The National- Thursday, January 20, 2011
FRUSTRATED Accountant (The National, Jan 14) raised some valid points, especially in respect to the Accountants Registration Board (ARB) which is a government instrumentality, separate from Certified Practising Accountants Papua New Guinea (CPA PNG) although both were established under the Accountants Act 1996.
ARB members are appointed by the prime minister for a three-year term and the writer was correct in saying that the auditor-general and the CPA PNG president are the ex-officio chair and deputy chair respectively.
It is also true that no appointments were made to ARB for the past three years although names were submitted on time for appointment.
Within this period, renewal of registrations and straight forward applications had been entertained by the ex-officio members of ARB while matters requiring full board attention have remained outstanding for this period.
ARB is mandated to register all accountants, whether in employment or practice, in PNG. In respect to the later category of accountants, ARB is the sole licensing authority that issues licences to practitioners and is responsible for regulating accounting practice. The regulatory function is a vital function that has been overlooked for a long time, maybe due to the ARB secretariat being understaffed.
CPA PNG on the other hand is responsible for contributing towards the development of the accounting profession and accountants in terms of conducting the courses here and there as put by “Frustrated Accountant” and liaising with the educational institutions in meeting global standards in imparting accounting education. The courses conducted by CPA PNG are targeted at the members who pick up the needed continuing professional education (CPE) hours which are conditional to professional membership and also non-members are allowed to participate in such courses.
The fees charged for these courses are reasonable compared with what private training providers are charging and we do not think we are unfairly charging higher fees. Furthermore, the fees are set by a properly constituted committee within the institute that has not raised the course fees for the past five years though the cost of inputs had relatively increased over this period.
Changes affecting the accounting profession globally is passed on to the affiliated bodies such as CPA PNG who then pass these onto their members to update their skills and knowledge.
While we concur with some comments made by the writer as they are genuine, it is good practice to approach someone directly.
We have advised our members accordingly and if Frustrated Accountant had been deprived of the above information, we sincerely apologise for this oversight. We are open and we invite Frustrated Accountant to come and openly discuss issues with us.
Dr Ken Ngangan
President CPA PNG