Verily Molatedi, CEO of the Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA), outlines the high standards for accountants that Botswana has implemented. She also discusses her goals for the organisation’s future.
European Times: Why was BICA formed?
Verily Molatedi: BICA began as the Botswana Institute of Accountants in 1988 but its name was changed to the Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2010 when the government implemented mandatory qualifications for accountants. BICA is a parastatal overseen by the Ministry of Finance. Any accountant working in Botswana must be registered with BICA and must obtain certification as a chartered accountant according to the qualifications Botswana has established. In setting up these qualifications, BICA partnered with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales so that our qualifications would be internationally recognised. We might be operating in Botswana, but we have to think globally.
European Times: How many members does BICA have?
Verily Molatedi: We have around 2,100 members, of whom around 1,000 are technicians and the rest are professional chartered accountants. Of these 1,100 professional chartered accountants, around 450 are citizens of Botswana while the rest are expatriates. We need to make progress in training local citizens to be chartered accountants. BICA also registers individual auditors and auditing firms, but a sister organisation, Botswana Accounting Oversight Authority, will take over registering auditing firms in the near future.
European Times: As CEO, what are your main goals for BICA?
Verily Molatedi: I want to make sure that all accountants in Botswana are registered with BICA and that they also receive regular training so that they can perform their jobs competently. I also want to expand BICA and to continue to make sure that Botswana has qualified chartered accountants. A new task for BICA is to assist the government of Botswana in its programme to upgrade public finances and to implement international standards for the public sector. I also oversee our staff members, who include a Director of Training and Professional Development, a Director of Technical Services, a Director of Corporate Services, and a Director for the Public Sector. Eventually we want BICA to obtain ISO 9001 certification.
European Times: What is your personal message to potential investors in Botswana?
Verily Molatedi: Botswana is one of the fastest-growing countries in Africa and has many skilled professionals. International investors can be confident that their investments will be protected in Botswana and BICA will ensure that any accountant a company employs will have the necessary qualifications.