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ICPAK chair says accountants have significant role to play

09 October 2014, 22:55

Kwale - The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) chair Benson Okundi has said that accountants have a significant role to play in curbing corruption and fraud in the country.

Addressing ICPAK members during its Annual Forensic Audit Conference with a theme of ‘role of professionals in curbing fraud and corruption’ at leisure lodge resort-Kwale County yesterday, Okundi said that the institute has a significant roles in matters of accountancy and governance.

“Every day you will not see a newspaper or any news coverage without publishing corruption and fraud activities in the country.

Okundi said that corruption continue to remain serious issues at most level of society as indicated by report released by Kenya Private Sector Association (KEPSA).

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“The report indicated that Kenya is losing sh69 billions annually due to corruption amount which if properly utilized can be used to employ 25,000 graduates every year in the country. Corruption has also cost the country by raising the cost of living to every Kenyans by at least 15 per cent amount used to bribe passed on to consumers of gods and services,” added Okundi.

According to the report also, Okundi noted that Import and export sectors has the highest  chance of 36 per cent likelihood of corruption, followed by procurement and tax collection at 13 per cent chance and licensing processes coming third at 11 per cent.

“The report also noted that the major factor shaping corruption risks particularly in their interaction with private sector include numerous documentation slow pace of service delivery poor understanding of procedures high tax levy and high tax cost on businesses. Many companies are even bullied into corruption to avoid hefty fines levies and long procedures, “said the ICPAK chair.

Okundi said that the Institute is taking such issue very seriously and are committed to restore their public confident.

He said that high quality performance by professional accountants benefit the economy and society by contributing to the efficient allocation and management of resources in both the private and public sectors.

“We urge employers to make a requirement for all qualified accountants to register with ICPAK for the benefit of employers, employees and accounting profession in Kenya.

He said they will be listing all genuine accountants across the country by middle of October this year noting that it will help to curb malpractice seen in the society of fraud and corruption.

“Any corruption or fraud detected must have passed through an accountant,” he said.

Apart from that Okundi said they are coming up with an act ‘accountant amendment bill” that will have significant penalties to those found practicing accountancy and are not members of the institute.

Patrick Ngumi ICPAK Chief Executive Officer said that integrity is critical in the accounting professional.

“We have to promote accountability while we deliver our duties in various areas in the country,” said Ngumi.

He urged parents to support their children to take up accounting courses since there is high demand of accountants in the country.

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