Professional Accountants have key role to play in helping Africa realise its potential

Professional Accountants have key role to play in helping Africa realise its potential
Professional Accountants have a critical role to play in supporting African growth, says Shahied Daniels, CE of the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA). Speaking at the 2015 Africa Congress of Accountants in Mauritius, Daniels argued that the continent needed to redesign its business, industrial and regulatory environments to deal with globalisation to include Africans from benefiting from their continent’s growth.
“African policy makers and business do not have the broad vision (or indeed the motivation) to lead the radical redesign of the business and industrial landscape across Africa,” Daniels says. “The accountancy profession, however, is uniquely placed to play this role.” Professional Accountants have an enormous role to play in enabling the continent’s businesses, which are typically the small medium enterprise sector of its economy
“Professional Accountants can help their clients invest wisely and diversify their businesses, especially when it comes to expanding across borders,” he says. “Collaboration and the ability to identify the right alliance partners are vital in today’s highly competitive markets. Similarly, accessing capital at the right time in its growth cycle is critical, and professional advice on when and how to list on a stock exchange can make or break a company.”
In particular, African economies need to move up the value chain by gaining the capability to beneficiate commodities before they are exported. This will be dependent on enhancing the capability and capacity of African businesses.
“Professional Accountants have to step up to the challenge of helping the continent’s businesses build on their strengths. If this does not happen, we risk ceding many of the long-term benefits of Africa’s growth to companies from outside the continent,” Daniels continues.
Professional Accountants (SA) have an important role to play as trusted business advisors. They will benefit from the support of its professional accountancy organisation, SAIPA, which play an active role in enforcing professional codes of conduct and providing continuous education.
“A strong accounting profession is the foundation of African growth, and this depends on proactive professional accountancy organisations,” Daniels concludes. “SAIPA takes this responsibility very seriously.”