Tuesday, December 1, 2020

BICA 2013-2016 Strategic Plan kicks in

The Botswana Institute of Chartered accountants announced its 2013- 2016 strategic plan which is expected to paint a clear picture of where the organisation aspires to go.
The strategy has 4 key focus areas that are positioning the BICA qualification and brand, increasing the number of BICA members and professional accountants in the country. In addition ensuring that BICA attains sustainability and improving the services BICA offers.
A key part of the strategy is to meet the demand of 3 000 professional accountants in the country. Meanwhile Botswana has a total of 1000 professional accountants and BICA is optimistic that by 2016 the number would have increased to 1455. To date there are no BICA qualified accountants and the institution is hopeful to have at least 55 BICA qualified accountants by 2016.
While there has been slow progress in the past years, Tshegofatso Modise the BICA President said there is more cause for optimism with the strategy plan in place. Nonetheless the realisation of this strategy will be highly influenced by a number of factors that include the insufficient human resource to implement strategy.
“There is no sufficient human resource to get the job going at the pace we would want,” she said.
Modise bemoaned the current BICA pass rates which are low, they have been primarily attributed to the compulsory requirement to study and work simultaneously. “The caliber of the current student pool as well as other challenges in the delivery of the qualification resulted in the poor pass rates,” she said.
Additionally the organisation is faced with a high compliance to standards burden as a result of onerous regulatory framework. “The situation is expected to worsen going forward as the trend towards increasing regulation continues,” said Modise.
Another aspect that is of concern to the accomplishment of the strategy is that the organisation has not developed an examination question bank to mitigate unforeseen events. Currently BICA has joint examination schemes with the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) that are renewed every five years.
The BICA qualification is the first home grown professional accounting qualification and is equivalent to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
Modise admitted that it will not be easy to position the BICA brand to compete against the more established competition. “BICA will not be able to effectively compete if it does not attain reciprocity for its qualifications,” she added.
BICA is negatively affected by the government slow turnaround times such as decision making and disbursements of funds.
Modise said BICA is over-dependent on its strategic partners, other service providers and the government and the organisation has not done enough research to adequately inform its client’s needs.
In addition the organisation made a milestone achievement with the launch of Botswana GAAP for use by exempt companies, partnerships and sole traders who want to keep credible financial records at a lower cost than for the bigger International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) frameworks.

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The Telegraph December 2

Digital edition of The Telegraph, December 2, 2020.