Ithete pushes for ethical accounting practice

By Hilary Mare

DEPUTY Minister of Finance Natangue Ithete has urged accountants to always uphold the professional ethics in accounting and be gatekeepers of governance.

Addressing delegates at the 27th East and Southern African Association of Accountant Generals Annual International Conference (ESAAG) last week, Ithete highlighted that professional accountants are a part of governance architectures that tackle exploitation of limited resources.

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“I would like to remind all of you to always uphold the professional ethics in accounting. In some, if not many cases, accountants become suspects of unethical behaviors. It is saddening to see young people losing their jobs and damaging their careers because of the immoral practices they have committed in the execution of their duties that deal with public funds.

“Therefore, you should always serve as the gatekeepers and whistle-blowers to expose fraudulent practices that you come across. I am particularly delighted by some of the topics in your programme such as; instilling a culture of accountability through consequence management, Corporate Governance and Accountability. Indeed, these are relevant topics that will add a great value to the final outcomes of the conference,” he said.

He went on to say that there is a need for ESAAG Member States to comply with international accounting standards as most of the member countries are subscribed to international rating agencies.

“However, there are challenges with different public financial management reforms implemented in Member States,” he said adding that ESAAG is called upon to render technical assistance to those challenges.

“As part of our reforms, there is a need to work in unison in order to strengthen mechanisms of enhancing effective and efficient public financial management.

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ESAAG should work with other continental bodies such as the African Union, SADC and ECOWAS to strengthen capacities necessary to Member States to enable them to effectively perform the accounting function. It is a well-known fact that Accounting plays an essential role in economic development. High-quality corporate reporting is key to improving transparency, facilitating the mobilization of domestic and international investment, creating a sound investment environment and fostering investor confidence, thus promoting financial stability, therefore, we should continue to invest in the accounting profession,” elaborated Ithete.