A new bill to regulate the study of accounting and promote the practice of accountancy in Ghana has been passed in Parliament.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana Bill, 2020, which is now waiting for presidential assent, will repeal the Chartered Accountants Act, 1963 (Act 170).
The bill was presented to the House and read the first time on Tuesday, 6th October, 2020, which was referred to the Committee on Education for consideration and report.
The Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana was established by an Act of Parliament, the Chartered Accountants Act, 1963 (Act 170) and provided for the conduct of examinations by the Institute and other matters connected with the accountancy profession.
It is worth acknowledging that the study and practice of accountancy has since witnessed significant transformation, largely driven by the application of technology, improved regulatory standards and new auditing requirements for greater transparency and accountability in the application of public financial resources.
The study of accountancy has evolved substantially in scope and content over the period, while the number of people involved in the study and practice of accountancy has increased considerably.
These developments, coupled with other changes that have taken place in the field of accountancy, have occasioned the need to put in place the requisite regulatory mechanisms to uphold the ethical and professional standards in the profession.
As a result, the government considered it necessary to review the Chartered Accountants Act, 1963 (Act 170) to bring it in line with global trends in the study and practice of accountancy by introducing the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana Bill, 2020 to the House.
The bill is made up of 65 clauses and divided into eight headings namely the establishment of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana, 2020, of which Clauses 1 to 3 deal with the establishment of the institute.
Clause 1 establishes the Institute as a corporate body. It also provides for the acquisition of property by the Institute. In situations where there is a hindrance to the acquisition, the State may acquire the property on behalf of the Institute. Clause 2 spells out the object of the Institute, while Clause 3 provides for the functions of the Institute.
The Committee on Education said the Minister of Education informed the Committee that providing the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana with the requisite legal backing to operate forms part of the government's policy to empower professional institutions to enable them effectively and efficiently regulate the study and practice within their respective areas.
The Committee rightly noted that such Government Policy has in recent past, given legal backing to the Chartered Institute of Banking,
By Ernest Kofi Adu, Parliament House