Accountants call for more focus, emphasis on management of public resources

The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) has called for more focus and emphasis on the public financial management ,citing some issues that need to be addressed.

The remarks were made by the president of ICPAU Constant Othieno Mayende as the institute unveiled 10 beneficiaries of the 4th cohort of the student scholarship programme at Skyz Hotel in Naguru Kampala.

Mayende told the Nile Post that the institute shall be holding the first public finance management conference from April 18-20, 2023 under the theme “Strengthening Public Finance Management for Sustainable Development” hence underscoring the importance of managing public resources.

“We are all aware that the government is the biggest single consumer of accountancy. Again just look at the annual budget for the government  , it is money that has to be spent and that means ,it must be accounted for. If you see the government, central government entities, the parastatals and all the government projects, you can see that the number of accountancies there is quite big,” he said.

He noted that these people need to be trained and guided, adding that this is why their focus this year will be financial management.

“You are aware of the issues in public financial management. Recently I think we were all watching what was going on in the National Social Security Fund (NSSF). We know what is going on in central and local government. Clearly the management of the public deserves a lot of focus,” he said.

The conference targets accounting officers, policymakers, economists, Members of Parliament , development partners, Certified Public Accountants and members of the public among others.

On the issues regarding the scholarship, he urged students to stay focused and determined, adding that the institute continues to nurture and provide young talent with opportunities to sharpen their career paths.

‘We have a solid foundation upon which the young generation will thrive,” said Mayende, encouraging the beneficiaries to complete the course within a period of two and a half years, whilst commending them for making the right career choice.

The beneficiaries of the Students Scholarship Programme beat over 489 applicants from 32 Uganda Universities and 3 foreign universities.

Derrick Nkajja, the chief executive officer of the institute, said the  student scholarship programme was introduced in 2019, as part of the institute's corporate social responsibility, to nurture young talent in the field of professional accountancy. The programme is in its fourth cycle.

The scholarship package covers; registration, annual studentship renewal, examination fees and reading materials

He noted the significance of professional accountancy education.

"The CPA course imparts both technical and professional skills, thereby guaranteeing the competence of Certified Public Accountants," he said. "Furthermore, the course emphasises professional values and attitudes which are crucial for accountants," he said,

The ICPAU Student Scholarship programme targets university graduates from public and private chartered universities who have first-class honours or second-class honours (upper division) degrees.

During the course, students are required to demonstrate their knowledge and skills through attaining practical experience through major fields of financial reporting, management accounting, taxation, auditing, financial management, information technology, insolvency practice, communication skills, personal skills, and organisational skills.

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