Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji has warned auditors to be wary of politicians who are skilled in fraudulent practices so as to avoid compromising integrity of the auditing profession.
Ikuforiji who made this known at the opening ceremony of the 4th Auditors’ Retreat held at Lekki on Thursday with the theme: “Implementation of IPSAS: Roles and Challenges for Audit,” said the profession is priceless, greater than Naira and Kobo.
He emphasized the need for the state auditors to conduct and report on financial and performance audit without subjecting their reports to control or influence by the executive arm of government, urging them to be prepared to embrace the newly introduced International Public Sector Accounting Standards, IPSAS in the country.
He said that in the public sector, auditors must be independent from the executive government, adding that auditors must avoid situations where their objectivity could be compromised.
The Speaker who was represented at the event by his deputy, Hon. Taiwo Kolawole, underscored the indispensability of truthfulness among auditors.
The State Accountant-General, Mrs. H.M. Deile, in her address, urged auditors to embrace the new challenge of IPSAS already adopted by the federal government and which will soon be internalized into the accounting procedure of the State to help the office compete for high value in audit parlance in future.
She said that with the unalloyed support of the legislative arm of the state government, the state auditors will continue to wage war against poor accountability and management of public funds in the best interest of members of the public.
The Auditor-General described IPSAS as set of high quality, independently developed accounting standards issued by the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) that uses a standardized uniform charts of accounts for budgeting and general purpose financial statements, aimed at meeting the financial reporting needs of the public sector which has become a recognized benchmark for evaluating and assessing the accountability and transparency of governance in most developing countries.
She expressed the belief that internalizing IPSAS into the State’s auditing process will not only improve the quality and uniformity of financial statements but will also instill international confidence in the State’s financial management in addition to opening new doors for investors who will then have the economic information that could enable them evaluate the risk profiles of government and make informed decisions.
Deile promised that the State Government will play its role in ensuring that all needed support for auditors to conform to the demands of IPSAS is provided. “Let me assure you that staff welfare will be accorded great attention. Staff training and development in contemporary professional areas will be of utmost priority, while encouraging Auditors to embark on self improvement certifications.
She however craved the support of the State legislators in ensuring that all statutory reports emanating from the Auditor General’s office are given necessary attention it deserves by ensuring proper sanction and adequate follow-up on any erring MDAS so as to serve as deterrent and thereby institutionalizing proper accountability of Government Fund.