Govt regulates accountants’ service fees

By Staff Reporter

The Government has issued a statutory instrument regulating fees charged by accountants in order to avail accounting services to more citizens.

According to a Statutory Instrument number 34 0f 2018 titled: Accountants, Client Fees Regulations, the move is also aimed at helping

micro, small, medium, and large organisations.

“The key objectives of the Statutory Instrument are as follows: (1) To prescribe in fee unit, form fees chargeable by practicing accountants, taking into consideration the individual accountants involved in an accountancy assignment,” read the Instrument in part. “ (2) To provide the basis for agreements between the accountant and the client on the fee scale; and, (3) To provide a standardized, fair, and transparent mode of charging accountants fees. Before this instrument was brought into effect fees chargeable by accountants in practice and auditing and non-auditing firms were not based on any framework, legal or regulatory, and were in some cases out of the reach of many individuals and businesses.”

The instrument further stated that the fees chargeable then were not an indicator of the cost or the quality of services that were offered.

It stated that the trend compromised the integrity of the accountancy and auditing professionals and organisations.

And commenting on the document that she signed, Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe expressed hope that the measure would help protect clients, accountants and above all, ensure the integrity of the profession.

Mwanakatwe described the decision as a pragmatic step in reducing the cost of accountancy transactions.

She said it would also result in the growth of accountancy firms and further lead to job creation for many young people entering the accountancy profession.

 “I am happy that this statutory instrument sets a platform for the protection of public interest as it will contribute to improved financial governance in the country,” said Mwanakatwe.