Accountants are being encouraged to take the lead in offering sound advice, not just on issues of finances and transparency, but in helping to chart a path forward.
In what could be regarded as a message to accounts to help the Freundel Stuart administration on a sustainable growth path for the Barbados economy, Reverend Dr Adrian Smith, of the Calvary Moravian Church, told a special church service this morning that it was time for accountants to get moving.
“You have to believe there are still brighter days ahead for you. And you have to believe that God calls you to a great purpose. It is time to move. We have to acknowledge that there are other possibilities but we have to accept wise council,” he told the gathering, which included members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB).
As the Barbados economy continues to struggle with low growth, dipping reserves, high debt and a wide fiscal deficit, coupled with numerous downgrades, there have been mounting advice from various quarters of society including from accountants, economists and the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP), for the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Government to seek help including from the International Monetary Fund.
Just last week ICAB’s Executive Director Reginald Farley told Barbados TODAY he was eager for Government to put the Sustainable Recovery Plan 2017 in place and urgently establish an oversight monitoring committee.
While Smith did not make specific reference to the DLP administration in his sermon today, he encouraged the accountants that while they accepted wise council for themselves, they should also seek to give the same to “leaders” here.
“Accountants you are going to leave the church to face a nation, businesses, and people and institutions who need you, who need what is right, who need integrity and transparency and accountability,” Smith told the ICAB members.
“Proverbs 11 verse 14 says this; where there is no guidance the people fall, but in the abundance of counselors there is safety. And if you my accountant friends are the mechanism and the means and the standard for what accounting is in this nation then there has to be a voice that gives guidance even to people who don’t want it. It is one thing to give advice to people who want it, but it is hard to give advice to people who don’t want advice but need it. It is hard to lead leaders. It is hard. Leadership is hard no matter what, but it is even harder to lead people who already should know better,” he added.
The accountants today kicked off their week of activities with the church service as they celebrate under the theme Charting the Course, Exploring the Possibilities.
Stating that advice did not have to come from professionals, the pastor said one should be willing to listen those who were willing to be “trendsetters and not just toe the line”.
“If you are indeed charting a course and exploring possibilities we need to listen to those with wisdom, we need to listen to those with experience, we need to listen to those who may have tried and failed so we could learn from their mistakes . . . we need to sometimes listen to those who take greater risk for they present to us a model of what it means sometimes to walk by faith and not by sight,” said Smith.
“If we are charting the course, exploring the possibilities I want to encourage the accountants and all under the sound of my voice that it is time to move,” said Smith.
He said too often people waited for a new year or other special occasions before making some critical decisions, saying it was time they acknowledged the various possibilities before them.
Stressing that moving on was not only about improving ones finances, Smith said there were “some people who got money but they are miserable”.
“I believe the challenge for you today is not just in figures. It is more than just being transparent in accounting. But I believe as a service provider God calls you to give of your best, to do of your best. The reality is, we have stayed long enough at a particular point for there are many people who are stuck at the same point in their life for too long. Many have become stuck in their careers, stuck in ministry, stuck in churches, stuck in jobs, stuck at a particular level with particular attitudes and behaviours yet God is calling us to go to a next level, a new stage,” warned Smith.
Pointing out that the world was constantly changing, the pastor also urged the congregation to adapt to the changes, adding that they should anchor their lives in God. This, he said, will call for a change in mindset, attitude and actions.
Smith said in Barbados there were a lot of people who were very good at talking, but there comes a point when the talking must stop and action must be taken.
“Today God is speaking to somebody not just in their professional life but in your personal life that you just need to move. Go take the plunge, take the step,” he said.