President of Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA), Fredrick Els, and BICA Chief Executive Officer, Verily Molatedi last Friday told accounting graduates to work on acquiring BICA qualification and membership. The two were speaking at the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) certificate awarding ceremony for over 150 newly qualified accounting technicians, as well as three who have attained full AAT membership.
“The profession you have embarked on will expose you to different organizations, operations, locations, industries, systems, products, people and management styles. I therefore plead with you to register with BICA as members. This will ensure that you get the unwavering support from the institute which will ensure that learning and development remain relevant to you at all stages of your careers and hence the public will also develop confidence in you,” said Els.
He highlighted to the graduates that they should remember that as they were making sacrifices to ensure that they study and pass their examinations, other stakeholders also sacrificed on their behalf to ensure that their wishes become reality. “For example, the Government of Botswana has sponsored the majority of you and because of the hard economic times that the country is going through, some of the developments had to be foregone to give you a chance to study,” he said.
The CEO, Molatedi, said one of the core responsibilities of BICA is to increase the number of professional accountants in Botswana in order to support the country’s growing economy. “I therefore urge you to start pursuing the BICA qualification now while you are still on study mode. Just to reiterate on what my President has already said, your journey has just begun, therefore continue your journey by studying for the BICA qualification so that you can contribute to the growth of our economy,” she told the graduates.
She also advised them that by registering with BICA as members upon attaining the requisite experience, they are complying with the Accountants Act of 2010. “It’s not a choice, it’s the law and above all it is good governance because the public is assured that their interests are protected as they are dealing with professionals who are properly regulated,” she concluded.
“The Achievement Awards are one of the highlights of the year for AAT in Botswana. We celebrate the achievements of these students who have worked so hard, many of them working part-time while balancing family responsibilities and studies to realise their dream of getting this qualification,” said AAT President Allan Ramsay.
AAT is the UK’s leading professional institution for vocational accountants and the organisation has 130, 000 members globally. In addition to the backing it gets from BICA, it is also backed by accounting bodies like CIPFA, ICAEW, CIMA and ICAS. The AAT Accounting Qualification is currently offered to over 4, 000 students per year in Botswana, its largest cohort of students outside the UK, it has indicated.