Accredits 186 external auditors
The Bank of Industry (BoI) has announced plan to scale up loan disbursement to Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs), from the last year’s N5.6 billion to over N10 billion this year, to boost business growth and wealth creation across the country.
To eliminate bottleneck and facilitate increased access to its loan facility,
the development finance institution has accredited 186 external auditors to help SMEs prepare reliable financials.
Speaking during the induction of the external auditors in Abuja recently, BoI’s former Managing Director, Rasheed Olaoluwa explained that the appointment of the auditors was part of the bank’s strategies to develop an ecosystem of credible developmental partners to help SMEs in the country.
He stated that the move became imperative if the bank must rely on some of the financials being presented to it by some firms prospecting for loan, stressing that the financial institution had discovered that most of the financials were, more often than not, doctored.
Although, the Company and Allied Matters Acts (CAMA) prescribes that all firms prepare annual audited accounts, Olaoluwa stated that the decision of the bank to appoint its own external auditors stemmed from the need to ascertain the reliability of financials submitted before it.
“The idea is to ensure the integrity of the financial component of the loan applications that come to the bank. We have discovered that most of the loan applications are doctored. Some even go to non-accountant to prepare their financials for them. Some chartered accountants have also seen to compromise on the professional ethics by conspiring with business promoters to falsify figures.
“They have different financials- one for the bank, one for themselves and one for the tax man. However, by coming up with this list of accredited auditors, we want reliable financials that we can work with. We involved Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) in the process,” Olaoluwa said.
He however, admonished the accredited external auditors to uphold the tenets of their professional duties by ensuring that they discharge their services to their customers in line with the global best practices.
According to him, the bank would not hesitate to report any auditor that compromise on the line of duty to their respective accounting body.
“So anybody who submits funny figures will be reported to their respective accounting bodies for appropriate sanctions.”