018. In his closing address, the newly-elected ICAC President, Anthony Pierre, thanked the delegates for their support in making the 35th Annual Caribbean Conference a great success and applauded the 2017 Conference host, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Guyana (ICAG), for a well-organized, high-quality conference.

The success of the conference was made possible with the support of Platinum Sponsors - Demerara Distillers and Grant Thornton; Gold Sponsors - ACCA and PricewaterhouseCoopers and Silver Sponsors - CPA Canada, Ernst and Young, KPMG, and HLB International. Bronze sponsors were Republic Bank, Free Balance and Scotiabank while other corporate sponsors were National Milling Company of Guyana; Courts Guyana; AGM Inc.; PKF, Barcellos, Narine and Co.; AICPA and Banks DIH Limited.

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