July 18—Practicing accountants in Uganda from both the public and private sectors have been asked to embrace new technology as a way of making their jobs easier and provide their clients with better professional services.
Recently, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Uganda office, organized a Continued Professional Development two-day session for its members that among other things highlighted the need to invest in technology to improve their effectiveness.
Either that or be swept aside by the rapidly emerging financial agencies that are more flexible and willing to change with the times. Founded in 1904, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants is the global professional accounting body offering the Chartered Certified Accountant qualification. The ACCA qualification is one of the most sought after in the world.
Innocent Wemesa, Head of Digital Banking at Standard Chartered Bank (Uganda) said the country and the rest of the world, is moving towards a cashless world where use of paper money to buy or sell services or goods will steadily become out-dated.
“The world is changing tremendously. If you are not able to use the available technology to better your services, then you will be outcompeted. There are no longer kings in financing. The client wants a service that will be provided to him at his or her convenience,” he said.
He said by now, all government institutions, as well as private companies, should have migrated to e-commerce where paperwork is at the minimum.
“Ninety three percent of adult Ugandans use phones. Of those, over 50% need financial services and are computer literate. The use of the mobile phone in this era, is a very strong tool that if used correctly, will enable you to keep your clients as well as acquire new ones.”
With more convenience comes higher risk and accountants have been advised to protect themselves against cyber attacks that come with the new technology. Peter Kahiigi, the Director, E-Government Services at the National Information Technology Authority – Uganda (NITA-U) said as much.
He advised accountants to be mindful of their information by creating strong security locks as well as limiting the number of people who have access to their computers.
“Do not allow people you do not trust to access your computers or use flash disks on them. Protect your information with the urgency that it deserves, because we are living in an era where information can easily be accessed and shared very quickly,” Kahiigi said.
He then elaborated on the various levels of risk management, reminding all present that everybody at the workplace was responsible to a certain extent.
He quoted Dan Burrus who said, “As the pace of change in today’s world continues to increase, CPAs and accountants need to focus their organization on anticipating change, rather than merely responding to it.”