Proliferation of accounting bodies encourages quacks, says ICAN
The proliferation of accountancy bodies in the country has become a major threat to the profession, President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, (ICAN), Comfort Eyitayo has said.
She lamented that proliferation encourages quackery in the practice of the profession and makes it difficult for the unsuspecting public to differentiate between those who are licensed accountants and non-professionals.
The ICAN president, who said this at an event to mark the International Accounting Day 2021 in Lagos, revealed that the institute has gazetted those who are licensed to practice for the public to deal with the right firms.
The forum was attended by the Vice President of ICAN, Tijjani Isa, Chairman, the body of past presidents of the institute, Agnes Adeniran, the first Deputy Vice President of ICAN, Dr. Innocent Okwuosa, the second Deputy Vice President, Mallam Haruna Yahaya, council members, Registrar/Chief Executive, Prof. Ahmed Kumshe.
The occasion featured the presentation of prize awards to winners of essay competition that include Andrew Kennedy, an HND II, accountancy student of the Polytechnic Ibadan, Agumefa Joy, a 400 level, the accounting department of Osun State University and Olanrewaju Fatimah of the accounting department, the University of Lagos in the first, second and the third position respectively.
She said: “People who do not qualify for the profession parade themselves as experts and the unsuspecting public paint all of us with the same brush.”
When you talk of malpractices and others, people will just say accountants. I can speak for our members because we are chartered accountants and before you become chartered, you must have been well-groomed, skilled and have ethical conduct. It has been mentioned at several fora that financial crimes cannot occur without the connivance of accountants.
“I want to reiterate that not all financial malpractices involve professional accountants. When we have such few occurrences, where professional accountants are involved, the Institute addresses such incidents.
The global umbrella body of professional accountants, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), also strongly disapproves of such acts. I would like to state that ICAN has continued to frown at any form of professional misdemeanour among its members. We have well-established disciplinary mechanisms against any erring members.”
The ICAN boss said the institute has set up a ‘Think Tank Team’ within the ambit of its research and technical department for timely and well-researched responses to topical issues in the economy, enhancing global job mobility of members and embarking on massive re-branding initiatives to create a conducive ambience for members and other stakeholders.
The Chairman, International Accounting Day Planning Committee, Tajudeen Olayiwola, explained that part of activities to mark the day is the engagement of Nigerian students in an intellectual discussion relating to the economy from which three winners were recognised.