A new certified accounting qualification programme approach is one of the means expected to help Rwanda narrow huge skills gaps, especially in public finance management, an official from the Institute of Certified Public Accountants (ICPAR) has said.
Jean Marie Vianney Muhire, Director of Education and Development Services at ICPAR, said that the 2018 Public Finance Management Learning and Development Strategy by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning showed that over 7,000 public employees working in different services including budgeting, procurement, accounting, economics and other positions related to finance, lacked professional skills.
This issue poses a threat to the country’ public finance management.
He was speaking on Friday, during the closure of a two-day Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop on new certified Accounting Technician (CAT) qualification in Kigali.
Currently, Muhire said, ICPAR has about 500 Certified Public Accountants and 99 Technician Accountants who completed Certified Accounting Technician qualification.
“So, there is a long way to go because have a gap to get at least 5,000 certified technicians and professionals in accountancy within five years in the public sector alone,” he said.
The new ability that ICPAR has introduced in the country in partnership with Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, UK (ACCA UK) is a vocational qualification that allows the recipient to support the work of professional accountants by undertaking a wide range of accountancy, financial and taxation tasks.
Currently, Muhire said, ICPAR has about 500 certified public accountants and 99 technician accountants who completed Certified Accounting Technician qualification.
The training intended to enhance the quality of coaching delivery across tuition providers, universities and Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges.
Muhire said 89 teachers from 60 institutions participated in the training, and that they were going to develop partnerships with universities, schools and centres in offering accounting courses so as to produce a critical mass of qualified accountants.
Trevor Garriock, Head of Specialist Solutions at ACCA, UK, who offered the CAT training, said: “What the new CAT qualification does is to ensure that there is a constant pipeline of new people coming into the profession, they are able to do the job that is needed, but, they are also able to have the opportunity of progressing as well.”
Yvette Mwiza, a lecturer of accounting at the University of Rwanda’s College of Business and Economics (CBE) said that the training was helpful to trainers on how they can coach students in class to become accounting technicians.
“Rwanda does not have enough accounting technicians because students acquired ordinary lessons in accounting, but they did not get deep understanding of the work they will do after completing their studies,” she said, pointing out that after covering the CAT, they understand what they will do on in their job.