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New regulation now shields accountants in war against corruption

Icpak chairman Julius Mwatu
Icpak chairman Julius Mwatu at a summit for accountants. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Accountants are now protected by law from retaliation by employers and clients in case they expose graft-related cases.

Amendment to the Accountants Act, through Finance Act 2018, now provides a new section that protects accountants from retaliation in case they detect and inform authorities on such malpractices.

In subsections 2A and 2B, section 30 of the Accountants Act now requires accountants to observe the ethical guidelines and applicable standards in their duty.

It goes further to state that the ethical guidelines and applicable standards of the accountancy profession will take precedence over any instructions from a client or other person.

Commit to ideals

“While subsection (2C) insulate an accountant from any form of harassment, civil suit or being subjected to a disciplinary action for taking such actions or decisions or rejecting instructions from a client if such action, decision or rejection is in pursuance of the provisions of subsections (2A) and (2B),” the new clause indicates.

The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (Icpak) chairman Julius Mwatu said the institute will “commit to the ideals”.

“We feel that this amendment is highly welcome in that it will ensure our members work within the confines of the law irrespective of the status and power held by their employers, clients or supervisors,” said Mr Mwatu.

War on graft

Accountants have been on the receiving end in the wake of war on graft particularly in the public sector.

They have been accused of not being diligent when dealing with the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) and being passive in war against graft.

The Accountants Act came into force in 1978 and was subsequently revised in 2008.

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