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Reserve Bank of Malawi Governor confronts accountants on integrity

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Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Governor Wilson Banda has said prudence in financial management remains pivotal in addressing evils of corruption and fraud, which have in the recent past eroded Malawi’s chances of attaining tangible economic growth.

He said accounting professionals remained critical in fighting the vice as they were at the heart of financial transactions in both public and private institutions.

Banda was speaking on Thursday in Mangochi District when he opened a three-day Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (Icam) annual conference.

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“It is common knowledge that for every corrupt act, tax evasion and in general misuse of resources, there is usually an accountant behind it.

“The question is: What has happened to the noble profession that was, back in the day, the gate keeper of national resources? Now if our esteemed accountants are failing to be the gate keepers of our purses, then who will?” wondered Banda.

He said it was disheartening that as the country and institutions attempted to properly utilise dwindling resources, some quarters are abusing the expense of millions of Malawians.

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He then urged the delegates not only to be stuck in the world of International Financial Reporting Standards and their applications but engage in innovative solutions in safeguarding institutional funds.

“We cannot maintain the ostrich approach on matters that are affecting us. We have to face the huddles head on, and more especially during these tough times when the resources are even more scarce,” Banda said.

The indaba was themed ‘Prudent Financial Management: Key to Business Resilience in the Midst of Covid-19’.

Icam president, Bwighane Mwenelupembe, rated the conference as ideal and timely, saying issues discussed would help members reflect on their professional role.

He said the institute was working towards mandatory membership of members to ensure they adhere to guidelines of the profession.

“Accountants are the gatekeepers of financial management. It is therefore critical that all members get registered.

“If one is not registered, we would not be able to monitor that person in terms of continuous professional development; we will also not be able to respond to issues of fraud because we are not mandated to do that,” he said.

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