FRANCISTOWN: Botswana Institute of Chattered Accountants (BICA) President Frederic Els says there is a dire need for fully qualified Accountants in Botswana.
He was addressing stakeholders at a BICA cocktail held here recently. He said that without these skills, it makes it even more difficult for government to conduct business and to have projects completed on time and on budget.
“A number of other key areas within the economy are also affected by this shortage,” he said. Els added that it is against this backdrop that BICA has embarked on a journey aimed at ensuring that more locals take up the profession. Furthermore he appealed to the stakeholders to help the Government in sponsoring students to study for the BICA Qualifications and also to register with BICA as authorised training employers.
He said this would enable them, as experienced professionally qualified accountants, to give back to the community by mentoring and coaching upcoming accountants who are studying for the BICA qualification.
“This will take the country a long way in having accountants who are employment ready,” he said. He noted that as at June 1 this year, the registered number of Accountants with BICA stood at 1,914 out of which 867 are accounting technicians with the remaining 1,047 being fully qualified professional accountants.
He also explained the requirements for the qualified Accountants, which still continue as a problem in the country. Els indicated that the 2010 Act on the registration of professional accountants, certified auditors and member firms with BICA stipulates that these categories have to register with BICA.
“This will promote unison and discipline within the accounting profession as well as giving yourself an opportunity for recourse should the need arise.
“In addition it should also be noted that this is done in the interest of public protection, as it is much easier to deal with people who are properly regulated,” he said. The Act further cautions that a person who fails to comply with the registration requirements commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding P500 000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or both.