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The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) held the 11th graduation ceremony on 7 March 2019, at Imperial Royale Hotel, Kampala

There were 461 graduates, compared to 354 at the 10th graduation ceremony. These completed the Certified Public Accountants of Uganda [CPA(U)] course, the Accounting Technicians Diploma (ATD) and the Certified Tax Advisor (CTA) course in 2018.

Of the 461 graduates, 397 were awarded the CPA(U) certificate, 41 were awarded the Accounting Technicians Diploma while 23 were awarded the CTA certificate.

The highest pass rates were among students in the 18-29 years age bracket.

For CPA(U), female candidates performed better than their male counterparts, in most Papers. For instance, the top students for CPA(U), Integration of Knowledge, which is the final examination of the course, were all female. These were: Joan Tebesigwa, Gloria Annet Sakaru and Canary Mwebembezi, in November, August and June 2018, respectively.

Ms. Joan Tebesigwa, the top student in Integration of Knowledge (November 2018 examinations diet) said that she believes CPA will open more doors for her, since employers prefer to employ qualified accountants.

“Before I enrolled for CPA, I thought accounting was merely about debit and credit,” Ms. Tebesigwa said. “CPA has taught me that accountants do more than just debit and credit, like strategic advisory and decision making. Accountants are creators, enablers, preservers and reporters of value in organisations,” she added.

Ms. Gloria Annet Sakaru, the top CPA student in Integration of Knowledge, in the August 2018 diet advised CPA students to be persistent, to utilise the study packs and to be open minded.

  1. students for ATD, at the final level were: Amon Akanyijuka and Mildred Nakayenze, for June and November 2018 examinations, respectively.

Alex Chips Ocitti was recognized for completing the CPA(U) course in a record 2 years. He enrolled in March 2017 and completed in August 2018.

While addressing graduates, CPA Frederick Kibbedi, the President of ICPAU said CPA(U) trains students to be problem solvers.

“In a situation where we have a professional accountant in an organization, we expect problem solving, we expect work in the public interest, we expect the anchor to be integrity, hard work, honesty and quality,” CPA Kibbedi said.

CPA Kibbedi also advised graduates to uphold the professional Code of Ethics of accountants so that they increase their value.

“You are expected to behave in a manner that does not bring disrepute to the accountancy profession, and the Institute. You must adhere to the high standards that ICPAU has set, because it is only through upholding those standards that our reputation will go up, the brand will go up, and your value will go up,” he said.

The CPA(U) course was introduced in 1997, as the national professional accountancy qualification in Uganda.

At the time, there was no national professional accountancy qualification and aspiring accountants had to expensively pursue foreign based courses, which did not meet the specific requirements of the Ugandan economy.

CPA(U) was established through a twinning arrangement with the oldest professional accountancy institute, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS).

ICPAU later adopted the International Education Standards (IES) for Professional Accountants, as the benchmark for the continuous development and administration of the CPA(U) course.

Applied across the globe, the standards prescribe principles which facilitate the convergence of international and national accountancy education standards, for global professional competence.

Since inception of the CPA(U) course, ICPAU has passed out a cumulative total of 3516 graduates.

ICPAU has introduced the Practical Experience Training (PET) programme to provide an opportunity for CPA(U) graduates to acquire relevant practical skills and document their experience under the guidance of a mentor, as a pre-requisite to be enrolled as professional accountants.

ATD prepares students to become accounting technicians. These are trained staff who support professional accountants in their work of; administrative, accounting, finance, audit, taxation and management functions.

 

In 2016, ICPAU introduced the CTA course, with the objective of producing expert tax advisors who will contribute to the economic development of the country.

CTAs are expected to help in bridging the gap between Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) and the requirements of the existing tax regime. SMEs, which constitute the majority of Uganda’s economy continue to grapple with tax compliance because many do not keep proper books of accounts. Accountants or Certified Tax Advisors will help with tax compliance, through setting them up with tailor-made accounting systems, that can produce appropriate information for filing of tax returns.

As a way of giving back to community, ICPAU has introduced 10 scholarship slots per year for university graduates. Through this scholarship programme, ICPAU offers financial aid through payment of registration and examination fees for the CPA(U) course.

CPA Derick Nkajja, the CEO of ICPAU advised the graduates to live the life of professionals.

“You can only assume that you are an accountant, if you live by your word,” he said.

He thanked the parents for supporting and mentoring the graduates, and advised the graduates to dedicate their lives to God, in order to achieve success in their careers.