'Shape new identity for Jamaica' - Earl Jarrett honoured by ICAJ, prescribes path to better future
He has been given numerous national awards over the years, but Earl Jarrett, general manager of the Jamaica National Building Society, was just as grateful for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica's (ICAJ) Distinguished Member Award presented to him last Thursday.
The event, held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, saw several persons from both the private sector and government who turned out to witness Jarrett's achievement.
Jarrett, who expressed gratitude for the recognition, used the opportunity to urge leaders to make it their priority to pave a path that will foster growth and development for citizens.
"Jamaica has much to learn from the Institute of Chartered Accountants, an organisation founded in 1965. The founders fought for the passage of the Public Accountants Act in 1968, to support the development of the profession. The institute boldly established local and international arrangements to expand the profession and to start a movement that sought to grow the Jamaican profession by developing local standards of accounting," he said.
"It is that movement that has brought us here tonight to celebrate. The ICAJ over the years has ensured that the structural changes were made that advanced the profession, such as the introduction of laws," he said.
Jarrett added: "The lesson learnt over the years is that change can be achieved by setting a vision and creating the structure to achieve growth and change. As a country, Jamaica must also do what the ICAJ has done. One, shape a vision for the future. Second, it must create a new identity for our country - one that is not defined by the lottery scam and crime but by professionals who have great values and are ready to build a nation."
He also stressed that it is imperative that structures are put in place that will amend the old laws of Jamaica that keep citizens tied to the thinking of the plantation.
In the meantime, Finance Minister Audley Shaw noted that the accounting profession will be a critical link in achieving the Government's growth agenda.
"I think that it is useful that we recognise the profession (accounting) as an essential driver of strong, sustainable and accountable businesses, financial markets and the economy as whole," Shaw told the gathering.
"The profession inherently has a crucial role in achieving the Government's growth target (five in four). We can do it, we can achieve growth rates of five per cent in four years. In this fiscal year of this administration we will achieve two per cent, three per cent in year two, four per cent in year three and five per cent in year four," he declared.
In the meantime, Jarrett has called on the Government to adopt the accrual system in the management of its accounts. He said that the cash system used in central government accounting has largely been abandoned in the private sector and in government-owned companies, and also indicated that the adoption of the accrual system would make Government's accounts more transparent.