Accounting Course Look to Grow

Are you an accountant in Kenya holding a certified public account (CPA) qualification? Are you looking to be recognized globally and work in multinational finance companies? Well, then there is a course you should consider pursuing.

The institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) offers a chartered accountant qualification that is recognized across the world, and abbreviated as ACA. However, despite the professional development that comes with the ACA, there are only 225 Kenyans who have done the course. This is largely because the qualification is provided and accredited only by ICAEW, and Kenyans could only be trained in the UK.

However, the British institution has signed an agreement with the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) to enable local study of the course. Strathmore University is offering tuition support, with exams held in July and November at the British Council in Nairobi.

Speranza Migue, who has done the ACA course and lectures at Strathmore University’s School of Accountancy (SOA), is a believer in its merits.

“ACAs are able to solve a myriad of accounting and business issues in a company, given their high level of financial expertise. ICAEW prides itself and rightly so, in preparing world-class business leaders,  she said. To use the ACA designation, you need a minimum of three years of relevant work experience, or two years if you hold an ICPAK practicing certificate. In the UK, it sometimes ranges between three and five years.

This experience cannot come from just any company  ACAs need to have worked at one of about 3,000 ICAEW-authorised employers around the world that meet the high standards set by the institution.

Exams cost £ 165 (Kshs. 24,640) for the first two papers, and £ 255 (Kshs. 38,100) for the third, Ms Migue said. The official ACA learning materials cost £80 (Kshs. 11,900) per paper. Strathmore University offers tuition support with classes held on Saturdays.

Prominent ACA members in Kenya include people like Auditor General Edward Ouko, Kenya Airways CEO Mbuvi Ngunze, Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia, Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary Adan Mohamed and Richard Njoroge, a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

An ACA member is recognized in more than 160 countries globally. That comes to over 80 percent of the worlds total jurisdictions, including the major economies,  said Migue.

Cephas Osoro, a partner at Horwath Erastus & Co, got his ACA qualification to boost business. When our firm became a member firm of Crowe Horwath International, the eighth largest global accounting network with a presence in 125 countries, our cross-border business grew significantly, he said. Most of our overseas based clients and colleagues easily recognized ICAEW members and were comfortable working with people with these qualifications and skills. I had no choice but to qualify.

According to ICAEW, 84 per cent of Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) 100 companies have an ACA member on their boards.

That is the calibre of the qualification. With the ACA designation, you are in a class of your own,  said Migue.

Story by Standard Reporter James Wanzala.