ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Public Relations Officer for the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Eastern Caribbean Cassandra Simon is concerned that a number of people perceived to be bonafide accountants are quite the opposite.
Simon, who was a guest on Sunday’s Big Issues programme, said it is extremely crucial that the public recognise genuine accountants possess not only the necessary qualifications, but also the experience associated with the profession.
If this distinction, according to Simon, is not identified, it would not only hinder professionalism and jeopardise businesses.
She said one of the challenges the Institute encounters is that it is a self-regulating body in a small society, making “persons fearful to bring out the big stick” or take action against their colleagues.
However, Simon highlighted that there are measures in place to ensure accountants live up to internationally-recognised standards.
Accountants, whose licenses expire annually, must undergo practice monitoring, where they are assessed by an overseas official, as well as participate in continued professional development or continued professional education courses, totaling 40 hours.
Therefore having a BA or BSC, noted Simon, does not suffice, “you must be professionally designated.”
She also distinguished between an ordinary member and a practicing member of the accounting institute because the latter “requires three years experience at a supervisory level.”
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Eastern Caribbean is expected to publish its list of certified accountants in two weeks Simon said much education is needed to ensure that the right people are holding accounting posts and she appealed to accountants to take advantage of the thirtieth Caribbean Conference of Accountants at the Grand Royal Antiguan Resort on the June 21-23.
Issues topping that agenda include anti-money laundering laws and fraud schemes.