PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS AND AUDITORS

CHAPTER 53:06
PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS AND AUDITORS

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

SECTION

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE MALAWI ACCOUNTANTS BOARD

   3.   Establishment of the Malawi Accountants Board

   4.   Appointment and membership of the Board

   5.   Disqualification from appointment to the Board

   6.   Vacation of office by members

   7.   Tenure of office

   8.   Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Board

   9.   Meetings of the Board

   10.   Quorum and majority decisions

   11.   Committees of the Board

   12.   Reports to the Minister

PART III
FUNDS OF THE BOARD

   13.   Funds of the Board and keeping and audit of accounts

   14.   Non-liability of the Board

   15.   Remuneration and allowances of members

PART IV
FUNCTIONS, POWERS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE BOARD

   16.   General powers of the Board

   17.   Objectives of the Board

   18.   Maintenance of standards of examinations

   19.   Registered training contracts

   20.   Powers and duties of auditors

   21.   Information to be furnished by registered accountants

PART V
REGISTER AND REGISTRATION

   22.   Register of Chartered Accountants and Diplomate Accountants

   23.   Register to be open to inspection

   24.   Compulsory registration

   25.   Qualification for registration

   26.   General prohibition

   27.   Application for registration

   28.   Registration

   29.   Cancellation or suspension of registration

   30.   Restoration of registration

PART VI
SECRETARIAT OF THE BOARD

   31.   Secretary and other staff of the Board

   32.   Disclosure of interest by employees, etc.

   33.   Oath of secrecy

   34.   Prohibition of publication or disclosure of information by unauthorized persons

   35.   Protection of employees

PART VII
DISCIPLINE

   36.   Disciplinary proceedings

   37.   Review of disciplinary proceedings

   38.   Appeal to the Board against disciplinary action

   39.   Suspension of registered accountants who are mentally disabled

PART VIII
THE INSTITUTE

   40.   Objectives of the Institute

   41.   Functions of the Institute

   42.   Powers of the Institute

PART IX
PRACTISING CERTIFICATE

   43.   Prohibition against practice without practising certificate

   44.   Application for practising certificate

   45.   Issue or refusal of practising certificate

   46.   Unregistered person prohibited from practising

   47.   Period of validity of practising certificate

   48.   Withdrawal of practising certificate

   49.   Surrender of withdrawn or invalid practising certificate

PART X
MISCELLANEOUS

   50.   Use of certain designations

   51.   Offences by unregistered persons

   52.   Offences and penalties

   53.   Exemptions

   54.   Appeals from decisions of the Board

   55.   Evidence

   56.   By-laws

   57.   Regulations

   58.   Compliance with the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act

   59.   Repeal and savings

PART XI
TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

   60.   Saving of existing appointments and membership

   61.   Transfer of membership to professional accountancy bodies

   62.   Saving of existing programmes, students and qualifications

   63.   Transfer of employees

   64.   Transfer of assets, liabilities, etc.

5 of 2013
G.N. 11/2014

An Act to provide for the establishment of the Malawi Accountants Board; for the registration of chartered accountants and diplomate accountants; and to make provision for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto

[1ST APRIL 2014]

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Public Accountants and Auditors Act.

2.   Interpretation

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

   "audit" means an independent examination of financial statements by an auditor to enable him express an opinion on whether financial statements are prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with an identified financial reporting framework;

   "Board" means the Malawi Accountants Board established under section 3;

   "chartered accountant" means a person who is registered as a Chartered Accountant;

   "College" means the Malawi College of Accountancy established by the Education Act;

   "diplomate accountant" means a person who is registered as a Diplomate Accountant;

   "financial year" means the period of twelve months ending on 30th June of each year;

   "Institute" means the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi incorporated under the Companies Act;

   "Member" means a member of the Board;

   "practising certificate" means a certificate issued by the Institute permitting the holder to carry on practice as a chartered accountant in public practice;

   "public practice" means the practice of a person who performs the functions of an accountant or auditor, and for that purpose, holds himself out as an accountant or auditor and places his services at the disposal of the public for reward, but does not include services which are substantially at the command of and for the exclusive use of any one person or of the Government;

   "registered trainee" means a person who is engaged under a registered training contract;

   "registered training contract" means a written contract accepted for registration pursuant to the provisions of section 19 (1) whereby a person engages to serve another for a specified period in order to receive training in the profession of a chartered accountant or diplomate accountant.

PART II
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE MALAWI ACCOUNTANTS BOARD

3.   Establishment of the Malawi Accountants Board

   (1) There is hereby established a Board to be known as the Malawi Accountants Board.

   (2) The Board shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession, and a common seal, and with capacity, in its corporate name, to—

   (a)   possess and own property, real or personal;

   (b)   sue and be sued;

   (c)   enter into contracts; and

   (d)   do all such other things which a body corporate may lawfully do.

4.   Appointment and membership of the Board

   (1) Members of the Board shall be appointed by the Minister and shall consist of the following—

   (a)   two persons nominated by the Institute from amongst its members, one of whom shall be a non-practicing member and the other from an academic institution;

   (b)   one person nominated by the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry; and

   (c)   the following ex officio"> members—

      (i)   the Secretary to Treasury;

      (ii)   the Secretary responsible for Education;

      (iii)   the Accountant General;

      (iv)   the Auditor General;

      (v)   the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi;

      (vi)   the Commissioner General of the Malawi Revenue Authority;

      (vii)   the Secretary for Justice; and

      (viii)   the Chief Executive Officer of the Malawi Stock Exchange.

   (2) An ex officio"> member of the Board may appoint a senior officer from his institution as an alternate permanent representative at meetings of the Board.

   (3) The name, qualifications and date of appointment of every person appointed as a member of the Board shall be published in the Gazette.

5.   Disqualification from appointment to the Board

   A person shall be disqualified from being appointed as a member of the Board if that person—

   (a)   is declared bankrupt under any law in force in Malawi;

   (b)   is under any law in force in Malawi adjudged or otherwise declared to be of unsound mind;

   (c)   has at any time been convicted of an offence involving corruption, theft, fraud, forgery, perjury or dishonesty;

   (d)   has, within the past five years, been convicted of an offence under any written law punishable by a minimum term of six months' imprisonment without the option of a fine;

   (e)   would, for any other reason, be disqualified by law from serving as a director of a company or a trustee of a trust within Malawi; and

   (f)   would have a conflict of interest if appointed to the Board.

6.   Vacation of office by members

   A member of the Board other than an ex officio"> member shall vacate his office—

   (a)   upon the presentation of a petition for his bankruptcy, or upon execution of an unsatisfied judgment against his estate;

   (b)   if he is convicted of an offence under any written law and sentenced to a minimum term of six months' imprisonment, otherwise than as an alternative to, or in default of, the payment of a fine;

   (c)   if he is convicted of any offence involving corruption, theft, fraud, forgery, perjury or dishonesty;

   (d)   if, in the opinion of the Minister, or the authority by which he was nominated, as the case may be, he becomes, by reason of mental or physical infirmity, incapable of performing his duties as a member of the Board;

   (e)   if the Minister or the authority by which he was nominated, is satisfied that the personal interests of the member conflict or are likely to conflict with his duties as a member, and that consequently, it is inappropriate for him to continue to hold office as a member;

   (f)   upon the expiry of one month's notice in writing to the Minister or the authority by which he was nominated, of his intention to resign his office;

   (g)   upon receipt of notice of termination of his appointment, from the Minister or the authority by which he was appointed;

   (h)   if he is absent from three consecutive meetings of the Board, of which he has had notice, without leave of the Board, which leave shall not be unreasonably withheld;

   (i)   if he ceases to hold the qualifications for which he was appointed member pursuant to section 4; and

   (j)   upon his death.

7.   Tenure of office

   (1) A member of the Board other than an ex officio"> member shall hold office for a term of three years and shall be eligible for re-appointment for one further term.

   (2) Whenever the office of a member falls vacant before expiration of the period for which the member was appointed, the Minister or other authority which appointed the member shall, subject to the provisions of section 4, appoint any other person to fill the vacancy.

8.   Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Board

   (1) Members of the Board shall, at their first meeting following their appointment, and thereafter as need arises, elect out of their number other than members ex officio">, a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman, and the persons so elected shall hold office as such until the end of their term of office as members.

   (2) If for any reason the Chairman is not able to act as chairman, the Vice-Chairman shall act in his stead.

9.   Meetings of the Board

   (1) The Board shall meet at least four times a year, and the time and venue of every meeting shall be determined by the Board from time to time.

   (2) The Chairman of the Board may at any time call a special meeting of the Board at such time and place as he may determine and shall, upon a written request signed by not less than three members, call a special meeting thereof to be held within two weeks after the date of receipt of such request, at such time and place as he may determine.

   (3) Meetings of the Board shall be conducted in such manner as the Board thinks fit.

   (4) The Board shall cause minutes of all proceedings of, and decisions taken at, all meetings of the Board and of its committees, to be entered into books kept for that purpose.

10.   Quorum and majority decisions

   (1) A simple majority of all members of the Board present shall form a Quorum for any meeting of the Board.

   (2) The Chairman or, in his absence, the Vice-Chairman, shall preside at meetings of the Board, but in the absence of both the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman, the members present shall elect one of their number to preside at the meeting.

   (3) The decision of a simple majority of the members of the Board present at any meeting shall constitute a decision of the Board.

   (4) At any meeting of the Board, a member may require the person presiding at the meeting to direct that his dissent from any resolution passed by the Board, and the reasons for such dissent, be recorded in the minutes of the proceedings at which such resolution was passed.

   (5) No decision or act done under the authority of the Board shall be invalid by reason only of an interim vacancy on the Board, or of the fact that a person who is disqualified from being a member, or with respect to whose appointment the provisions of this Act had not been complied with, sat or acted as a member at the time when the decision was taken or the act was performed or authorized, if the decision was taken or the act was performed or authorized by a majority of the members present at the time who were entitled to sit and act as members.

11.   Committees of the Board

   (1) The Board may establish committees to assist it in the performance of its functions and duties, and may appoint such persons, including persons other than members, as it may deem fit, to be members of any such committees.

   (2) The Board may assign to a committee such of its powers as it may deem fit, but shall not be deemed to be divested of any power which it may have assigned to a committee, and may alter any decision of any such committee.

   (3) Any reference in this Act to the Board in relation to the exercise of any power which it has assigned to a committee shall be construed as including a reference to that committee.

12.   Reports to the Minister

   (1) The Chairman of the Board may submit to the Minister reports regarding matters connected with the activities of the Board which, in the Chairman's opinion, should be brought to the attention of the Minister from time to time.

   (2) The Board shall, at the request of the Minister, the Attorney General or the Registrar General, furnish to the Minister or such other public officer, advice on questions in connexion with the accountancy and auditing profession or cognate matters, and shall communicate to the Minister information acquired by it, in the course of its duties, on matters regarded by it as being of public importance.

PART III
FUNDS OF THE BOARD

13.   Funds of the Board and keeping and audit of accounts

   (1) Funds of the Board shall consist of—

   (a)   such moneys as may be collected by the Board by way of levies from institutions and individuals registered with the Board;

   (b)   such moneys as may be collected by the Board by way of fees;

   (c)   such moneys or assets as may accrue to or vest in the Board, whether in the course of the exercise of its functions or powers, or otherwise;

   (d)   such moneys or other assets as may accrue to or vest in the Board by way of grants, subsidies, bequests, donations, gifts, subscriptions, rents, interests or royalties, from the Government or any other person;

   (e)   such moneys as may be derived from the sale of any property, real or personal, by or on behalf of the Board;

   (f)   such moneys as may be received by the Board by way of voluntary contributions; and

   (g)   such moneys or other assets as may be donated to the Board by any foreign government, international agency or other external body of persons, corporate or unincorporate.

   (2) The Board shall cause to be kept proper books of account and other records in relation to all moneys and other property vested, received or otherwise obtained, and of all moneys expended or other property sold or otherwise disposed of, by the Board.

   (3) The accounts of the Board shall be audited annually by a chartered accountant in public practice appointed by the Board.

   (4) The expenses of, and incidental to, any audit shall be payable out of the funds of the Board.

   (5) The Board shall, as soon as is practicable, but not later than six months after the end of each financial year, submit to the Minister an annual report of its work and operations.

14.   Non-liability of the Board

   No legal proceedings, whether criminal or civil, shall lie against the Board in respect of any act or duty performed in good faith in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

15.   Remuneration and allowances of members

   (1) A member of the Board or of any Committee, as the case may be, shall be paid such remuneration and allowances, if any, as the Board may in its discretion determine.

   (2) Any remuneration or allowances which may become payable under subsection (1) shall be paid out of the funds of the Board.

   (3) The Board shall, in any case where a member does not make a direct claim to the Board, refund to the appropriate Ministry or institution, as the case may be, any transport or subsistence allowances paid by such Ministry or institution to such member whilst engaged in the business of the Board.

PART IV
FUNCTIONS, POWERS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE BOARD

16.   General powers of the Board

   (1) The Board shall have power to—

   (a)   consider and determine applications for registration under Part V of this Act;

   (b)   maintain the Register of chartered accountants and diplomate accountants;

   (c)   encourage cooperation between the Institute and other professional bodies in matters of common interest;

   (d)   take such steps as appear to the Board to be necessary or desirable to advance the standing and effectiveness of the accountancy profession in Malawi;

   (e)   advise the College and the Institute on matters pertaining to examinations and training of accountants;

   (f)   promote the standardisation of qualifying examinations on common subjects;

   (g)   take such steps as appear to the Board to be necessary to provide for the manpower requirements of the accountancy profession in Malawi;

   (h)   advise the Minister on accountancy and cognate matters;

   (i)   employ such professional, technical and administrative officers, clerks and other servants as it may deem necessary and to lay down conditions of service for such employees;

   (j)   pay its employees such salary, wages or other remuneration as it may deem fit and to grant them such leave as it may deem fit;

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