The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) has published the list of accounting firms and practicing accountants licensed to operate in Uganda as at 31 March 2023.
The list contains 248 accounting firms and 398 practising accountants. There are 10 new firms and 21 new practising accountants since the last list that was published in March 2022.
ICPAU is required by the Accountants Act, 2013 to publish the register of practising accountants and licensed accounting firms annually.
According to Section 35 of the Accountants Act, 2013, it is an offence to practise accountancy without a valid Certificate of Practice.
CPA Derick Nkajja, the Chief Executive Officer of ICPAU and the Registrar of accountants cautioned members of the public against sourcing accountancy services from unlicensed individuals.
“Financial statements which are signed off without a valid Certificate of Practice is not legally admissible in the courts of law,” he said.
To be enrolled as a practising accountant, one must be a full member of ICPAU. He/she must have a minimum of three years’ practical experience in external audit and they must pay the enrolment fees. Upon enrolment, the member is issued with a Certificate of Practice, after which he/she becomes eligible to apply for a firm license.
Certificates of Practice and firm licenses are valid for one year and must be renewed every year.
Firm licences are renewed upon application by the firm, inspection by ICPAU and payment of the requisite fees. During inspection, accounting firms are assessed for suitability of premises, appropriateness of the signage, availability of reference literature, quality of documentation, evidence of professional indemnity insurance, and the suitability of the practising accountants to practise accountancy.
Audit Quality remains a priority for ICPAU. In 2021, to drive public confidence in the financial reporting value chain and promote the provision of high quality accountancy services, ICPAU introduced a new accountancy practice licensing regime with two categories of Certificates of Practice. The first category permits a practising accountant to provide all types of accountancy services (including audit and assurance services). The
second category of certificates of practice permits the holder to only provide non-assurance services (that is cannot offer audit and assurance services).
As a result, practising accountants are now licensed to offer services in their desired areas of accountancy but ensuring that one can demonstrate the specialised expertise for their choice.
Additionally, through the Quality Assurance programme, ICPAU monitors the compliance of International Standards on Auditing, by the practitioners. The Institute is currently conducting the fourth audit quality review cycle, the first audit quality review cycle having been started in 2007.
It should be noted that substandard performance in the audit quality reviews tantamounts to a breach of professional competence and such matters should be referred to the Institute’s Quality Assurance Board and the Disciplinary Committee.
Members of the public can verify the legitimacy of an accounting firm or practising accountant by crosschecking with the register of licensed accounting firms and practising accountants, which is available on the ICPAU website, www.icpau.co.ug