Institute of Professional Accountants to improve accountability and trust in the industry
By Clifton Movirongo.
The Namibia Institute of Professional Accountants (NIPA) accepted the suggested amendments to the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Board (PAAB) Act, adding that it will improve accountability and trust in the industry.
This is according to NIPA’s CEO, Essie Herbst, who said the Institute recognises that the role of professional accountants and auditors is often misunderstood by the public.
Herbst said, “Under the amendments, all persons in the accounting industry who render services for a fee to the public must be registered at a Professional Accredited Organization (PAO) which will then allow accreditation at the regulatory body,” adding that this will extend existing rules which previously only applied to auditors and accountants and bookkeepers across the industry.
“Our main role is to protect public interest and to restore the trust stakeholders require in the financial information they are given”. The value of accountants and auditors is also undermined by the number of unregistered persons working in the industry, possibly providing low quality services combined with pricing below market rates,” she noted.
According to Herbst NIPA has warned that persons working in the accounting, taxation and bookkeeping industries should register hastily with a Professional Accountancy Organisation (PAO) and ready themselves to make certain their smooth transition to become a recognized member of the Accountants’ and Auditors’ Regulatory Authority of Namibia (AARA).
“The business community should be aware that any private person working for their own account as part of their financial obligations must be registered with an PAO and AARA,” Herbst said.
She further explained that by producing accurate data and analysis, bookkeepers, accountants and auditors aid to maintain data and information that are critical to maintain public trust in Namibian’s businesses and other financial institutions.
“Professional accountants and auditors understand the challenges of balancing the demands of the real world with upholding the values of their sector. These are especially important in difficult times where poor behaviour could otherwise become the norm,” she added.
According to her, Professional Accounting Bodies worldwide represent, promote and enhance the global accountancy profession. She also stated that “it is imperative that member organizations representing accounting and auditing firms continue to amplify the importance of accountancy in Namibia along with helping professionals to uphold the required standards and values.”
“Individuals working at any level within the accounting profession to affiliate themselves to member organizations, stating that this will ensure all professionals working in the sector have access to the same high-quality education and career enhancement opportunities,” the CEO advised.