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Accountants want stiff penalties for members involved in corruption

Accounting professionals attending the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya 34th Annual Seminar at Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort in Mombasa, May 22, 2018. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NMG
Accounting professionals attending the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya 34th Annual Seminar at Sarova Whitesands Beach Resort in Mombasa, May 22, 2018. PHOTO | WACHIRA MWANGI | NMG 

Accountants have proposed a Sh1 million to Sh10 million penalty imposed on any of their member who will be found culpable of any malpractice.

Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) has also called for review of the 2008 Accountants Act.

“Our mandate is to register and regulate all the accountants in Kenya. We have a very clear disciplinary mechanism. We are keeping tabs with what is happening around the Sh9 billion National Youth Service scandal,” ICPAK chairman Julius Mwatu said.

Speaking during their 34th annual seminar at Sarova Whitesands Hotel in Mombasa, he also warned accountants against engaging in corruption.

He insisted that ICPAK would take disciplinary action against any of its member found to have engaged in the scandal.

“Both the county and national government and private sector should recruit qualified accountants. It is easier to regulate them. The issue around regulation is important.

"The current accounts Act only allows ICPAK to charge up to Sh100, 000 penalty fee. We feel that is not reflective of the current status of things,” he added.

More members

He called for inclusion of more ICPAK members in government

“Accountants Act does not prescribe who should occupy some of the senior positions in government. We want chief officer of finance and all heads of finance in the counties and government ministries and departments to be members of ICPAK,” Mr Mwatu said.

He said ICPAK wants to enhance penalties and sanctions among accountants. ICPAK, he said, will engage the National Treasury on the processes surrounding public finance management to deal with corruption.

“We have our registered members working for ministries and others at NYS. But so far we are waiting to see the list of accountants who will have engaged in the scandal and take action,” he warned.

"It is sad that Sh100,000 is the penalty fees for accountants if one steals Sh9 billion. It is very easy to pay the fees but if we enhance the penalties we will stop corruption," he added.

The official said stiffer penalty will deter corruption in public service.
"We want laws changed to stop corruption and enable us penalize any member found culpable. We want more disciplinary mechanism," he added.

Mr Mwatu said if any of their members found culpable of Sh9 billion NYS scandal should be de-registered.

"Accountants play a big role in public service. We urge the National Treasury to employ qualified and registered accountants to enable ICPAK instill discipline. We want to impose sanctions for non-compliance," Mr Mwatu said.

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