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Experts speak out on why more students failed CPA exams


Experts speak out on why more students failed CPA exams

Left to Right: ICPA (uganda) Exec. Sec. Derrick Nkajja ICPAU President Constant Othieno Josephine Ossiya

Accountants graduating from universities and other institutions of higher learning have been called upon to enroll in professional courses in order to stand a chance of maximizing employment opportunities in the economy.

Figures show that there is a bigger number of trained accountants as compared to the number of accountants that eventually enroll in professional accountancy courses that subsequently join the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda.

Speaking at the release of the results of the September 2022 CPA Examination Intake, the Executive Secretary to the Institute of Certified Public Accountants Derick Nkajja stressed the need for professionalism in accountancy services for the good of the economy.

“Some people study some accounting and they are good to go, they don’t want to do professional accountancy and we do not know why many do not want to attempt…., but as the economy continues to professionalize it will be incumbent upon everyone trained in accountancy to become a professional accountant to be able to serve in a specific market,” Nkajja said.

Geoffrey Byamugisha, the Chairperson of the CPA Public Accountants Examination Board notes that there was a decline in examination performance from 40% passes recorded in the March 2022 diet compared to 36% passes in September 2022 diet.

Constant Othieno Mayende, the President of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants attributed the drop in performance to the students’ inadequate preparation for the examinations which must be addressed for future examinations and subsequently ensure better execution of assignments at the workplace.

“At the end of the day passing examinations heavily depends on the students. To pass these professional exams you need to prepare adequately. So standards keep changing for the financial reporting papers. So if you are not up to date with the standards clearly you are not going to pass so it’s important that students take note of this and prepare adequately but that said as a institute we promise to continue and accelerate engagements with the key stakeholders so that we begin to see smoothening out of these results,” Mayende said.

Regarding the drop in performance, Byamugisha echoed Mayende’s view on preparedness as the ley to passing. He added that the students could have failed to prepare adequately probably because the exam diets were so close to each and thus having insufficient time to prepare adequately.

Meanwhile Mayende congratulated the Public Accountants Examinations’ board upon completing the revision of the CPA syllabus which has been approved by the national council for higher education as required by the Accountants Act of 2013.

Byamugisha reveals that the revised syllabus will be examinable starting in May/June 2023 diet. When ask why the change in the CPA syllabus, Byamugisha said that it’s a requirement to keep revising the syllabus in order to match with the ever-changing accountancy needs, standards, and trends in the economy.

Nkajja also clarified that the cases of misappropriation of funds/theft of funds reported are not necessarily by professional accountants, stressing that it is people who disguise as professional accountants at different levels that end up committing these vices.

On this note, Nkajja called on all stakeholders to work towards continuous professionalism in the accountancy business saying in various cases of theft of funds, they have implicated usually no professional accountants subscribing to the institute.

And one of professionalizing accountancy in Uganda is by ensuring that accountants enroll in professional courses and joining the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda as members.

He adds that there deliberate efforts by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda working with the government to ring-fence certain accountancy positions for professional accountants.

“Right now we have industries where you cannot serve if you are not a professional accountant and by law, we have some positions where you must be a member of the institute in order to serve in that position so we shall see the trend,,” Nkajja



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