November 27, 2012
The Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA organizes training workshop in collaboration with Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) from November 6th, 2012 to January 24th, 2013 for directors and accountants of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The workshop is under the urgent phase of JICA's Financial Management Improvement Project for t MOFA which spans from February 2012 to September 2015.
MOFA's Public Financial Management Project is geared towards improving its accounting practices and reporting systems. Based on Controller and Accountant's General Department (CAGD)'s Accounting Manual, MOFA's Accounting Guidebook (AGB) is the tool to assist accounting practitioners to standardize the accounting operation procedures throughout all the cost centres of MOFA. By creating standardized accounting operation, AGB is designed to pave the way for smooth implementation of Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) currently being rolled out in various ministries. AGB also goes hand in hand with MOFA's accounting software application (EasyBooks) which is instrumental in an effective transition toward MOFA's full utilization of GIFMIS for its ministerial financial management. Objectives of AGB training is 1) to prepare cost centre heads and accountants to start implementing AGB, 2) to obtain feedback on AGB, particularly, areas of implementation difficulty, for the next improvement, 3) capacity development of Working Group members (training of trainers).
The AGB training is being conducted in five locations with participants from all of MOFA's cost centres from the ten regions of Ghana. From November 20th to 22nd, the training was held in Accra for Greater Accra, Headquarters and technical directorate head team and accountants in cost center.
Mr.Hayford.Baah-Adade, Financial Controller from MOFA made a presentation on general guidance. In his presentation, it was mentioned that the Accounting Guidebook is the core of MOFA's financial management improvement project. Accounting Guidebook is created to improve MOFA's financial management practices consistent with requirements of Financial Administration Act 2003, Financial Administration Regulations 2004, CAGD Accounting Manual and GIFMIS Chart of Accounts. Also, the implementation of Accounting Guidebook aided by EasyBooks and with the support of the Internal Audit function is to establish Standardized Accounting procedures at Cost Centres.
In his presentation, Mr.Katsuyoshi Hamahashi, JICA expert and team leader of the project emphasized that the objective of the Accounting Guidebook is to standardize and improve accounting practices of MOFA's 250 cost centres. He said "We have created the AGB from April to August this year. Then, we start the testing on the ground. It is practical implementation approach. AGB content needs to be implementable and has to be actually implemented as soon as possible. We take the process-based approach. According to training, we receive the feedback from participants and we will improve the Guidebook every year. We are now in year -1 and AGB version year phase. After receiving the feedback, we revise AGB for next step."