Parliament has passed the Fiji Institute of Chartered Accountants Bill which seeks to address the requirements of today’s accounting profession in terms of registration and regulation.
Following the amendment, individuals will now be able to set up accounting firms of their own without unnecessary restrictions.
This would allow more people to practice in the accounting profession and would then be able to provide accounting services to more areas in Fiji.
It would also create business and employment opportunities and would mean that MSMEs would be able to more readily and inexpensively access professional accounting services.
A person applying for membership to the Institute must submit a written application to the Council in the approved form and a statutory declaration verifying the contents of the application and the approved fee.
People will not be registered as a member if, in the opinion of the Council, they are not of good character or reputation or is engaged in any business or occupation inconsistent with the integrity of the Institute.
An individual is only eligible to be registered as a member of the Institute if they have obtained the qualifications in accountancy or any other related subject area or its equivalent.
Attorney General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says they have been working on this Bill for 2 years and have had numerous consultations with the Fiji Institute of Accountants.
Sayed-Khaiyum says the Bill brings the Fiji Institute of Accountants into the 21st century and provides transparency.
He says a number of accountants will now be able to earn a living by setting up their own accounting practices and certifying on financial statements which will also be of great assistance to banks.
The Attorney General says this is a democratization of the accounting profession.
While supporting the Bill, National Federation Party Leader Professor Biman Prasad says some of the amendments is a good example of what they have been saying about law making.
Prasad says if this Bill was voted upon under Standing Order 51 and did not go to the Standing Committee for further consultations, they would not have some of these very good amendments.
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