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Accountants Week focusses on ‘global arena’

In the global marketplace, staying competitive and keeping up with the latest international standards has never been more important than now, according to Zelma Wilson, the first vice president of the Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA).

And that’s exactly why Accountants Week, concluding this Saturday, is so integral to the industry.

“We need to keep ourselves informed not just locally, but globally,” she told Guardian Business.

“It impacts our profession immensely. In the financial services sector in particular, there have been many changes in terms of international reporting standards, tax and legislative changes. We must understand where we are and where we’re headed as a nation so we can compete in the global arena.”

Beginning on Nov. 6 with a church service at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral in Nassau, the festivities feature a number of informative sessions and speakers.

Today and tomorrow, two speakers from GAAP, known for training on international financing reporting, will be addressing BICA’s hundreds of members at the British Colonial Hilton.

Michael Walworth, the co-founder of GAAP seminars in 2001, used to work as a senior manager at KPMG, serving financial institution clients in the U.S. and Switzerland.

Chris Brundrett, the second speaker, specializes in delivering U.S. GAAP programs to accounting professionals and also used to work at KPMG as a senior manager.

The technical update session, Wilson added, will inform members of the “changes taking place with international reporting standards”.

But beyond that, Accountants Week is also about bringing professions together to learn from each other and spark networking opportunities.

BICA currently has more than 300 members.

“The week brings together accountants to network,” Wilson explained.

“It’s an opportunity for shared learning, networking and for our membership to build in their profession by listening.”

Other speakers for the week have included Zhivargo Laing, the state minister of finance, Philip Stubbs, the chair of the Securities Commission of The Bahamas, and Branville McCartney, corporate attorney and member of Parliament.

The week will conclude on November 11 with a focus on student membership and panel discussions on “Protection Against Blue and White Collar Crime” and “What’s Next for BICA and the Local Accounting Profession”.

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