ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
1. Short title
3. Establishment of Malawi Accountants Board
4. Membership of the Board
5. Vacation of office by Board members
6. Tenure of office
7. Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Board
8. Meetings of the Board
9. Quorum, majority decisions and Chairman’s casting vote
10. Committees of the Board
11. Reports to the Minister
FUNDS OF THE BOARD
12. Funds of the Board and keeping and audit of accounts
13. Remuneration and allowances of members of the Board and Committees
FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF THE BOARD
14. General powers of the Board
15. Prohibition on practising as certified public accountant by unregistered person
16. Registration of accountants and auditors
17. Registered training contracts
19. Powers and duties of auditors
20. Information to be furnished by registered accountants
21. Disciplinary powers of the Board
22. Enquiry by the Board
23. Suspension of registered accountants who are mentally disabled
24. Non-liability of the Board
25. Establishment of Public Accountants Examination Council
26. Functions of the Examining Council
27. Membership of the Examining Council
28. Tenure of office of members
29. Procedure relating to the Examining Council
30. Powers of the Examining Council to pay remuneration or allowances
31. Funds of the Examining Council
THE PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY
32. Functions of the professional society
33. Admission to the professional society
34. Compliance with the provisions of the Finance and Audit Act
35. Offences and penalties
35 of 1981
10 of 1991
An Act to make provision with respect to the establishment of the Malawi Accountants Board and an Examining Council and for the conduct and management thereof; for the registration of public accountants and auditors; for their academic and professional training, and for matters incidental to and connected with the foregoing
[23RD JANUARY 1982]
This Act may be cited as the Public Accountants and Auditors Act.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—
“Board” means the Malawi Accountants Board established under section 3;
“certified public accountant” means any person registered as a Certified Public Accountant (Malawi) and in good standing with the professional society;
“College” means the Malawi College of Accountancy established by the Education Act;
“diplomate accountant” means any person registered as a Diplomate Accountant (Malawi) and in good standing with the professional society;
“Examining Council” means the Public Accountants Examinations Council established under section 25;
“financial year” means the period of twelve months ending on 31st December each year;
“Minister” means the Minister of Finance;
“professional society” means the Society of Accountants in Malawi;
“public accountant” means a person who is engaged 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;
“practising certificate” means a certificate issued by the professional society permitting the holder to carry on practice as a public accountant;
“registered trainee” means a person engaged under a registered training contract;
“registered training contract” means a written contract accepted for registration pursuant to the provisions of section 17 (1) whereby any person engages to serve another for a specified period in order to receive training in the profession of a certified public accountant or a diplomate accountant.
(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 seal, and with capacity, in its corporate name, to—
(a) possess and own property, real or personal;
(b) sue and be sued;
(c) make contracts; and
(d) do all such other things which a body corporate may lawfully do.
(1) The Board shall consist of—
(a) one professionally qualified person, appointed by the Minister;
(b) one other member appointed by the Minister;
(c) two members, who shall be professors or lecturers, as the case may be, in accounting or accountancy matters at an academic institution in Malawi, to be appointed by the Minister of Education;
(d) five persons appointed by the professional society from amongst its members.
(2) Whenever an appointment under subsection (1) of this section becomes vacant, the remaining members of the Board shall, in writing, request the professional society or Minister, as the case may be, to fill the vacancy within thirty days from the date of receipt of the request.
(3) If no notice of appointment is received from the professional society within the period specified in subsection (2) of this section the remaining members of the Board shall inform the Minister who may thereupon appoint such person as he may deem fit who is qualified in accordance with paragraph (c) or (d), as the case may be, of subsection (1).
(4) The Minister or the professional society, as the case may be, may nominate any similarly qualified individual as an alternate member and such person shall, in the absence of the appointed member, be entitled to attend and take part in the proceedings of any meeting of the Board.
(5) The name and qualifications of every person appointed as a member of the Board, and of every person appointed as an alternate member, together with the date of his appointment, shall be published in the Gazette.
A member of the Board shall vacate his office and his alternate shall cease to be eligible to act in his stead—
(a) upon the presentation of a petition for his bankruptcy, or upon execution of an unsatisfied judgment against his estate;
(b) upon his death;,
(c) if he is sentenced for an offence against any wirtten law to a term of imprisonment of, or exceeding, six months, otherwise than as an alternative to, or in default of, the payment of a fine;
(d) if he is convicted of any offence involving fraud or dishonesty;
(e) if, in the opinion of the Minister, or the authority by which he was nominated, he becomes, by reason of mental or physical infirmity, incapable of performing his duties as a member of the Board;
(f) if the Minister or the authority by which he is nominated is satisfied that the private interests of the member conflict or are liable to conflict with his duties as a member and that consequently it is inexpedient for him to continue to hold office as a member;
(g) upon the expiry of one month’s notice in writing of his intention to resign his said office given by him to the Minister or the authority by which he is nominated, as the case may be;
(h) upon his being given notice by the Minister or authority by which he is appointed of the termination of his appointment;
(i) if he is absent from two consecutive meetings without leave of the Board (which leave may be granted retrospectively and shall not be unreasonably withheld);
(j) if he ceases to hold the qualifications for his appointment pursuant to section 4.
(1) Every member of the Board appointed pursuant to paragraphs (c) and (d) of subsection (1) of section 4 shall hold office for a period of two years save that such member shall continue in office until his successor has been appointed or upon his re-appointment, as the case may be.
(2) Any person whose term of office as a member of the Board has expired shall be eligible for re-appointment if all conditions of eligibility for his appointment remain fulfilled.
(3) Whenever the office of a member or alternate member of the Board falls vacant before expiration of the period for which a member was appointed, the Minister or other authority which appointed him shall, subject to the provisions of section 4, appoint any other person to fill the vacancy for the unexpired portion of the period for which such member or alternate member was appointed.
(1) The members of the Board shall at their first meeting following their appointment, and thereafter as occasion arises, elect out of their number a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman, and any persons so elected shall hold office as such until the end of their current period of office as members of the Board:
Provided that only certified public accountants shall be eligible for election as Chairman or Vice-Chairman or to preside at any meeting thereof.
(2) If for any reason the Chairman is not able to act, the Vice-Chairman shall act in his stead.
(1) The Board shall meet at least twice in every 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 of the Board, 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.
(1) A majority of all members of the Board or their alternates, 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 Vice-Chairman, the members present shall, subject to the proviso to subsection (1) of section 7, elect one of their number to preside thereat.
(3) The decision of a majority of the members of the Board present at any meeting thereof shall constitute a decision of the Board, and in the event of an equality of votes regarding any matter, the person presiding thereat shall have a casting vote in addition to his deliberative vote.
(4) At any meeting of the Board a member may require the person presiding thereat 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 of the Board, or with respect to whose appointment the provisions of this Act had not been observed, 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 of the Board present at the time who were entitled to sit and act as members.
(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 of the Board, as it may deem fit, to be members of any such committee.
(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 amend 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.
(1) The Chairman of the Board may submit to the Minister reports in regard to matters connected with the activities of the Board which in his opinion should be brought to the Minister’s notice from time to time.
(2) Any three or more members of the Board who are dissatisfied with a decision taken by the Board in regard to any matter within its competence pursuant to the provisions of this Act, may communicate to the Minister their dissent from such decision and the reasons therefor, and the Minister may upon receipt of any such communication, require the Board to furnish him with its observations in regard to such matter, together with any information he may deem necessary.
(3) 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 import.
FUNDS OF THE BOARD
(1) The funds of the Board shall consist of—
(a) such sums as may be payable to the Board from moneys appropriated by Parliament for the purpose;
(b) such sums as may be charged 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, interest or royalties, from the Government or other person;
(e) such sums as are derived from the sale of any property, real or personal, by or on behalf of the Board;
(f) such sums as are 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 full and correct accounts to be kept of all amounts received and expended by it, and shall so regulate its financial affairs that, taking one year with another, its income and its outgoings shall be balanced.
(1) Any member of the Board or 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) of this section shall be paid out of the funds of the Board.
(3) The Board shall, in any case where a member of the Board does not make a direct claim to the Board, refund to the appropriate Ministry or professional society, as the case may be, any transport or subsistence allowances paid by such Ministry or professional society to such member whilst engaged in connexion with the business of the Board.
FUNCTIONS AND POWERS OF THE BOARD
(1) The Board shall have power—
(a) having consulted the professional society, to regulate conditions of service under registered training contracts and to prescribe the fees which shall be payable through the professional society to the Board in respect of registration or transfer of such contracts, or in respect of the granting of exemption from service under such contracts or part thereof;
(b) to prescribe the fees which shall be payable through the professional society to the Board in respect of the registration of any person as a certified public accountant or as a diplomate accountant, and the annual fees (which may differ between certified public and diplomate accountants engaged in public practice and those not so engaged) which shall be payable through the professional society to the Board by any person so long as he remains registered as a certified public or diplomate accountant and to determine what portion of such annual fees shall be payable in respect of any part of a year and the date on which such annual fees or portion thereof shall become due and payable;
(c) in consultation with the Examining Council, the College and the professional society, to ensure that adequate arrangements are made for the training and examination of registered trainees and others desirous of seeking registration under this Act, and to prescribe the fees which shall be payable to the Examining Council and through it to the Board in respect of such examinations;
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