Audit Service gets computer laboratory
The Ghana Audit Service (GAS) can now effectively use Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in its operations to improve on its accounting and financial reporting systems.
The Service could now boast of a fully furnished 25-seater computer laboratory, which was provided funded by the Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information Systems (GIFMIS) project, an ICT-based system that serves as a Government of Ghana (GoG) official platform for budget preparation and financial management.
The intervention would, therefore, transform the Audit Service from its traditional way of using manual accounting systems in reporting auditing processes and procedures, which was hitherto saddled with numerous challenges such as the cumbersome manual processing of transactions, lack of reliable financial data and, poor record keeping among other things.
Mr Cassiel Ato Forson, a Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, who commissioned the facility on Wednesday, underscored the critical role of GAS in the national budget preparation and execution, Accounting and Financial Reporting, Cash Management, Assets Management, Internal controls and Auditing.
He said the ICT project was, therefore, part of the Public Financial Management (PFM) reform, which seeks to improve the fiscal discipline and macro-economic stability of the country.
He indicated that GIFMIS, in addition, had provided 200 laptop computers to equip GAS in their field of work in the overall PFM reform being pursued by Government.
According to him, the Government of Ghana (GoG) was vigorously pursuing the implementation of GIFMIS in order to achieve the desired reforms.
Mr Forson indicated that the Service had already organised training for 136 staff members on the business processes, P2P modules and controls embedded in GIFMIS, to equip them with the skills, knowledge and understanding to interrogate the applications, make enquiries and assess the layers of controls of the new system.
He said the project was also organising to offer hands-on training to over 200 GAS staff to be able to effectively carry out their computer-based functions and also provide quality assurance on the system.
Mr Benjamin Cudjoe, Acting Auditor-General, expressed gratitude to the Controller and Accountant-General and the GIFMIS project team for the support and gave the assurance that the facility would be well maintained to ensure that it achieved its objective.
He said the Service was excited about the intervention because it was of the view that Ghanaians were or may be getting bored with GAS reports which had become monotonous each year and unattractive to read.
He indicated that in the advanced and developed countries, Supreme Audit Institutions had moved from the traditional regularity and financial audits and were now focusing mainly on Information Technology audits, Environmental as well as value for money audits.
“We here in Ghana cannot afford that luxury with our current financial management system where controls are so weak and auditors fail to implement audit recommendations”, he said.
Mr Cudjoe said it was clear that the GIFMIS had really come to stay and the controls embedded in it, would to a large extent, eliminate most of the waste, collusion and failure of auditors to follow laid down principles.