Regional accountants gather to chart way forward

Regional accountants gather to chart way forward
Gowon Bowe

Hundreds of accountants from throughout the region are in The Bahamas for the 36th annual Caribbean Conference of Accountants.

The meeting facilitates the engagement of regional financial experts in open dialogue about how the industry can move forward, in unison, to tackle and remedy varying problems which affect the region.

The two-day conference got underway Friday morning with presentations from the Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest, regional leaders, and British parliamentarian David Lamm.

According to conference organizers, the region can greatly benefit from further integration, while addressing regional economic woes.

“We have to appreciate that while the beauty of the region is our uniqueness, we are all a part of a global environment, so we all have to adapt to the information age, geopolitical initiatives and whatever is taking place, so that our voice is in unison as opposed to having segregated conversation, while trying to achieve one common goal for the industry,” asserted Gowen Bowe, president of the Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA).

Conference dialogue focused on digital integration, global accounting trends, the importance of accountants within the public and private sectors, the ease of doing business and how the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) can advance the idea of regional integration of the sector.

Turnquest and Anthony Pierre, president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC), agreed with Bowe’s assertions that the region will soon need to speak with one voice.

“We are individually very vulnerable and we have seen that in respect to the blacklisting and other pressures that have been put on our countries individually,” shared Turnquest.

“There is strength in numbers and as a region, we have a lot to offer to the world in terms of the talents and what services and goods we provide,” Pierre said.

“It is time now for us to recognize our value and what we export to the world.”

The 2019 conference will be held in Jamaica.