In 1967, a regional economic community referred to as the East African Community (EAC) was founded by the Governments of three countries Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. The idea of setting up Accountancy Institutes was conceived by the Governments of the three East African countries and each government was to pass an enabling law.
An Accountants Act was enacted in 1970 but unfortunately, due to the political upheavals of the 1970s, the Act never got the required Presidential assent to effectively become an enabling law. It remained on the shelves of the Parliament of Uganda until it was repealed in 1992 to pave way for the new Act.
History of ICPAU
At ICPAU's inception, the Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Finance under the IDA project, provided a seed grant of USD 1 million to start the profession. Part of the grant was used on a twinning arrangement with an experienced accountancy body; the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), the oldest professional accountancy institute in the world, to assist ICPAU in its formative years. This enabled the Institute to start on a firm foundation.
At the establishment of ICPAU, only 79 professional accountants were registered and these are counted as the only professional accountants the country had at the time. All of them held foreign professional accountancy qualifications. A number of World Bank Reports, of past years, indicate that indicated that cost of training professional accountants in the country was high, mainly, due to reliance on foreign professional courses and materials. The development of ICPAU has helped to reduce that cost of such training.
The Accountants Act
The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) was established in 1992 by an Act of Parliament, now the Accountants Act, 2013
Interim Council of the Institute:
Owing to its infancy nature at the time in 1993, the then Minister of Finance appointed an interim Council to manage the affairs of the Institute. This comprised of the following members;
- George W. Egaddu – Interim President
- Ben Okello Luwum – Interim Secretary
- Auditor General – Ex-Officio member
- Commissioner of Accounts - Ex-Officio member
- Commissioner for Education - Ex-Officio member
On 8 November 1994, the first duly elected Council was formed comprising of the following;
- CPA George W. Egaddu
- CPA Joseph Baliddawa
- CPA Pius K. Bahemuka (Late)
- CPA Ben Okello Luwum
- CPA Steven Turyahikayo
- CPA Fulgence Mungereza
- CPA Fawn E. Cousens
The Late CPA Pius K. Bahemuka later on took up the position of Secretary / Chief Executive Officer. The Council then co-opted CPA Narendra Ambalal Thakkar to replace him. CPA Thakkar was subsequently duly elected as a Council Member on 21 June 1996.
Thereafter, Council Members were elected for a 3 years term of office. A Council Member who had served for a 3 years term was eligible for another term in office if re-elected.
With the coming into force the Accountants Act, 2013, the Council term of office reduced to two years and a member is eligible to two terms of office only.