The Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) has held its 2016 Annual General Meeting.

President Osborne says, *”BICA must remain at the forefront through strong and decisive leadership and collaboration with the government, regulators and other key stakeholders. We must not only embrace change, but champion it. BICA must continue to be a united body with a strong commitment to a common objective.”* She asserted that the institute has a rich legacy in the financial services industry, acting as a change agent during a critical period in the country’s history, and it remains committed to increasing the acumen of the Bahamian financial community. BICA’s goal is focused on elevating the standards and overall health of the financial industry in The Bahamas. This, she said, remains at the core of its existence and continues to influence the creation of policies, legislation and business conduct.

At the AGM, President Darnell Osborne highlighted milestones over the past year, while outlining the Institute’s plans for the coming year. Of important note, BICA was able to successfully draft and implement its new legislation which now brings it in compliance with the dynamic membership requirements of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). The new legislation calls for the implementation of public practice monitoring, which is expected to be fully introduced this summer. The year also saw finalization and publication of BICA’s Statement of Membership Obligations (SMO) Plan ahead of schedule. BICA was represented on several national committees and working groups during the year, consulting with the Caribbean National Regional Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Ministry of Finance and the Public Treasury.

For the remainder of the year, BICA’s Council has been charged with continued realization of the institute’s objectives, including preparation of a strategic plan, increased dialogue with key stakeholders in the various government departments, greater enforcement of the renewal of licensing requirements, attracting new members and encouraging active participation of all members, and continuous assessment of the administrative and technical capacity of the BICA Secretariat.

Events for the remainder of the year include planned activities to mark this year’s 45th anniversary, and the annual Accountants’ Week, November 14–19 in New Providence and Grand Bahama.

The move to form an association to oversee the development of the professional accounting industry in the Bahamas started back in 1965, with BICA officially incorporated on August 6, 1971.