Accountancy profession has a long history in Namibia. In 1955, the Chartered Accountants resident in the Territory of
South West Africa established a Branch Association of the Cape Society of Chartered Accountants.This Branch
Association provided a forum for the accounting profession to address technical
matters and to assist with the administration of articled clerks in the Territory. This Branch Association was
the forerunner of the Institute which was formally constituted in early 1990 following Namibian Independence on 21 March of that year.
The affairs of the Institute are managed by a Council consisting of 7 elected members with Council having the power to co-opt non-voting members as necessary.
Council is lead by a President and Vice-President elected from amongst the Council.
Office Bearers and Council members for 2013 / 14 are:
|President:||Ms Chantell Husselmann|
|Vice-President:||Ms Erentia Tromp|
|Elected Council Members:||Ms Talita Horn|
|Mr Junius Mungunda|
|Mr Gerhard Fourie|
|Mr Robert Araeb|
|Ms Anette Van Coller|
|Co-opted Council members:||Ms Silke Hornung|
|Mr Tom Newton|
|Mr Richard Niddrie|
|Mr Ramsay Mc Donald|
The Institute constitution establishes two Committees to deal with the regulation of the Chartered Accountancy profession. These committees are the Investigation Committee and the Disciplinary Committee.
The Investigation Committee receives and considers complaints against members of the Institute in terms of the Code of Professional Conduct that the Institute has set for it's members. This Committee acts independently from the Council and where a complaint is considered to be substantive the Committee will refer the matter to the Disciplinary Committee.
The Disciplinary Committee, after receiving a report and recommendation to proceed with a disciplinary case against a member will then proceed with a Formal Disciplinary Hearing. Sanctions arising from a charge of misconduct can range from a fine to termination of membership.
|Career Guidance||Attends to Career Guidance activities to inform potential trainee accountants of careers in Accounting and the requirements and process of qualifying as a Professional AccountantSupports the activities of the UNAM and Polytech Accounting Student Societies.|
|Coastal members||Provides a forum for Institute members to meet and discuss professional developments and matters of interest for Institute members in the Coastal region.|
|Education and Training||Takes responsibility for all education and training related matters including making recommendations to Council on amendments to the Training and Education Standards, assessment of Registered Training Offices and Training Regulations.|
|Practising Members||Specifically formed to serve the interests of those members of the Institute who are in Public Practice as auditors. Is concerned with issues relating to the audit profession.|
|Taxation||Serves as a forum for those members who are Tax practitioners / consultants or who have a specific interest in taxation. Provides a vehicle for organized consultations between the accounting profession and the Commissioner of Inland Revenue on matters of common interest.|
|Technical||Attends to all matters of a technical nature in the fields of both Accounting and Auditing. Makes recommendations to the Council on the adoption of Accounting and Auditing standards which will constitute Namibian Generally Accepted Accounting Practice and Namibian Generally Accepted Auditing Standards respectively.|
|Members in Public Practice||101||98||87||87|
|Members not in Public Practice||240||212||202||177|
|Absentee (Namibians abroad)||29||30||27||32|
|Non resident (Non-Namibians)||5||7||5||6|
The profession has long recognized the need to train more local CA's and to achieve membership demographics that are more reflective of national demographics and the Institute has been actively pursuing greater participation by previously disadvantaged groups. Various efforts including schools visits, support of the UNAM and Polytechnic Accounting Students Societies and joint presentation with the Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants of an annual Business Game Challenge to raise the profile of the profession and attract more candidates have been ongoing since the formation of the Institute.
Previously disadvantaged resident membership has increased from only 3 out of 96 members in 1992 to 72 out of 200 in 2006 (36%). This is an indication that the membership demographics of the Institute has changed significantly but the trend of change needs to be accelerated in order to meet the objective of the Institute.
This objective is being met through the focus on previously disadvantaged trainees in the recruitment policies of audit firms. Previously disadvantaged trainees registered for training contracts in a specific year has increased from 8 out of 21 (38%) for the 1990 intake to 61 out of 74 (82%) in the 2006 intake. In total for this period some 552 (65%) out of 851 trainees registered were from the previously disadvantaged designated groups.
It is this last statistic that holds the promise of further accelerating the transformation of the profession as it is from this body of trainee accountants that future CA's will come.
The role that Chartered Accountants play in any national economy, either as auditors, business advisors, as Financial Directors or professional accountants employed in commerce and industry is well recognized. A significant number of Namibian Chartered Accountants are currently employed throughout the financial services sector and newly qualified Chartered Accountants continue to be sought after in all sectors of the economy.
The magnitude of the need for Chartered Accountants is best understood when considering the supply in relation to the population. With 200 resident Namibian Chartered Accountants and an estimated population of 2 000 000, there is one Chartered Accountant to every 10 000 of the population. This can be compared to the ratio of 1: 2 358 which exists in South Africa. Based on the information available to the Institute (as at 31 March 2007), only two Namibian Chartered Accountants are currently employed throughout the entire public service and all government agencies.
ICAN has long grappled with the need to produce more Chartered Accountants. As early as 1995 research into alternative education models was initiated in order to address this challenge.
This research highlighted that the biggest stumbling block in the path to qualification as a CA was the difficulty in passing the post-graduate Certificate in the Theory of Accounting (CTA) which is a prerequisite to enter for the professional examinations.
To date no local tertiary institution has offered a CTA qualification which means that prospective students needed to attend a foreign university or needed to study a part-time correspondence course. The former alternative is very costly to the student or employer/bursary giver (and as a result to the national economy) and has the additional risk that successful students are recruited for employment in that foreign country. The latter is a very onerous path when considering that such students are mostly employed and have to attempt the very demanding study programme after hours with the result that pass rates have proven to be very low for such students.
Thus the first purpose with the establishment of the NGSA is to provide a local facility where students can study a distance learning CTA with lectures, tutorials and group work as though they are at a local residential tertiary education institution. This will reduce costs and outflows out of the economy and limit the loss of successful students to employers in other jurisdictions.
The second purpose is to use the NGSA as a means to develop expertise in order to establish a full-time residential Namibian CTA programme within one of the tertiary education institutions in Namibia. This is recognized to be a medium term objective which is planned to be realized within three to four years. Already a Joint Curriculum Review Committee comprising of the representatives of the University of Namibia, the Polytechnic of Namibia and the Institute has been established. The curriculum review will be the foundation for ensuring that Namibian under-graduates are appropriately prepared for the requirements of their past-graduate CTA studies which will ultimately be examined at a local tertiary institution.
During early 2006, ICAN, through an initiative of certain of the member audit firms who realized that the joint cost of bursary schemes was such that through a consolidation of expenditure an effort could be made to establish a local institution to provide assistance to the trainees who were attempting their CTA qualification.
Exploratory discussions were held with UNAM to determine their interest in this concept. These discussions indicated resource constraints that would make a project of this nature difficult to host at the University. Discussions ensued with the Polytechnic of Namibia (PON) and culminated in November 2006 with the signing of a cooperation agreement between the PON and the Section 21 company (Namibian Graduate School of Accounting Limited - Incorporated Association not for gain) to establish a Namibian Graduate School of Accounting hosted at the PON.
The concept of the NGSA was then presented to the Namibian Stock Exchange who immediately pledged financial support for the establishment of the NGSA. This private public partnership between ICAN, the NSX and the PON resulted in the NGSA accepting it's first cadre of students in January 2007. Currently some 53 part-time and full-time students are enrolled with the NGSA for the 2007 Academic year.
For more information on the NGSA, contact the Institute Secretariat through the website CONTACT US facility.
IFAC was formed in 1977 by a number of National Accounting Institutes and associated organizations. It now has a membership of 155 institutes from 118 countries representing over 2.5 million accountants.
To serve the public interest, IFAC will continue to strengthen the worldwide accountancy profession and contribute to the development of strong international economies by establishing and promoting adherence to high quality professional standards, furthering the international convergence of such standards and speaking out on public interest issues where the profession's expertise is most relevant.
To carry out this mission, IFAC works closely with its member bodies and regional accountancy organizations and obtains the input of regulators, standard setters, governments, and others who share a commitment to creating a sound global financial architecture.
ICAN was admitted to membership of IFAC in 1997. As such ICAN now participates in such activities of IFAC as bear relevance to the objects of the Institute. Membership of IFAC allows ICAN and it's members access to the services and products of IFAC. At the same time each member Institute is expected to comply with the various Statements of Members Obligations (SMO's) as issued from time to time by IFAC. The current set of SMO's cover the following subjects:
Education standards for Professional Accountants
Code of Ethics
Investigation and Discipline
ICAN, in compliance with these SMO's has implemented a CPD requirement for it's members and has initiated a comprehensive quality Assurance programme for members who practice as auditors. ICAN's Code of Ethics, Code of Professional Conduct, Education and Training Standards, Investigation and Disciplinary protocols all meet or exceed the minimum requirements of the relevant IFAC SMO's. For more information about IFAC and it's activities access the IFAC website at http://www.ifac.org.
ICAN was a founder member when PAFA was formed in 1989 with the mission to build and promote the accountancy profession in the Eastern, Central and Southern regions of Africa in order that the profession is, and is perceived, by accountants, business, financers and government to be an important factor in the economic development of the region.
Having 14 full and 4 temporary members PAFA covers 18 countries in the region. It is one of four regional associations recognized by the International Federation of Accountants.
For more information on PAFA, please refer to www.pafa.org.