James Momanyi @jamomanyi
The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) has endorsed the amendments introduced in the Accountants Act by Treasury in the Finance Act 2018 which, among other things, defined “an accountant” and introduced a remuneration order to guide the profession.
Last month, Treasury Cabinet secretary Henry Rotich amended the Accountants Act No. 05 of 2008 by making changes to the definition of an accountant, which was previously ambiguous and constrained the application of the Act.
In the new amendment, the ‘Accountancy” profession was defined to include practice in accounting, financial reporting, control systems, systems auditing, auditing, assurance, forensic accounting and auditing, finance, financial management, public finance management, taxation, financial risk management, the growth and diversity of the accountancy profession and extends the regulation of the profession to emerging areas.
According to Icpak chairman Julius Mwatu, the amendment will empower the regulator of accountancy profession to now issue multiple licences to members to enable them specialise and practise under the Icpak banner. It also introduced a student category for licensing.
“The amended Act defines a trainee accountant as a person registered by the Examinations Board and who has commenced professional accountancy education or training or is practising accountancy as part of initial professional development required for qualification as an accountant,” said Mwatu.
“The trainee accountant will also be subjected to practical training by the Institute before completing their examinations.
This will ensure that the trainee accountant is monitored by Icpak in terms of adherence to code of ethics of professional accountants as well as ensure acquisition of relevant professional and work experiences through the practical trainee accountant framework (TAPEF) conducted by Icpak and Kasneb,” he added.
Rotich also made changes by prescribing the Remuneration Order. The amended Act now empowers the CS on the advice of Icpak Council, to prescribe a remuneration order.
The law provides that the Council shall, “prescribe the remuneration order for the accountancy profession with the approval of the CS responsible for finance.”
The Icpak chairman said that these amendments will turn around the profession that has in the past been on the spot for abetting irregularities during auditing of public and private entities, especially in the financial sector.
Some accounting professionals have also been accused of making arbitrary invoices for their clients since there was no proper regulation.