The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ) is a statutory body incorporated on 11 January 1918 under the Chartered Accountants Act (Chapter 27:02). It is the largest and oldest Professional Accountancy Organization (PAO) in Zimbabwe, with its members constituting the majority of professional accountants registered with the local regulator, the Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB). ICAZ is a founding member of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC), member of the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA) and is also an associate member of the Chartered Accountants Worldwide (CAW).
The Institute has led the local market for over a century. The majority of listed entities within the country have members of the Institute within their executive and non-executive structures. ICAZ members are highly sought after even beyond the country’s borders, because of their reputation for ethics and high performance.
In the recent past there has been a deliberate effort by ICAZ to take advantage of the century’s worth of experience in the private sector to further support the Public Sector and the Non-Profit Sector. This ties into the ICAZ vision of developing and promoting accountancy, assurance and advisory services, business and good governance practices. The wealth of knowledge gathered has been identified as a key resource for the development of Zimbabwe by strengthening the quality of accounting locally. ICAZ has members in the NPO sector and shall be harnessing their experience to add value. The NPO sector has unique attributes and needs, therefore the strategy will require leveraging on the sector experts.
Non-profits are key for economies such as ours, because of the social and economic impacts. The budgets they handle are quite substantial. Furthermore, the resources being accounted for are essentially public interest funds, on the basis that they will be used according to the organisations’ missions for social good. Full accountability and transparency is essential to build trust and credibility in the sector.
In an effort to ensure that financial reporting all across Zimbabwe is top tier, ICAZ is working with all sectors of the economy to ensure that there are robust systems that are adequate to meet the key tenets of financial reporting. Whilst reporting is key, in between the reports there is a lot of day-to-day work done on capturing and processing individual transactions. In addition, there will be focus on management accounting, controls, governance, strategy and so on, to maximise value for the sector. ICAZ is working to equip sectors with the requisite skills to ensure we have the best systems and reports possible.
ICAZ is excited to be appointed as IFR4NPO Project Country Champion, with the role of ensuring that voices of relevant stakeholders in Zimbabwe are heard and included in the process of developing International Non-Profit Accounting Guidance.
We have created a special committee to lead the process, made up of members of the ICAZ secretariat, experts from the non-profit sector and other relevant stakeholders. This will allow ICAZ to take full advantage of our members’ experience to add value to the IFR4NPO Project. The role as country champion is one that ICAZ will afford all the resources necessary to function as efficiently as possible. Many NPOs in Zimbabwe are NGOs (non-governmental organisations), and they will be engaged to ensure that their views are heard, as well as auditors, donors, regulators and civil society.
As ICAZ increases focus on the sector, a special conference held on 14-15 December 2023 in Zimbabwe’s Eastern Highlands. The aim of the event was to formally introduce ICAZ to the sector and extend a hand to NGO leaders with the theme “Unveiling the Path: Empowering NGOs in Zimbabwe with Enduring Transparency and Resilient Reporting”. As the first of such event in recent memory, the convention provided an excellent platform for participants to discuss and analyse various aspects of accountable resource management in the NGO Sector. It explored the regulatory environment, government expectations, tax authorities’ expectations, donor requirements, digitalisation, the role of accountable resource management, auditing practices, and the on-going development of a reporting framework for NPOs by the IFR4NPO Project.
The importance of NPOs for developing economies cannot be over emphasised. It is crucial that professionals in the sector act with professionalism and are supported to ensure efficiency. This will translate to great transparency and accountability, which will be a win-win for all stakeholders.
Owen Mavengere is the Technical Director at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ), which is the largest and longest standing PAO in Zimbabwe. He can be contacted on email@example.com, VOIP +263 86 77 004 297 or twitter @OwenMavengere.