Luke Owoyesigire

The Spokesperson for Kampala Metropolitan police Luke Owosigire says a dozen of people were yesterday arrested and seven accounting firms closed in the city during a crackdown on quack accountants.

The joint operation of police and CPA follows public outcry from certified Accountants about the escalating numbers of accountants masquerading in and outside Kampala.

He said the clampdown by both police and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants (CPA) is expected to bring a similar crackdown in other parts of the country to weed out fraudsters.

According to Owosigyire, for CPA John Ssegendo over 5,000 individuals are holding out as accountants asserting that they most of them unqualified and practicing without license.

“We mounted a quality review Programme and established that a number of fake accountants and companies had flooded the market. We have to put to an end to this,” Mr. Ssegendo said.

Ssegendo said accountants with questionable credentials, charge lower rates to undercut the professionals and help companies to falsify business or financial records to reduce tax liability.

For CID Spokesperson Vincent Ssekatte said detectives were last evening recording statements from the 12 suspects whom they plan to arraign in court within the week if the Directorate of Public Prosecutions endorses the charge of forgery preferred against them.

“It is the mandate of the CPA to accredit the accountants and companies, hence even if one knows how to balance financial books, without the practicing license and membership certificate, they are rendered fake and we are going to deal with them,” he said.

According to Section 35(1) of the Accountants Act, 2013, a person shall not practice accountancy in Uganda without a certificate of practice. Membership certificate for an accountants costs Shs1 million, annual certificate renewal at Shs400, 000 while a practicing license costs Shs1.2 million a year.

The provision imposes a fine of up to Shs10 million or a two-year imprisonment on illegal practitioners.