"I began my certification program in 2011, the lack of a fulltime lecturer to tutor inhibited my full understanding of the courses resulting in me repeating a couple of courses, until in 2013 USAID-GEMS provided highly qualified full-time professors, my understanding of the courses was enhanced, and my confidence level elevated. Today through USAID-GEMS I am a chartered accountant,” - Mohammed B. Korleh, Senior Assistant Project Accountant, Ministry of Finance and recent Chartered Accountant candidate.
The USAID Governance and Economic Management Support program (USAID-GEMS) effort in building capacity in the accounting area in Liberia is yielding positive results. In November 2013, four public sectors employees passed all subjects for the final level of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICAG) professional examinations.
The successful candidates qualifying as Chartered Accounts are Mr. Victor S.B. Tanwone, Sr., Senior Manager of Internal Audit at Roberts International Airport; Mr. S. Moses Kesselie, Jr., Senior Analyst at The Ministry of Finance; Mr. Raphael M. Quaye, HR Assistant, United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL); and Mr. Mohammed B. Korleh, Senior Assistant Project Accountant, Ministry of Finance. This is a commendable and historic achievement for Liberia. For the first time, there are professionally qualified chartered accountants from a professional examination administered within Liberia. Those successful in the ICAG qualifying examination are eligible to become members of the Liberian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (LICPA).
The Liberian students’ performance at level four was well above the ICAG overall success rates recorded in 2013 and past years’ examinations. The 66.67% pass rate achieved by Liberia was above the overall pass rate of 24.5% recorded by ICAG. It also exceeded the rates recorded for May 2013 (32.59%) and November 2012 (16.84%) examinations.
As part of its support to LIPA, USAID-GEMS contracted three qualified accountants as instructors to initiate a pilot program in accountancy certification training, preparing students for the ICAG and Accounting Technician Scheme, West Africa (ATSWA) examinations, to address the dearth of financial management competence in the public and private sectors.
The foundation-level Accounting ATSWA exam is administered under the auspices of the Association of Accountancy Bodies of West Africa. ICAG is a full Chartered Accountant (CA) certification program administered in Liberia under a memorandum of understanding between themselves and the LICPA. The examination for the ATSWA program was conducted in the third week of September 2013, while the ICAG examination was conducted in the first week of November, 2013. The next exams are scheduled to take place in May 2014 and November 2014.