The Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA), Duncan Majinda, has vowed to drive his institution’s mandate.
Addressing a press conference on Monday, Majinda said that he will make sure that the institution matches the international best practice in the accounting fraternity following the government’s call to regulate Botswana’s Accounting profession.
Majinda said that it is their responsibility as BICA to make sure that they promote and observe standards and codes, including ethical behavior advocated by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).He said that those are globally recognised to be essential prerequisites for the attraction of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
The BICA leader went on to talk about the Accounts Act NO.12 of 2010, which plays a major role in the running of the accounting profession in Botswana. The Act came into effect in April but has taken some time to put in action. According to the new act everyone in Botswana who is an accountant or provides accounting related services has to be registered.
If not registered and caught, the penalty is a fine of P500 000 or ten years in prison , or both. BICA has also engaged the help of Collins and Newman as part of their disciplinary regime to make sure all the right processes and procedures are followed accordingly when taking disciplinary measures.
Adding more on the Act, Majinda said that it is very important to implement the requirements of the Accountants Act No.12 2010 and to educate stakeholders on what contributions they can make towards this endeavor.
The new Act came along with the BICA qualification which has also changed the institute’s name from the Botswana Institute of Accountants (BIA) to BICA.
This qualification is the first home grown professional accounting qualification and is equivalent to the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) and the ACA of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
“The Accountants Act makes the BICA qualification the number one professional accountancy qualification in Botswana,” said Majinda.
The Act stipulates that professional accountants with other International Federation of Accounts (IFAC) recognised qualifications are allowed to work in Botswana but they have to register with BICA. Botswana has complete structures that are able to deliver world class accountancy through accredited tuition providers Botswana Accountancy College and Botho College.
To date BICA has over 60 students who are the first intake. The students took up Principles of Taxation and Law. The batch is expected to produce chartered accountants by 2014.The next intake of BICA students will take place in January 2012.
Majinda added that BICA relies on members of the public to assist with making it a success. He further urged employers not to employ accountants without checking to see if they are registered.