2007 ICAC Caribbean Conference of Accountants - St. Kitts

"Delivering Excellence- Polishing the Diamond"

The 25th Annual ICAC Conference was hosted by the ICAEC- St. Kitts/Nevis Branch over the period June 28 to June 30, 2007. Approximately 370 delegates, spouses, and guests attended the event themed, "Delivering Excellence - Polishing the Diamond" , which was held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino.

The theme was specially selected for the 25th Caribbean Conference, as previous themes dealt with "The Winds of Change: Accountability in the 21st Century", "Adapting to the changing face of the Accounting Profession: Expectations;" "Globalization and its Effects on the Profession", and most recently, " Sharpening the Edge" to reinforce the presence of the profession in business. These themes were geared towards ''polishing' the accountancy profession whose image suffered badly in the nineties.

The conference's opening ceremony on Friday June 29 began with a flag raising procession in which ICAC's members namely, Barbados , Bahamas , Belize , Guyana , Jamaica , Trinidad and Tobago , and the Eastern Caribbean (OECS), were in full participation.

The flag raising ceremony was followed by welcome remarks from Mr. Donald Thompson - Conference Chairman; Mr. Frank Myers - ICAEC President; Mr. Victor Abreu Paez - Executive Director of the Inter- American Association of Accountants (IAA), and Mr. L. Garth Kiddoe- ICAC President. Following the welcoming remarks, the conference's keynote address was delivered by the Prime Minister of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis , Dr. the Hon. Denzil Douglas.

Following the conference's opening ceremony, the following topics were addressed during the technical sessions:

  • Professionalism and Ethics in Accountancy by Mrs. Gill Ball, President of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). This topic addressed the increasing need of accountants along with organisations to promote and exhibit ethical behaviour in their everyday business environments. In addition, the presentation touched briefly on ACCA's plans to implement a new professional qualification which includes a module on ethics.
  • CSME -the Impact on the Accounting Profession - Sir Dwight Venner, Governor of Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).
  • Concurrent Session:

'Recent Developments in Corporate Governance, A Caribbean Perspective' by Mr. Vindel Kerr, CEO of GovStrat Limited which spoke to the evolution of taxonomy of corporate governance development and the implications of corporate governance for the Caribbean and the way forward.

IFRS Overview and Convergence Project Implementation by Mr. Haseeb Mohammed, Partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers. The presentation sought to reminded delegates of the International Accounting Standards Board's (IASB's) proposal to implement accounting standards in 2009 and the importance of each set of standards to different types of companies.

How the changing regulatory environment has affected financial Services by Mr. Ashley Clarke, Partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers. This concurrent session focused on why the issue of the regulatory environment is now being regarded as significant in major corporations; Basel 11 and the financial services regulation; the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002; and the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in the European Union.

  • Excellence through Effective Stress Management in our Changing Environment by Dr. Kenford Nedd. This topic proved to be one of the most interesting presentations for delegates as the enthusiasm and energy of Dr. Nedd totally captivated audience as he outlined several steps to relieve stress. These steps included relaxing, being happy, deep breathing, and smiling at the first sign of tension.

The main highlight of the President's Dinner was the handing over of ICAC's President's medal to the first female President of ICAC, Ms. Angela Lee Loy , by the outgoing President, Mr. L. Garth Kiddoe. Other outstanding features were the presentation of awards to ICAC Past Presidents for their sterling contribution over the past 25 year.

Activities on Saturday, June 30, included a presentation by Russell Guthrie, Director of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) on the topic 'Accounting for SME's' . This presentation was followed by a panel discussion on the "Harmonising the Caribbean Tax Laws" . Participants in the discussion included, Ms. Jackie Poirier- Chairperson of CGA Canada; Ms. Gloria Eduardo, PricewaterhouseCoopers; Mr. Anthony La Ronde of the Caricom Legislative Drafting Facility. The discussion was moderated by Mr. Wendell Lawrence, Ambassador of St. Kitts-Nevis to CARICOM, OECS and ACS.

Following the two morning presentations, Ms. Angela Lee Loy promoted the 26th Annual ICAC conference to be held in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago over the period June 26 - 28, 2008 under the theme, "Beyond the Wall" . Closing remarks from Ms. Lee Loy and vote of thanks by Hanzel Manners, member of the ICAEC (St. Kitts-Nevis Branch), signaled a conclusion to the conference sessions.

The 25th Annual Conference concluded with participants taking a trip to the sister island of Nevis where they were given a tour of a section of the island before heading to the popular Pinney's Beach to relax for the remainder of the day.

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