(Honiara, ISIA): The Australian Government is backing the Institute of Solomon Islands Accountants’ (ISIA) effort towards becoming, by 2025, a member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), the global organization for the accounting profession.

Through Australia’s High Commission in Honiara, ISIA received a grant supporting the Institute’s activities for a period of 18 months from 1st of January 2020.

Signing the grant agreement on behalf of ISIA was the Institute’s Vice President Mr. Peter Soqoilo who attended a brief signing ceremony with Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner to the Solomon Islands, Ms. Sally-Anne Vincent.

The funding assistance is the second grant received by ISIA from Australia’s Governance Program in Solomon Islands.

Speaking at the event, Australia’s Deputy High Commissioner said “the grant assistance will help contribute to the improvement of the accounting profession in Solomon Islands and will add value to the current work of the Solomon Islands Governance Program on the Public Financial Management Act implementation”.

A group photo of ISIA, DFAT and Cardno representatives with the Deputy High Commissioner Sally Anne Vincent (Photo: DFAT)

Responding to the Deputy High Commissioner, ISIA’s Vice-President thanked the Australian Government for the financial support and remarked that the financial support would have a transformative impact on ISIA’s activities in the Solomon Islands.

“As a result of the financial support received, ISIA, led by our CEO Pamela Alamu, is slowly transforming its operations, and refocusing priorities to enable it to be more effective in delivering our statutory mandate which is to develop and regulate the accounting profession in the country” remarked Vice President Peter Soqoilo.

“Our first grant allowed us to secure the services of a highly qualified professional accountant as our CEO, open our secretariat and develop the initial framework for the rules for accountancy practice in Solomon Islands aimed towards achieving longer term, our goal for IFAC accreditation and recognition,” he said.

Peter added “We are grateful for the ongoing support from the Australian Government towards building our institutional capability to support both the accounting profession and the wider economic interests in the country.”

The second grant of SBD$1.6 million grant is focused on capacity building and governance for ISIA and its members, aimed at raising the Institute’s level of competency as a Professional Accountancy Organisation (PAO) and to support its members in building and maintaining professional accounting skill towards eventually achieving international standards.

Among the areas being funded under the grant are six components, four of which are aimed at strengthening the capacity and effectiveness of ISIA as Solomon Islands’ accountancy regulator, mandated under the Accountant Act 2010.

The remaining two components form ISIA’s private and public sector facing activities aimed at raising the standard of accounting and reporting practices in the Solomon Islands.

This includes funding for the setting up of an Online Examination Centre aimed at spring-boarding professional development in the Solomon Islands and that would allow local accountants and students to achieve international accounting certification without having to travel overseas.

According to ISIA’s CEO, the Institute plans to achieve this aim by using the Examination Centre to facilitate in-country exams for international accountancy certification and accreditation.

“ISIA is also looking at over time, introducing in-country global standard accounting professional development programs suitable for both public and private sector accountants with pathways for non-tertiary qualified entry levels through to our flagship CPA programs” said Pamela.

“Our other areas of focus include a stronger communications component utilizing our new website and online platforms, implementation of our new accountancy rules, social and gender inclusion, and public private partnerships, as part of ISIA’s longer term professional development activities.”

ISIA has 240 members and is an Associate Member of the Confederation of Asian Pacific Accountants (CAPA) which is the regional body that oversees the development, coordination and advancement of bodies such as ISIA in the Asia Pacific region.