Kampala (Uganda) / London (UK). The Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA) outgoing president Asmaa Resmouki, presented her president report, at PAFA's annual general meeting (AGM), held on the side-lines of the African Congress of Accountants 2017 (ACOA17), outlining the federation’s achievement under her tenure and PAFA’s priorities for 2017.

Resmouki, who is an audit partner at Deloitte Morocco, first listed what had been the priorities for PAFA in 2016 and outlined some of the progress made in each of these priorities.

The first priority she highlighted was for PAFA to assist its members to achieve IFAC membership. In that regard she said PAFA had supported the Mozambican institute (Ordem dos Contabilistas e Auditores de Moçambique – OCAM) in their application for IFAC membership. “PAFA is continuing to support OCAM throughout the application process,” she said.

The second priority Resmouki outlined was to grow PAFA membership and she announced four new members that had joined PAFA in 2016, namely:

  • The Guinean institute (OECCA)
  • The Angolan institute (OCPCA)
  • The Tunisian institute (CCT)
  • The Algerian institute (ONEC)

“PAFA now has a presence in 40 African countries, which represents almost 75% of the continent,” Resmouki said.

The third priority, she said, was to work with stakeholders to establish professional accountancy organisations (PAOs) in countries where none exist. “Though no new PAO was formed during the year under review, discussions with various stakeholders in Equatorial Guinea are underway,” she said. “The establishment of a PAO in a country involves many stakeholders most of whom are beyond the control of PAFA, and the Board remains optimistic.”

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The fourth priority she outlined was to partner with other institutions to implement initiatives resulting in an all-inclusive profession in Francophone countries.

In francophone Africa, most institutes have fewer members than their Anglophone counterparts. The reason for the low level of membership in francophone African institutes is that they were built in effect as a copy of the French professional model, which contrary to the Anglo-Saxon model doesn’t accept as members professional accountants working in industry, in government, or even accounting intermediaries such as accounting technicians.

The International Federation of Francophone Accountants and Auditors (FIDEF – Fédération Internationale des Experts-Comptables Francophones) has launched an initiative to help Francophone Africa PAOs to review their current membership model in order to be more inclusive.

“Modalities are now in place to undertake a study into the membership model which study will likely come up with far reaching recommendations on the way forward,” Resmouki said. “I am confident the PAFA Board and Secretariat will continue to work with our partners on this very important subject.”

The fifth priority, according to Resmouki, was to work with PAFA members to adopt international standards in countries where international standards have not been adopted. In that regard, PAFA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The Organisation for the Harmonisation of Business Law in Africa (OHADA), who in January 2017 adopted IFRS as basis for all financial reports for public listed entities.

“PAFA is now focusing its efforts in working with its member PAOs to implement the resolution of the OHADA Council of Ministers,” she said.

The sixth priority was to promote the participation of PAOs in Public Finance Management (PFM) in their country. PAFA undertook a number of actions in that regards, Resmouki said, such partnering with CIPFA who has funded a part-time consultant to support efforts to increase the visibility of the profession in matters of PFM. As of 1 March 2017, Williams Atuilik has joined the PAFA secretariat.

Moreover, Resmouki announced that PAFA had been admitted as an associate of the African Organisation for Supreme Audit Institutions – English (AFROSAI – E). “PAFA is also working towards formalising relationships with AFROSAI (the continental umbrella body of all supreme audit institutions) and the African Parliamentary Accounts Committee (AFROPAC) as a way of strengthening PAFA’s presence in the PFM agenda,” she said.

Resmouki concluded her presentation by listing the priorities for PAFA in 2017, as follow:

  1. Work with members towards compliance with IFAC Statements of Membership Obligations (SMOs).
  2. Grow PAFA membership in countries that do not have member PAOs.
  3. Continue to work towards a more inclusive profession in the Francophone Africa.
  4. Improved corporate reporting in Africa through enhancing the implementation of international standards and best practice.
  5. Mainstream integrated reporting among members PAOs.
  6. Improved Public Sector reporting in Africa.
  7. Increased regional co-operation between PAFA and regional economic groupings.
  8. Increased PAFA visibility among the community of Development Partners.
  9. Increase focus on improving PAFA’s internal processes in order to implement the strategy efficiently.
  10. Increase PAFA’s visibility among the community of Development Partner.

“This is my last AGM as PAFA President. I would like to thank you all for your support during my term of office,” she concluded. “A new Board will be elected today. I wish the incoming board members, president and vice president all the best as they continue to drive the African agenda forward.”