The Society of Women Accountants of Nigeria (SWAN) on Saturday held a one-day seminar for more than 120 business owners and other professionals on keeping accurate financial records.
The seminar, titled, “Accounting for Non-Accountants,” which was held in Lagos, also included training of the participants on how to measure the performance of their businesses.
In her address, Mrs Nwamara Nnaji, National Chairperson, SWAN, said accounting and record keeping as a medium of performance measurement for every business must be understood and imbibed by everyone.
Nnaji explained that this is to promote integrity, accuracy and accountability in every sphere of life and particularly in businesses.
“We believe that every business owner should have knowledge of the outcome or results of the efforts and resources they have expended at any point in time.
“One of the ways to achieve this is by having an insight into accounting for all transactions, especially as it relates to outflows and inflows to determine if the business is rewarding, profitable or not.
“As our core area of professionalism, it is only right that we from time to time, impact this knowledge the best way we can, as one of our Corporate Social Responsibilities to the general public, especially women,” she said.
According to the chairperson, for a business to survive, business owners must have some knowledge of record keeping and monitoring of all their activities.
Nnaji noted that the seminar would help the participants track all their income and expenditure and know if their businesses are profitable and worth it or not.
She urged the participants to comprehend, embrace and imbibe the knowledge imparted by the speakers and apply it in their various businesses going forward.
In her opening remark, Mrs Martina Amadi, Chairperson, of the Local Organising Committee, said SWAN had come a long way in giving back to society through various self-financing programmes in areas of empowerment, scholarship award, and encouragement to young girls, among others.
Amadi said that the seminar was organised because enlightenment and education are the key areas SWAN was passionate about.
She noted that if business owners desire to measure their performance in business, they must maintain proper accounting books and records.
In her presentation, Mrs Yinka Ogbonmide, former Chief Operating Officer of Makon Engineering and Technical Services Ltd.,
advised the business owners to understand the form of money and track their commercial activities through bookkeeping.
Ogbonmide said that non-accountants need bookkeeping because it serves as a tool for control, helps reduce leakages and is a basis for other partners to invest in their businesses.
“Business owners must separate themselves from their businesses, plan, be patient and also get a business mentor to thrive.
“They must deploy bookkeeping tools such as cash flow, ledgers, journal, receipt booklet, expenses voucher and excel for their record keeping,” she said.
Also in his lecture, Mr Tunde Oduwaye, Finance Function Official, Olam Flour Mills Ltd., said that accounting helps one to plan and act in a way that there are no negative surprises.
Oduwaye said that while accounting is a language that explains all key elements of business performance and financial health, business owners must separate the fortunes of business from their personal fortunes.
Mrs Bukunola Akinmoladun, Managing Partner, BMO & Co Chartered Accountants, in her presentation, urged the participants to acquire more knowledge on tax payment and comply accordingly.
According to Akinmoladun, tax avoidance and evasion are illegal and the implications for non-compliance, late compliance or under compliance of tax payment may include penalties, fines, and imprisonment, among other sanctions.
She explained that proper planning for payment of tax minimises litigation, reduces tax liabilities, ensures economic stability, and leverages productivity, among others.
“Majority of business owners are out of tax net because since two years ago, registered Limited Liability Company with a yearly profit of less than 25 million is exempted from tax by law, ” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SWAN comprises female members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).
The Society, in its 44 years of existence, assists the institute to attend to the soft issues and non-core areas regarding the development of women and children, especially the girl-child and indeed the general populace as the need arises.