“Sometimes it is necessary that the police are themselves policed”. These were the words uttered by the late Honourable Baledzi Gaolathe commenting on the need to pass law that was to establish an independent accountancy oversight authority in Botswana.
The Honourable Minister of Finance and Development Planning, O K Matambo took the matter on from his predecessor and convinced Parliament to pass the Financial Reporting Act 2010. He then appointed the Board and the CEO of the new entity. The Botswana Accountancy Oversight Authority is now fully operational with its full staff complement of Nineteen (19) comprising thirteen professionals. This makes Botswana one of the first four countries in Africa to have such a body. The other three countries being South Africa, Mauritius and Egypt.
The objectives of the Botswana Accountancy Oversight Authority. The principal objectives of the Authority are to provide oversight to the accounting and auditing profession and promote the standard, quality and credibility of providing financial and non-financial information by entities. Its functions include standard setting, financial reporting, audit practice reviews, corporate governance reviews and enforcement of compliance and oversight over the education and training of professional accountants in Botswana.
The Authority will ensure that Public Interest Entities (PIEs) comply with good corporate governance principles and that their financial reporting and auditing is in accordance with international standards. The Authority will also oversee BICA and professional accountancy bodies with local branches in Botswana, such as ACCA, CIMA, amongst others and will also register and monitor auditors of PIEs. This will significantly enhance accountability and transparency in the accountancy profession.