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2012 ICAC Caribbean Conference of Accountants - Antigua

Over 400 accountants, finance professionals and business leaders from the Caribbean gathered in St. John’s, Antigua over the period June 21-23, 2012 for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean’s (ICAC’s) 30th Caribbean Conference of Accountants. The 2012 conference, which was hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Eastern Caribbean – Antigua and Barbuda branch, took place at the Grand Royal Antiguan Beach Resort. The conference theme, “Playing to Win – Bowling over the Challenges”, examined the challenges facing the accountancy profession and the strategies to effectively overcome them.

The theme was formulated in acknowledgement of the Caribbean’s rich cricketing tradition and the West Indies cricket icons who have exemplified a spirit of endurance and determination in their quest to succeed. It was anticipated that conference participants would learn positive lessons from the approach and attitude of these sportsmen and develop effective strategies to overcome the many challenges impacting the accounting profession and the business environment within the Caribbean region.

The opening session of the conference was addressed by the Hon. Harold Lovell, Minister of Finance and the Economy (Antigua & Barbuda); Warren Allen, Deputy President, IFAC; Sir K. Dwight Venner, Governor, Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and Betty Brathwaite, ICAC President. Other presentations on day one of the conference were:

  • Strategy for the Development of the Accountancy Profession in the Caribbean by Mozammal Hoque, Senior Financial Management Specialists at the World Bank.
  • Regulatory changes with the banking and financial sector – Is enough being done? by Aubyn Hill, Chief Executive Officer, Corporate Strategies Limited, Jamaica.
  • Anti-money Laundering and Terrorist Financing – the changing role of the accountant” led by a panel comprising Michelle Martin, President, Compliance
  • Aid and Lt. Col. Edward H. Coft, Director, The Office of National Drug and Money Laundering Control Policy, Antigua.
  • Staying fit and healthy - a challenge amidst the other challenges by Dr. Leslie Walwyn, Medical Officer, Medical Benefits Scheme, Antigua.
  • Fraud - the new schemes, red flags and cost implications for the Caribbean by Terry LeBlanc, Chairman, CGA–Canada.
  • The Auditing profession - independence, quality and reforming the regulations as proposed by the European Commission by Brendan Murtagh, Past President, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
  • Deploying the New Ball: Strategic Management Accounting and the Challenges of 21st Century Governance by Dr. Gaynor Emily Dick-Forde, Head Special Projects, UWI Open Campus, Trinidad.

After a full day of presentations and panel discussions, delegates and spouses partied and socialized at the President’s Dinner held at the Grand Royal Antiguan Beach Resort Ball Room. Entertainment was provided by one of Antigua’s popular cultural bands along with stellar performances by artistes such as George Bridgwater, Lacu Samuel & Kutting Edge Band and Sir McLean Emanuel – King Short Shirt.

The technical session on Saturday, June 23rd included the following presentations:

  • “Effective Leadership in Turbulent Times – making tough decisions” by Shirlene Nibbs, Managing Director, Nibbs and Associates, Antigua.
  • “FATCA – like it or not it’s here...”, presented by Lawrence Lewis, Partner, Deloitte (The Bahamas).
  • “The faltering tourism industry within the Caribbean - How do we turn it around”? delivered by Edmund Bartlett, Former Minister of Tourism, Jamaica.
  • “Developments in IFRS for SMEs – where are we headed”, presented by Andrew Brathwaite, Principal, AFB Consulting, Barbados.
  • “Bowling over the Challenges – a chat with Curtley Ambrose,” former West Indies cricketer and inductee in the International Cricket Hall of Fame.

A wrap-up summary of the issues discussed during the two-day technical session was delivered by Dr. John Harris, Program Chair, School of Business at Centennial College, Toronto, Canada. This was followed by a promotional launch of the 31st Caribbean Conference of Accountants to be held in June 2013 in Barbados.

In her closing address, ICAC President, Betty Brathwaite, thanked the delegates for their support in making the 30th Caribbean Conference a success. She also commended Conference Host and Chairman of ICAEC-Antigua & Barbuda branch, Erwin Southwell, and his team for planning and executing a superb conference. The Bowlers Ball Closing Fete held later that evening at the Copper and Lumber, Nelson’s Dockyard was the perfect culmination to a fulfilling and successful 2012 Conference.

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