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PAAB tightens screws on non-compliance

BY FIDELITY MHLANGA

THE Public Accountants and Auditors Board (Paab) says it is working on a framework that will put in place appropriate financial and professional sanctions against members of the profession, who violate its code of ethics.

The move is part of measures that are meant to monitor professional conduct and enforce compliance.

Paab secretary Admire Ndurunduru said this during the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (Icaz) Public Sector Convention last Thursday.

“Examples (of non-compliance with regulations (NOCLAR) include fraud, bribery, money laundering, terrorist financing (and others),” Ndurunduru said.

Auditors and accountants are required to report these transgressions where they are found in companies and other organisations.

“Our code of ethics for professional accounting requires us to report that to relevant authorities.

“As part of the framework, we are putting up structures for professional accountants in business and those in public practice to report noncompliance to laws and regulations for consideration by the relevant authorities.

“NOCLAR comprises of acts of omission or commission, intentional or unintentional, which are contrary to the prevailing laws and regulations.

“These are non-compliances that can be performed by the professional accountancy — employing organisations and they include those in the public sector.”

According to ACCA (Association of Certified Accountants) global NOCLAR originated from an attempt to address concerns from the regulatory community and other stakeholders that the professional accountant’s duty of confidentiality was acting as a barrier to the disclosure of possible NOCLAR to appropriate public authorities.

While emphasising the binding nature of the duty of confidentiality, the existing code of the profession identified general circumstances where disclosure may be appropriate, including when an accountant considers it to be in the public interest.

The existing code of the profession acknowledged that this is a difficult area to decide on and that as a result, it will often be appropriate to take legal advice.

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