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A-G Announces New Gazette For Accountants

New provisions governing the Fiji Institute of Accountants came into effect at the weekend as Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum, made a surprise announcement at the organisation’s
27 Jun 2022 12:00
A-G Announces New Gazette For Accountants
Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum with attendees at the Fiji Institute of Accountants 50th anniversary celebration at the Sofitel Fiji Resort And Spa in Nadi on June 25, 2022. Photo: DEPTFO News

New provisions governing the Fiji Institute of Accountants came into effect at the weekend as Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum, made a surprise announcement at the organisation’s 50th anniversary on Saturday.

It heralds good news for Micro Small Medium Enterprises who were unable to access financial services on account of its associated costs.

“We wanted to give you a gift,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said during the institute’s anniversary celebrations at Sofitel Fiji Resort And Spa, in Nadi.

“We finalised everything.”

“The commencement of the new provisions started last night (June 23,2022).”

 

The introduction of the certificate of limited public practice allows for more competent accountants to set up their own practice, and to simplify accounts, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“A lot of people in Fiji for the past decade or so even more, spoke about the need for micro small medium enterprises to be brought into the mainstream, and to be given access to finance,” he said.

“Most micro and small enterprises don’t necessarily have the ability to access accounting services because they find it too prohibitive.”

“The funding would not be enough to go to the big four or five, but with the limited practicing certificates now being given, a lot more people will be able to enter the space.”

 

“The new provision allows more people to access simplified financial statements that they could use for other developments,” Mr Sayed- Khaiyum said.

“It does away with concerns over cash flow and financial projections which many in the MSME sector had little knowledge of,” he said.

“If we really want to provide the trajectory of the economy, and we want to get more businesses to develop, we need such services available at affordable prices,” Mr Sayed- Khaiyum said.

“Efforts to boost the limited public practice space could also increase membership for the institute,” he said.

 

Pro Bono

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also suggested pro bono work within the accounting sector.

“That pro bono work should contribute towards your annual certification process,” he said.

“If you spend X number of hours contributing pro bono work, that will contribute towards points that you may have for your annual certification programme.”

It would enable accountants to be more sociable, rather than sit in their respective offices devoid of the ground reality, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

 

Complainants

“An independent process, where complaints against accountants are handled, could elevate the profession and give people confidence,” he said.

“You should not be scared, you should not be worried about having an independent process regarding complaints against members of your profession,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

He said there were instances of misunderstanding and miscommunication within the profession, and then there were times when serious flaws surfaced.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum hailed the institute for revamping measures it carried out, which led to the passing of governing regulations by Parliament in December, last year.

 

A Symptom

“At the Fiji Bus Operators Association, voting rights were determined by the number of buses a company had in its fleet,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“I hope that that type of symptom does not exist within your organisation,” he told the roomful or registered accountants.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said a concern that arose within the accounting sector was over the election of members.

“We have the larger firms that keep rotating their own people within the council,” he said.

 

Objective Assessment

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum called on the institute to provide objective contributions to the Government.

The views submitted by the institute of accountants were often “very narrow focused”, Mr Sayed- Khaiyum said.

Social issues, the examples of which included domestic violence, were lacking from the institute, he said.

“In Fiji, people’s sense of how they can contribute, when they can contribute on an issue depends on personal relationships, or things like ethnicity, or who they know, as opposed to making objective assessments as a profession,” Mr Sayed- Khaiyum said.

 

Feedback: frederica.elbourne@fijisun.com.fj



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