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ACCOUNTANTS, AUDITORS INDUSTRY LACKING BY 80% IN ESWATINI

By Bahle Gama | 2020-02-13

The accounts and auditors industry in Eswatini is lacking by 80 per cent, depicting the lack of guidance and the voice of these sectors.

Auditor General Timothy Matsebula made note of this during the launch of the online learning by the Institute of Accounts and Botswana Accountancy College (BAC).

Matsebula said the country was currently at 20 per cent when it comes to this profession, something he said was a devastating setback.

“We suffer from a huge short fall of the accountant profession in the country and that is devastating. We are at 20 per cent meaning there is a 80 per cent shortfall, hence we encourage everyone who aspires to be an accountant to grasp this opportunity and study online with BAC,” he said.

He stated that accountants were a necessity in every business whether small, medium, large, public or private to advise on how to help grow the economy and make profits.

 “The country is going down economically and that is an issue of concern which we may include the lack of accountants advising business leaders as a contributing factor.

This is an opportunity for Emaswati who aspire to do the accounting profession, whereby they can be able to do their studies online despite their location.

It will somehow reach, fulfil and boost the number of accountants in the country,” he added.

Meanwhile, speaking during the launch held at the Hilton Garden Inn yesterday, Eswatini Institute of Accounts (EIA) Executive Director Barnabas Dlamini said the institute was, amongst other functions, tasked with encouraging the study of accountancy in the country.

He said a sound education and training system producing well trained accountants and auditors was a major factor that supported reliable accounting, auditing and financial reporting practices.

“During our 30th anniversary in 2017, His Majesty emphasised the importance of the role played by professional accountants in shaping the future of the country and further implored the profession to assist the country in growing its economy,” he said.

He disclosed that in 2012 the World Bank conducted a report on the observance of the standards and codes, accounting and auditing.

“This was at the request of the government of the Kingdom of Eswatini. In the course of the review the team identified that the number of qualified accountants and especially audit practitioners in the country was relatively low in comparison with the demand which was estimated to be 600 professional accountants and 4 000 technicians.

“The number of professional accountants and technicians are far lower when compared to the demand,” he said.

Also present during the launch was BAC Executive Director Serty Leburu who said accountants and their skills were needed world-wide.

She said professional accountancy programmes were the hallmark and foundation of their existence.  “The profession is still considered resourceful for most countries for economic growth and diversification. Their skills are needed much more than ever as we know that the business environment has become much more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous,” she said.

She added that it was worth noting that most governments including Eswatini and Botswana emphasised on capacity building and skills development, making them amongst top priorities in their national development plans.

 “The advent of technology through the 4th industrial revolution has not spared the accountancy profession as we continue to see new technologies introduced and old systems being upgraded to meet business requirements.

FinTechs and other technologies continue to penetrate the market and as accountants we must play a critical role into the transformation by aligning our profession with new changes,” she said.

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