The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda (iCPAR) is the professional accountancy organization mandated to regulate the accounting profession. Authorized to register and grant practicing certificates to Certified Public Accountants, the institute has wide-ranging responsibilities, including the promotion and adherence to financial reporting and auditing, as well as endorsing efficient accounting practices in line with the public interest. Bosco Mkombozi Karake, President, discusses iCPAR’s current activities and future plans.
European Times: As the only institution that regulates the accounting profession in Rwanda, how does iCPAR operate?
Bosco Mkombozi Karake: Before iCPAR’s establishment in 2008, there was no organization in Rwanda that oversaw the accounting profession. Our institute was founded in order to enhance the reforms and regulate the profession. We review our members annually and make sure they uphold the required standards, thus providing quality assurance. Furthermore, a significant element of our mandate is to educate people and to improve their qualifications through teaching programs and seminars. Additionally, we offer advice to the government on matters relating to the accounting profession. iCPAR is growing as a locally relevant and globally recognized entity which soon will become the envy of the region.
European Times: What are your major challenges?
Bosco Mkombozi Karake: Rwanda’s major challenge is the shortage of qualified accountants needed to actually sustain the vision of the country. Currently we have 350 registered accountants, out of which less than half a Rwandans. In order to resolve this issue, focus should be put on training qualified accountant technicians and some of them will eventually pursue career as professional accountants.
European Times: What are iCPAR’s partners and future plans?
Bosco Mkombozi Karake: We have regional cooperation in the frames of the East African Congress of Accountants, meaningthat our memberscan apply for membership of CPA Uganda, CPAR Kenya and CPA Tanzania. Currently we collaborate with EACIA, PAFA, CMA, MINECOFIN, RALGA, RRA, I&M Bank, KIM, CBE/UR, ULK, INES RUHENGERI, UNILAK and the list is growing.
Aiming to become full members of IFAC by 2019, iCPAR is dedicated to achieving global standards. Recently we signed a 10-year partnership agreement with ACCA, which was contracted by IFAC to assist us in our strategy developing process.Furthermore, we aim to increase our sustainability. Currently our annual budget is around US$800,000, out of which 50% come from publicly managed funds, whereas the rest is income from continuous professional development programs.
European Times: What is your message to potential investors?
Bosco Mkombozi Karake: Rwanda is a welcoming country with a young generation hungry for success. Its excellent location, corrupt free environment and simplified tax regime make Rwanda the perfect choice for foreign investors interested in exploring the potential of the region. As an advisory body with superb capacity to serve both current and future investors, iCPAR remains dedicated to supporting Rwanda’s economic development.