On 28 October, the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the South African Institute of Government Auditors (SAIGA). In attendance for the signing where Shahied Daniels, Chief Executive (SAIPA), Professor Rashied Small, Executive: Thought Leadership (SAIPA), Phillip Rakgwale, President of Council (SAIGA) and Russel Morena, Acting CEO (SAIGA).
Daniels says the accord formalises a number of reciprocal activities the bodies have agreed to engage in to each other’s benefit. “The MoU is an acknowledgment of the mutual respect each body has for the other’s role in promoting high quality accounting and auditing standards and practices within the public sector,” he says.
SAIPA is an avid proponent of a strong public sector accounting function that adheres to the standards set out by its parent body, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), of which it is a full member. Also a member of the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA), the Institute supports the full adoption of accrual accounting, the International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) and other globally recognised accounting and reporting standards by government entities throughout the continent.
Both bodies have agreed to acknowledge, support and promote each other as registered professional accounting organisations (PAOs). They will recognise SAIPA’s title of Professional Accountant (SA) and SAIGA’s title of Registered Government Auditor (RGA) as mutually respected professional designations at NQF Level 8 (comparable to an Honours degree). Of note is SAIGA’s commitment to provide SAIPA members operating in the public sector with a similar designation.
If a member of one body attends a continuous professional development (CPD) event hosted by the other, any CPD points awarded will now be credited to that member and be recognised by the member’s body. “Members attending the other body’s events are making the effort to extend their professional intelligence and competencies, and we agree that their efforts should be rewarded,” says Daniels. They will also be able to attend the host’s events at its member rate, which is typically lower than its public attendance fee.
In addition, the pact extends to advertising to each one’s members agreed-on training and development courses, programmes, workshops, seminars and related activities, as well as providing each other with marketing materials and articles to promote them.
The bodies will partner in auditing and accounting initiatives, media releases about associated topics, and publications related to public sector financial management in South Africa and internationally. SAIGA will also advise SAIPA on new and updated legislation with the option of providing joint submissions. Finally, both bodies will provide corporate membership to each other.
According to Daniels, public sector accounting will benefit greatly from the agreement between the two bodies. “It opens a channel of communication and collaboration between these specialised areas of practice - auditing and accounting - as well as traditionally separated private and public sector concerns,” he says. “I believe it will definitely accelerate the achievement of our shared vision of robust financial management in the public sector, especially by building awareness of our initiatives among our members and the general public.”
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