Public Accountants and Auditors Board chairman Wesley Sibanda yesterday asked Parliament to amend the existing Public Accountants and Auditors Act so that all accountants and auditors would be properly regulated.
SENIOR PARLIAMENTARY REPORTER
Sibanda made the remarks when his board appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Public Accounts chaired by Mufakose MP Paurina Mpariwa (MDC-T) and the Budget, Finance and Economic Development Portfolio Committee chaired by David Chapfika (Mutoko South MP Zanu PF).
He also suggested that the Act should be amended to ensure all levels of auditing and accounting would be incorporated in terms of different tiers so that businesses at different levels are accommodated and small and medium enterprises and rural businesses audited at their own levels.
“The objectives of the amendments are to bring in accounting bodies which are not regulated by the Public Accountants and Auditors Board so that all accountants are regulated,” Sibanda said.
“We have proposed to bring in the Institute of Tax Accountants in Zimbabwe, the Institute of Administration and Commerce and the Southern African Association of Accountants under the board because we felt they were specialists who needed to be regulated.”
Sibanda said this would ensure that there were eight bodies now making the Public Accountants and Auditors Board instead of the current five. He said the three new bodies to be incorporated would become constituent bodies while the five were principal bodies.
Other proposed amendments were that accountants and auditors’ professional examinations be set in Zimbabwe instead of Ireland, and that the board should approve of the structure of the examinations.
MPs warned that this should be done above board in order to safeguard the credibility of the examinations.
The board’s legal adviser Choice Damiso suggested the issue of gender should be considered when choosing members of the board, while MDC Proportional Representation MP Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga said there was need to ensure people who sat on several boards were not chosen to take posts on new boards.
The Public Accountants and Auditors Board also suggested that there should be serious monitoring of financial reports submitted by government departments and parastatals before Parliament because some of them were breaching the law and submitting reports very late, resulting in Parliament still dealing with audited reports of as far back as 2011.