More efforts needed to get professional accountants

There is need for the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda (ICPAR) to work more closely with higher learning institutions in the country to produce more professional accountants needed to drive the country's economic transformation.

There is need for the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda (ICPAR) to work more closely with  higher learning institutions in the country to produce more professional accountants needed to drive the country’s economic transformation.

The appeal was made by various officials from financial institutions during the third ICPAR annual meeting yesterday.

The three day meeting ended yesterday in Rubavu.

“There are challenges we want to address together with the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders to change the way financial professionals are  taught. More graduates from universities who join the  profession lack the requisite skills,” Francis Mugisha,  the ICPAR president said.

“We need to discuss with the stakeholders to change the teaching methodology so that accountants who graduate from universities have the required skills,” he added.

He said the institute had achieved a lot since its inception six years ago.

 “We have registered steady progress and hope to have accountants  who meet international standards in the next few years,” he said.

ICPAR is a professional organisation established in June 2008 with the aim of regulating the accounting profession in the country.

It started in 2008 and currently reaches hundreds of students through professional examination qualification programmes in Certified Accounting Technician (CAT), Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Continuous professional Developments (CPDs).

The professional exams programme started in 2012. Rwanda currently has over 300 registered professional accountants but officials say the number is still low compared to what is needed.

Fred Mugisha, the director of policy, research and planning at the Higher Education Council, hailed ICPAR for improving the quality of accounting in Rwanda.

He said there have been great improvements in financial reporting, thanks to ICPAR.

“Employers are complaining that some of the graduates they are getting are half-baked and not ready for the challenges in the work place,” Mugisha said.

He urged participants to uphold professionalism, integrity and innovation.

Obadiah Biraro, the Auditor General, noted that professionals in accounting field had helped developed countries in their transformational journey, adding that it would further boost financial management in the country.

The annual meeting was organised under the theme “Integrity and Professionalism for national development.”

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