New Public Accountants and Auditors Bill to strengthen PAAB

WINDHOEK – Once the new Public Accountants and Auditors Bill is promulgated, it will significantly strengthen the independence of the Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB) and will provide for the effective regulation of all auditing and Accounting/Tax service providers. The Bill was submitted to Minister of Finance in July this year to follow other ministerial processes. PAAB conducts periodic quality reviews at auditing firms to ensure that audit work conducted in the country complies with international audit standards,

According to Head of the PAAB Secretariat, Zaa Nashandi, the new legislation, in its current form, seeks to increase and expand the powers of the regulator, the PAAB, to include comprehensive regulation of the accountancy profession. During an exclusive interview with New Era’s Inside Business yesterday, Nashandi said, overall, the Bill seeks to increase the independence of the board and will propel it to adequately fulfilling its mandate of protecting the public interest.

The new Public Accountants and Auditors (PAA) Bill is set to repeal the current PAAB Act, which is Act 51 of 1951 as amended. Nashandi is optimistic that the Bill will be tabled and promulgated during 2020.

The Public Accountants and Auditors Act provides for the registration of public accountants and public auditors and established the Public Accountants and Auditors Board as the registering and regulatory body for public accountants and auditors and their representative bodies. Currently, the PAAB has accredited two professional bodies, namely The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Namibia (ICAN) and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). At the moment, the PAAB has a total of 231 members, of which 101 are Members in Public Practice/ External Auditors.

Meanwhile, Nashandi noted that the PAAB, which is responsible for investigation of complaints against registered auditors, currently has about 30 ongoing cases under investigation.

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