Today, Zimbabwe’s oldest and largest professional accountancy organisation, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ), celebrates the Chartered Accountants (CA) day as the pre-eminent professional body turns 103 years old.
ICAZ pride itself in breaking boundaries, creating networks, and has preserved the brand through upholding of its values such as responsibility, honesty, and integrity.
It has made a meaningful impact on the accounting profession in Zimbabwe and the economies around the world as most of its members are employed around the globe.
“ICAZ was formed in 1918 first named the Rhodesia Society of Accountants. It was birthed from the accounting scandal of 1916 from which it was seen imperative to have a grouping of accountants who observe strict rules of conduct to elevate the accounting profession,” ICAZ president Duduzile Shinya explained the journey.
She added: “It stressed the need to ensure that the únfit’ were kept out of the association and only those with undoubted merit were admitted into membership. It is incorporated as a statutory body under the Chartered Accountants Act (Chapter 27:02). (Ever since), ICAZ has maintained and guarded the standard and quality of those admitted into membership and has upheld the strict observance of ethical conduct underpinned by its foundation motto “Semper Integritas” translated Always Integrity.”
ICAZ has become the largest Professional Accountancy Organization (PAO) in Zimbabwe and contributes to most members registered by the Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB).
The institute is a founding member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), a member of the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA) and an associate member of the Chartered Accountants Worldwide (CAW), a network of 15 leading Chartered Accountancy bodies across the globe.
The chartered accountant (CA(Z) brand is internationally accepted and highly respected globally. ICAZ has nine international Chapters in all five continents of the world as part of efforts to better serve its members who are spread across the globe.
The institute has Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) with leading Global Chartered Accountants Institutes across five continents. It signed MRAs with the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants, South African Institute of Chartered Accountants, Chartered Accountants Ireland, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Namibia.
Under these agreements the ICAZ members can be accepted into membership of these other bodies on the strength of the CA(Z) qualification, without need for taking any examinations or assessments.
“ICAZ vision is to be the pre-eminent professional body in the development and promotion of accountancy, assurance and advisory services, business and good governance practices. (The) mission is to enhance the international standing and recognition of the qualification (CA(Z), for the benefit of its members and to support such members in providing quality services in the public interest,” Shinya said.
She said ICAZ offers access to a network of well supported professionals who are technically competent, agile and kept up to date through rigorous continuous professional development requirements, thorough examination process and articles training experience.
ICAZ is a thought leader in the business and financial management arena, which has been able to support its members on developments in the profession as well as done papers for various stakeholders, including government, on its areas of expertise.
ICAZ has chapters in various countries across the world, including South Africa, United Kingdom, Botswana, Australia, North America, and United Arab Emirates, giving its members access to other markets for exposure and knowledge sharing and accords CA(Z) employers, government and partners access to the same markets for research or business expansion opportunities.
On how the institute ensures and sustain public trust, Shinya said: “ICAZ ascribes to International standards of ethical conduct for professional accountants, ensuring that the conduct of its members is monitored and upheld to ensure quality. (Apart from that) ICAZ monitors and regulates the conduct of its members and the stakeholders have a reporting mechanism and recourse channel should any member of ICAZ be found wanting.”
She added: “CA(Z) are required to uphold the values of responsibility, integrity and accountability. Dealing with a CA(Z) guarantees one of transparent and honest services therefore giving peace of mind. ICAZ champions ethics and professional conduct, as a regulator of its members and as a propagator of good governance practices, promoting public trust in government and business.”
Commenting on the value to industry and business, Shinya said ICAZ assures quality and excellence in accountancy, assurance, advisory services, business and good corporate governance practices through its members. Its underlying promise to all is “Always Integrity”.
ICAZ provides quality services in accountancy, finance and related financial management fields. Members of the institute, Shinya said hold the influential positions of chief Finance Officers, finance directors, finance managers and financial advisors.
“(ICAZ) provides business leadership and strategic management. CA(Z) members occupy most of the senior positions on the companies listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, that is as chairpersons, finance directors and audit committee chairpersons. It develops and enhances risk management and internal control environments to international standards.
Most boards and accounting and audit committees of companies are chaired by CA(Z) members. A number of ICAZ members also influence and contribute to local and international and economic associations for the benefit of the accounting profession and Zimbabwean economy,” she said.
ICAZ also contributes to Socio-Economic development through its input into economic research papers, policy input and technical support to government ministries.
It also enhances public accounting and financial management through the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) course offering, public sector professionalisation pProject and the annual Public Sector Convention. A number of ICAZ members serve on Public Sector Boards and Associations.
ICAZ also promotes equal opportunities and diversity in the profession through Vimbiso Scholarship Trust Fund, WeCAN initiative, Students support initiative (CASS) and Career guidance initiatives.
ICAZ also facilitates local capacity in the education programs in accredited local universities and local education providers to offer the ICAZ internationally recognized education programs.It also promotes the Accounting degree in the local universities by providing public lectures and student prizes.
It also promotes the education of accounting in high schools through the donation of accounting textbooks. This has been conducted over the years in schools in provinces such as Mashonaland Central, Masvingo, Midlands, Matebeleland South.
ICAZ assisted in setting up and sponsored the accounting department at the University of Zimbabwe for many years.
It also promotes good governance practices through input and promotion of the Zimbabwe Corporate Governance Code, anti-corruption initiatives, ethical and fair business practices codes for members.
Going forward, Shinya said ICAZ want to develop a future relevance and adaptable accountant with ease of mobility and assimilation into different environments through skills and capabilities enhancement, embracing technology, innovation and creativity.
The institute also aim to enhance accountability and transparency in the public sector and bring Zimbabwe up to a world-class standard of reporting through introducing and monitoring public sector professionals and working with government and public institutions to implement IPSAS.
It also targets accounting profession development in Zimbabwe and ensuring there is equal opportunity to access the qualification by all capable and desirous aspirants.