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ICPAK calls for ‘patience’ amidst sluggish pace in prosecution of errant members

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Steve Umidha
The accountants’ lobby has called on the public to be patient on tribunal processes for companies being probed for financial malpractices.
Speaking Monday ahead of the Fire Award (Excellence in Financial Reporting Award) slated for October, the Chief executive of Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) Patrick Ngumi said the institute ‘was doing its best’ to ensure that the delays in the judicial procedures for offenses in the book-keeping and audit professions were being resolved in time to allow for prosecution of errant members.
“Court cases are not easy but we are doing our best. Little patience is needed in determining a case since new information and evidence crop up during an investigation from quarters like the media and whistle blowers making the courts go back to the drawing board,” said Ngumi.
ICPAK has in the last year found itself forced to take strict actions on firms flouting its regulations following rising cases of external auditors failing to warn company boards and investors on the true state of financial positions before companies collapse – case in point Imperial and Chase banks.

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Over the past few months ICPAK has proposed a few major changes including a minimum fine of up to Sh5million for individuals and five per cent of revenue for audit firms found guilty of gross negligence.
Currently penalties for both firms and individuals are capped at Sh100, 000. The proposals had been introduced by the institute as amendments to the current Accountants Act as a move to discipline and punish rogue auditors.
The Nairobi Securities Exchange chief executive Geoffrey Odundo called on ‘proper valuations and accountability for listed firms.’

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