Experts decry shortage of certified accountants as 100 graduate

The number of needed Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in Rwanda is far from being achieved. The remarks were made on Friday by Peter Rutaremara, the Managing Partner of RUMA audit firm during a graduation of 100 CPAs after completing final professional CPA and Accounting Technician courses courtesy of the Kenya Accountants and Secretaries National Examinations Board (KASNEB).
The Kenya High Commissioner to Rwanda, H.E. John Mwangemi (R) handing over a CPA certificate to Jeanne Abayo, one of the graduates, at UR-CBE in Kigali on Thursday. (Courtesy)
The Kenya High Commissioner to Rwanda, H.E. John Mwangemi (R) handing over a CPA certificate to Jeanne Abayo, one of the graduates, at UR-CBE in Kigali on Thursday. (Courtesy)

The number of needed Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in Rwanda is far from being achieved. The remarks were made on Friday by Peter Rutaremara, the Managing Partner of RUMA audit firm during a graduation of 100 CPAs after completing final professional CPA and Accounting Technician courses courtesy of the Kenya Accountants and Secretaries National Examinations Board (KASNEB).

“In estimation, today, we need at least 5,000 CPAs in the country’s public and private, civil society and other sectors, yet only some 300 CPAs are registered in ICPAR,” said Rutaremara.

 

The students graduated in different fields including economics, business, management as well as employees in the finance sector countrywide who started the courses in 2010.

 

According to John Munga, the Secretary General of Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda (ICPAR), the institute has 350 registered members, but there are some CPAs who have not joined the professional body.

 

However, he and other financial experts contended that the number of needed CPAs in the country is far from being attained.

“Registered Rwandan CPAs are less than 100. Others are foreigners including Kenyans, Tanzanians and Indians.”

The former president and founder of ICPAR says the newly graduated CPAs will boost the economy.

“We will continue to work hard as ICPAR and with the government so that we attain the number needed on the job market,” he said.

“If only we would be producing 50 Rwandan CPAs annually, we might achieve the target in some years.”

He said the CPA curriculum in Rwanda started in 2012 so as to examine the CPA professional course.

Speaking during the certificate awarding ceremony at UR’s College of Business and Economics (CBE), Prof. Manasseh Nshuti, Senior Economic Advisor to the President, who was the chief guest, said that CPA certificate is of profound importance to the country’s economy.

He said CPA professional courses provide one with profound skills financial and accounting skills that are far beyond that of a degree, urging Rwandans to professionalize their degrees.

Prof. Nshuti noted that the CPA programme benefits the country as it gets skilled and ethical public accountants, which can be one of the means to tackle mismanagement of public funds and embezzlement.

Munga told Sunday Times that working with big and experienced global networks of professional firms equips locals with financial and auditing skills and technical know-how.

The Kenyan High Commissioner to Rwanda, John Mwangemi said “the role of education in the economic and social growth of a country is very critical as it drives people’s productivity and creativity and promotes entrepreneurship.” 

“No country can achieve sustainable economic development without substantial investment in human capital for them to be productive in their economies,” he noted.

Jeanne Abayo, one of the graduates, said CPA courses are of high value as they sharpen the minds of finance managers and accountants, adding that with the acquired skills, “we are to pursue cooperate management and entrepreneurship dreams with confidence of being better of us.”

“Many of us are destined to be CEOs, CEFOs (Chief Finance Executive Officers), auditors, as entrepreneurs and company directors. The country looks up to us to revolutionalise the business environment in a way that benefits our economy. So, we have to turn the knowledge we have acquired into something of impact,” she said.

The in charge of exam processing at KASNEB, Christabel Osango, said the mission of KASNEB is to be a world class professional examination body producing competitive professionals by offering quality examinations in various domains of their examination.

She said KASNEB does a major syllabus review after every 5 years to respond to the ever-changing market demands.

Osango said the major syllabus review in November 2015 saw the professional qualifications revamped and realigned to the market demand and recognition, with the inclusion of various aspects of public accounting and finance, strategy and governance and the certified public secretaries, which was changed to certified secretaries to include more aspects of governance and secretariat practices.

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