Thousands undergo AAT training annually

The Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) Verily Molatedi has urged the 150 Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) graduates to pursue a BICA qualification.

“One of the core responsibilities of BICA is to increase the number of professional accountants in order to support the country’s growing economy,” Molatedi said during the AAT annual achievements awards last week. “I therefore urge you to start pursuing BICA qualification now while you still on study mode.” Molatedi said BICA was responsible for developing qualified chartered accountants, thus contributing to the economy of Botswana. She said BICA would support them and ensure that they remained relevant at all stages of their careers. She told graduates to comply with the Accountants Act of 2010 by registering with BICA as members upon attaining the requisite experience, noting that this would help protect the public, as they would be assured of dealing with professionals who are properly regulated.

AAT offers a range of courses, and the most popular is the introductory AAT diploma in accounting and business for young people aged 16-19. No prior qualifications are needed and students are taught skills that they can use in the work place. AAT president Allan Ramsay told graduates to use their qualifications by starting their own businesses; they should also use their skills in the industry to help strengthen the economy of Botswana.

“Vocational accountants can enter small to medium companies as well as big multinational organisations, helping to balance the books, manage payrolls and run finance departments,” he said. Ramsay added that the graduates would help in the development of the finance skills in Botswana. The latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report states that youth in Botswana have the second lowest rate of entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa.

Andrew Williamson, the AAT director of marketing and brand strategy, said Botswana was the largest AAT market outside the United Kingdom, with an excess of 4,500 students and members who worked across all sectors of the economy. “AAT has had a presence here with the BICA and we are delighted that the relationship continuous to flourish and help support and grow the accountancy profession in Botswana,” Williamson said.

AAT is the UK’s leading professional institution for vocational accounts and the organisation has 130,000 members globally. It is backed by accounting bodies CIPFA, ICAEW, CIMA and ICAS as well as the Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA). The AAT accounting qualification is offered to more than 4,000 students per year in Botswana.

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