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Jamaica News - Real Estate - Finance (February 27, 2005)
Jamaica on track with adoption of complex financial reporting rules
Local companies are on track with implementation of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and the International Standards on Auditing that were adopted in July 2002.

"We are pleased to note that some companies have published IFRS- compliant financial statements for the first or second time for the financial year ending 2004," said president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ) Linroy Marshall.

He was addressing the 40th anniversary luncheon of the ICAJ at the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort in Montego Bay on Wednesday.

The new international standards were adopted as Jamaica's national accounting and auditing standard in keeping with the global trends towards the harmonisation of accounting and auditing standards.

Marshall said while some of the standards are fairly complex, the ICAJ was committed to assisting stakeholders in overcoming the challenges associated with their implementation.

"In this regard, we are very grateful for the partnership with the Inter- American Development Bank (IDB)," said Marshall.

The ICAJ is manning a technical project, funded by the IDB, to bring companies into compliance with the new standards.

The technical co-operation agreement was signed March 2004.

Funding for the project is provided largely with US$665,000 from the IDB through its multi-lateral investment fund.

Marshall said the agreement is aimed at improving the enforcement compliance framework of the accountancy profession to meet international reporting standards and international standards of auditing.

"The idea is for the institute, through the dissemination of information through seminars, through workshops and outreach programmes, to enable companies to bring up to speed with the requirements of preparing international financial reporting standards," he stated.

Junior finance and planning minister Senator Deika Morrison, who also addressed the accountants, commended the ICAJ for adopting the new measures. She said their implementation came at a time when many countries in North America and Europe were just beginning to consider the merits of adopting them.

"The initiative by the ICAJ has definitely placed us among the forerunners for transparency and harmonisation in presentation of financial statements, and in so doing has served to renew and heighten confidence in Jamaica's financial reporting and auditing environs," Morrison noted.

She added that for the financial year ending March 31, 2004, at least 34 public bodies prepared financial statements that were IFRS-compliant. "The public sector continues to make advances towards achieving greater comparability, consistency and credibility of published financial statements," the junior minister said.

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