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The Namibian Close Corporations Act, 1988 provides statutory recognition to SAIBA as a professional body. This allows members, that have earned the designation Business Accountant in Practice (SA), to be appointed as Accounting Officers for Close Corporations. Recognition was granted on 13 June 2006.
The Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Act, 1951 (the “PAA Act”) commenced on 1 November 1951, having been assented to on 18 June 1951 in pre-Independence Namibia. The current PAA Act is originally a law of the Republic of South Africa. When Namibia obtained independence in 1990, the Act was adopted as the law of Namibia, and has remained so to-date.
The purpose of the PAA Act was to provide for the establishment of the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Board (“PAAB”) to regulate the auditing profession. The Act further provided for the registration of public accountants and auditors and for the regulatory and supervisory functions of the PAAB in relation to them. (A separate statute, the Close Corporations Act of 1988 regulates accounting officers).
A legal review is therefore important to align the legal framework to contemporary international accounting and auditing standards and practices.
Broadly, the new proposed Accountant and Auditors Bill is intended to achieve the following objectives:
The proposed Bill will ensure that all accountants with the relevant qualifications and experience obtain equal access to work opportunities and clients.
SAIBA has long advocated for a more equitable and open profession in Africa that leverages all its resources and skills talents to grow the national and African economies.
To achieve this it is important to ensure all accountants are treated the same way and the new Bill will achieve this by setting entry criteria.
SAIBA already meets the registration and minimum requirements of accounting technicians and accountants and will apply with the new regulator once the application process opens. Our members will be able to apply for accreditation for the regulation of accounting technicians and accountants.
All professional bodies that are currently recognised in terms of either the Close Corporations Act, 1988 or the current Public Accountants and Auditors Act, 1951 will be able to apply for recognition under the new Accountants and Auditors Bill, 2019.
SAIBA members in Namibia can inform their clients about the new proposed requirements and the importance of working only with accountants that are accredited by a recognised professional body such as SAIBA.
SAIBA is a legislative controlling body for accountants, accounting officers and independent reviewers in South Africa and accounting officers in Namibia. As a controlling body we are required to monitor and sanction compliance to standards of member conduct. We perform this function by ensuring compliance by our members to the IAASB’s engagement standards. We offer CPD and training courses to help guide members with their everyday challenge in the workplace. We lobby government and SME associations to allocate work to business accountants.
SAIBA and all other professional bodies currently recognised in Namibia need to reapply once the new Bill becomes law. We will also actively engage with the regulator in Namibia and host various training session with members to ensure all members are fully aware of the changes and prepared when the new law comes into effect.
Stay informed by reading the notices as issued by SAIBA and participate in the workshop and CPD events we will be offering to members.
Members are required to register with www.saiba.academy and read www.accountingweekly.com to stay updated and do a specialist license to unlock additional advisory work.
Communicate to all your clients about the proposed changes and what it means for them i.e. ensuring that only qualified and skilled accountants are allowed to provide services to clients. Qualified and skilled accountants are those that are members of a professional body such as SAIBA.
SAIBA has provided a number of guides, videos and PowerPoint slides that will assist accountants with understanding their responsibilities in terms the various types of engagements: