New deal could open international market for local certified accountants

Dr Patrick Uwizeye, the ICPAR president, and Gordian Bowa the Senior Manager of Eastern Central Africa for CIMA, signed mutual recognition agreement. / Michel Nkurunziza

A new agreement between the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda, and Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (CIMA) could increase opportunities for local accountants on the international market.

The agreement aims at enhancing the professionalism of public accountants and increase their opportunities to collaborate with competent public accountant across the world.

According to Dr Patrick Uwizeye, the ICPAR president, the move is also part of a five-year strategy that seeks to close the skills gap of 5,000 accounting professionals in the next five years.

The two institutions have committed to develop and sustain a relationship of mutual recognition of each other’s members with intention to enhance the accountancy competency of members willing and seeking to extend their scope of practice.

“The agreement heralds the recognition and acknowledgement of our members to collaborate with others professional accountants in addressing the demands of rapidly evolving and disruptive accounting environment,” he said.

He noted that the step is part of our efforts to reform the practice of public accountancy in the country and align Rwanda’s systems with internationally acceptable best standards.

“This includes building competitiveness of our members and keep them updated on the emerging trends and issues in accountancy internationally .The efforts will improve the transferability of skills between members and other accounting professionals beyond Rwanda,” he said.

ICPAR has only over 500 Certified Public Accountants and 99 Technician Accountants who completed Certified Accounting Technician qualification.

CIMA has over 150,000 certified members, 280,000 students in over 180 countries.

Rwanda needs to significantly increase the number of nationally qualified accountants if it is to fulfill its desire of being a financial and services hub and help bolster service delivery across the public sector

Research shows a positive correlation between the number of accountants in employment and GDP per capita and United Nations Development Index.

According to the Nexus 2 study conducted by IFAC, it is estimated that accountants add up to half a trillion dollars to the global economy.

Uwizeye said that the Rwanda’s five year strategy running to 2021 seeks to increase the number of certified accountants following multiple challenges in enhancing accounting efficiency.

These include inability to produce the number of professional accountants required by the public sector  which results  in under-qualified individuals performing accounting and finance  due to lack of the required skills.

The strategy also looks on to the initiative to help business understand the benefits of employing a professionally qualified accountant whereby quality of governance, financial management, reporting, and auditing in the public and private sector will be enhanced.

It will also ensure that investor and donor confidence as well as increased foreign direct investment, regional and international competitiveness increases and thus contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr. Uwizeye said, “The agreement enables the environment for local certified accountants to work everywhere since they will have global qualifications. Considering the continental free trade treaty currently being ratified is an opportunity for the skilled accountants.”

Gordian Bowa  who is in charge of Eastern Central Africa at   CIMA said that Rwanda is increasingly becoming an important market hence the need to boost competencies in the aspect.

“Those who come to our qualification and qualify, they obtain a passport for themselves, they can go and work anywhere in the world as they are recognized globally. We have developed very modern qualifications which members will have access to,” he said.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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