The Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa (ABWA) inauguration in 1982 is the regional organization for the Accountancy Profession in West Africa. Registered as a body corporate 1994, in Nigeria its corporate head quarters is located in Abuja. It is a non-profit making, non-governmental regional association and is one of the six acknowledged accountancy groupings recognized by international federation of accountants (IFAC)
To be a foremost regional accountancy body
To provide leadership in the development, enhancement and strengthening of the accountancy profession in West Africa to enable the profession provide service of consistently high quality in the public interest and contribute to the development and sustainable growth of the economies of the sub-region
To strengthen the accountancy profession in member countries
To enhance technical competence and ethical standards of members for effective service delivery by adopting global best practices in the public interest ,as well as contribute economic development of member countries
To partner with other stakeholders in promoting, fostering and sustaining economic development in the African continent
To assist in achieving the foregoing, ABWA emphases among it workforce in the secretariat and member institutes and through them the professionally trained accountants in the member countries the following:
Competence/expertise, using the concept of continuous professional education after licensing/certification in consonance with accounting and auditing standards set for international financial reporting standards (IPSAS) by their respective issuing boards
Exemplary ethical conduct as set out by ABWA using as template, ethical standards enunciated by IFAC from time to time
To develop and enhance accountancy profession in West Africa, align its strategies with global best practices and thereby improve governance, eliminating waste and corruption, reduce poverty and enhance the standards of living of the citizenry
To provide for the development of professional ethics and standards in member-bodies and act as the center for dissemination of information on accounting standards and development of accountancy practices in West Africa
To partner with national government through the member institutes in the development of public financial management systems
To liaise and collaborate with economic community of West Africa (ECOWAS) in the development of s common investment market in the sub region
Membership of ABWA is open to West African accountancy bodies that are recognized by law within their respective countries as being substantial nation organization of good standing
Membership of ABWA spans through the west African sub region and comprises 5 English speaking(Anglophone), 9 French speaking (Francophone) and 1 Portuguese speaking (Lusophone) institutes including:-
1. Ordre des Experts Comptables et Comptables Agree du Benin (OECCA Benin)
2. Ordre National Des Experts Comptables et Comptables Agrees du Burkina Faso (ONECCA-BF)
3. Ordre National Des Experts Comptables du Cameroun (ONECCA-CAM)
4. Ordre des Experts Comptables et comptables Agrees de cote d’Ivoire(OECCA-C)
5. The Gambian Association of Accountants(GAA)
6. The Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana(ICAG)
7. Ordre des experts Comptables Agrees de Guinea (OECAG)
8. Ordem Nacional Dos Technicos Official de Contas Da Guinea Bissau(ORDEM)
9. The Liberian Institute of Certified Public Accountants (LICPA)
10. Ordre National Des Experts Comptables et comptables Agrees du Mali(ONECCA-M)
11. Ordre des Experts Comptables du Niger (ONECCA-N)
12. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN)
13. Ordre National des Experts Comptables et Comptables Agrees du Senegal(ONECCA-Sen)
14. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sierra Leone (ICASL)
15. Ordre National des Experts Comp tables et Comp tables Agrees du Togo(ONECCA -Togo)
16. The Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN)
The under listed establishments by ABWA enjoy the status of observer/Affiliate
Forum of Accountants General and Auditors of the west Africa(FAAGWA)
Forum of professional Accountants in Business (FOPAB)
Forum of the chief Executive Officers (FOCEO)
Board of Past Presidents (BOPP)
ABWA has achieved remarkable success in the Development of Harmonized Framework for professional Accounting Education and Practice commencing with the Accounting Technician Scheme across West Africa which has to date produced over 4000 graduates. This scheme equips successful candidates with skills and competences to work as middle level accountants providing technical support in accounting, auditing and taxation.
Developed a uniform ethical code enforcement mechanism Manual for members in the region.
Developed a manual on development and implementation of peer Review and quality Assurance.
Knowledge Management-ABWA has published 6 journals and two Technical research papers on topical issues.
All publications are available in English and French.
The establishment of FAAGWA has enhanced and widened the Development of Public Sector Financial Management System in member countries in an ongoing basis, and the forum is now contemplating the introduction of a programme that could lead to staff professionalization/specialization Scheme in public sector.
These achievements have been largely aided by funds provided by the World Bank IDF Grant.
The IDF Grant to the forum facilitated a study carried out to harmonise the accounting and auditing systems, in the Public sector. The study identified areas of deviations from the standard practice and consequently General Accounting policies, generic charts of Accounts, generic Financial Management Act and Regulations were developed and adopted by some of the member bodies Nigeria, Ghana, Benin Republic for implementation.
Training programmes on the adoption and implementation of international Accounting, Auditing and Education standards IRS, IPSAS, ISAs and IFAC Code of Ethics 2010 had been held at various locations for trainers.
Co-hosted a seminar on IFRS for SMES with the World Bank for the Anglo Phone trainers.
Also held periodically are international conferences and congresses.
The main thrust of ABWA Strategic Plan for 2011-2014 are:
Capacity Building by continuing to build relationships between member bodies, Knowledge sharing, mentoring fostering Statement of Membership Obligations (SMO) Compliance, Quality Assurance Programmes, Training seek and enhance Government, Pan African Federation of accountants(PAFA),IFAC and Donor Agencies Relationships.
Assist member bodies and potentials members achieve their objectives as well as promote research and develop thought leadership on merging issues arising from changing economic, political or social factors in the public interest.
ABWA is committed to IFAC membership of all its members PAQs Professional Accounting Organization and desire more involvement in the activities of and representation on IFAC and PAFA Committees and Boards.
A major challenge is sustainable funding which limits implementation and monitoring processes
Other challenges include:-
Getting all members on board for active participation
Harmonizing cultural, language and diverse needs.
Influencing having in place the required legal framework to respond to recognize professional accountants in both the public and private sectors of the economies.
ABWA acknowledges with gratitude the professional guidance and technical assistance of IFAC, Funding by the World Bank and support and collaboration of ECOWAS.
Governance of ABWA rests with ABWA council which comprises of the president and Vice President of members Institutes. Council members are elected for a team of two years in the first instance and are eligible for re-election. The council has responsibility for setting policies and overseeing ABWA’s operations, implementation of programmes and compliance of standards.