The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) will hold the 12th graduation ceremony on 6 March 2020, at the Imperial Royale Hotel. At the ceremony, students who completed the Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (CPA-U) course, the Accounting Technicians Diploma (ATD), and the Certified Tax Advisor (CTA) course, in 2019 will be awarded.
There are 370 CPA-U graduands, which increases the pool of qualified accountants in Uganda to 3,886. 40 will graduate with the Accounting Technicians Diploma and 16 with the CTA certificate. Examinations for the courses were held in May, August and November 2019.
The CPA-U course is a professional course for accountants. It is benchmarked against the International Education Standards (IES) set by the International Federation of Accountants, and it is designed to equip students with relevant technical and professional skills, as well as the right professional values and attitudes to enable them to provide quality services, in an environment of increasing complexity and advancing technology.
“Theoretical knowledge alone is not sufficient to enhance competence at the workplace,” CPA Derick Nkajja, the Chief Executive Officer of ICPAU said. “Students need to demonstrate their competence through practical skills as well as the right professional values and attitudes, in order to succeed as professional accountants,” CPA Nkajja added.
Upon completion of the course, CPA-U graduates are required to enroll for full membership of ICPAU, in order to become Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). This is in line with Section 5 (2) of the Accountants Act 2013, which requires an individual to pass the qualifying examination conducted by the examinations board and complete practical training prescribed by the Council.
In 2019, ICPAU commissioned a graduate tracer study to ascertain the career progress of CPA-U graduates as well as their impact in the organisations in which they serve. 65.5% of the graduates reported positive career progression since graduation. Results reveal that to a high extent, the CPA-U course has contributed to the development of several attributes and competences among graduates, including field-specific theoretical knowledge; practical knowledge/skills; attitude change and perception to work; analytical competences; problem solving ability; communication skills; and people management skills; among others.
ICPAU has introduced several interventions aimed at continuously improving the quality of CPA-U graduates. The Practical Experience training (PET) programme enables graduates to record their training experience, as a pre-requisite for membership enrolment. Training can be attained in the course of an individual’s study programme or immediately after completion of the CPA-U course.
The Institute is also revising the syllabi for the courses, to incorporate emerging developments in technology, as well as the acquisition of soft skills. The syllabi are revised every 5 years to incorporate developments within the profession. The ongoing revision is further benchmarked against the East African Community (EAC) harmonized framework for professional accountancy education. All East African Community Institutes of Accountants (EACIAs) are expected to ensure that professional accountancy examinations are premised on the harmonized framework by 2021.
In an effort to improve the quality of accountancy training, ICPAU has embarked on the recognition of tuition providers. Currently, there are 13 recognised tuition providers. This recognition is a formal and public acknowledgement by ICPAU, of the tuition providers’ continuing capacity to provide effective learning programmes and services based on set standards.
ICPAU also conducts periodic student engagement seminars to assist students to improve their approach to examinations questions.