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East African accountants to harmonise qualifications

By Vision Reporter

Added 16th September 2011 08:00 PM

INSTITUTES of accountants in the East African Community (EAC) have signed an agreement to recognise member states accountants’ professional qualifications.

INSTITUTES of accountants in the East African Community (EAC) have signed an agreement to recognise member states accountants’ professional qualifications.

By David Ssempijja
and A. Nantambi

INSTITUTES of accountants in the East African Community (EAC) have signed an agreement to recognise member states accountants’ professional qualifications.

The deal removes barriers that certified public accountants (CPAs) have been meeting while looking for jobs across the region.

Ugandan CPAs were, for instance, subjected to pre-employment tax and law examinations in Tanzania and Kenya. However, accountants from other EAC countries get jobs in Uganda without any condition as long as they belong to any regional iprofessional body.

Nuru Thakkar, the president of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU), explained that the agreement offered an automatic regional membership to accountants that belong to institutes that are part of the deal.

“This is a great milestone as we aim to tap into the benefits provided under the free movement of labour, a key consideration enshrined in the EAC common market protocol,” Thakkar said. He was speaking during the 16th ICPAU annual seminar at the Imperial Resort Beach Hotel in Entebbe on Wednesday.

Carol Kigen, the chief executive officer and secretary for Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya, expressed optimism that the deal would strengthen the region’s financial systems.

“Our next step is to implement common qualification standards for members so that we are competitive beyond the EAC trade bloc,” she said.

While opening the seminar, Eriya Kategaya, the EAC affairs minister, advised the accountants to be ethical.
Last year, Uganda had 1,500 certified accountants, half the figure recommended by the World Bank. Tanzania had over 3,000 and Kenya 5,000 CPAs.

East African accountants to harmonise qualifications

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