NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 30 – There are about 18, 000 unregistered accountants in the country, posing a risk to users of their services.
This is according to the governing body, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) which says they are operating outside the regulated environment.
ICPAK Chairman Fernandes Barasa says the 18,000 have qualified to be accountants but are yet to register with the governing body.
Barasa says this exposes Kenyans to risks of fraudulent activities by quacks who purport to be members of ICPAK.
“There are people doing books of accounts, purporting to be registered with us and are not registered, so those accounts are fraudulent, which is a risk to financial management, so we are trying to protect public interest by having that confidence of financial management being approved by members who are registered with us,” Barasa said.
The membership of ICPAK has grown from 9,968 active members in 2013 to about 18,000 members at 2015.
“We urge all the qualified accountants to take advantage of our 50 percent discount on joining a fee that runs till the May 31, 2016 who will pay an applicable fee of Sh13,000,” he said.
He urges employers to ensure that they engage only qualified accountants who are dully registered with the body to provide assurance that the accountants operate in a regulated environment.
The body is also working on reviewing the Accountants’ Act that as Barasa says doesn’t provide punitive measures against members found to commit professional misconduct.
“We are currently reviewing the Accountants Act; we have made specific proposal through the National Treasury which we are pushing to see them being tabled in Parliament so that we have an Accountants Act that has teeth to bite. We want to enhance the penalty for members who commit financial impropriety,” he said.
The body is so far working on 10 cases of professional misconduct that are at various stages among them, Imperial Bank auditors PKF Kenya and former Uchumi Supermarkets Chief Executive Jonathan Ciano.