Persons Must be Registered with ICAJ to Practise as Chartered Accountants


The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ) is reminding persons that they must be registered by the ICAJ before claiming that designation and setting up business.
“There is a misconception by persons that once they have completed their examinations they can call themselves chartered accountants. This is something we would like to dispel. To become a chartered accountant in Jamaica, people need to apply for membership and become members of the Institute,” President of the ICAJ, Prunella Vassell told JIS News. “You can only call yourself a chartered accountant if you are a member of the ICAJ,” she emphasised.
The ICAJ President was speaking at a JIS Think Tank at 58A Half Way Tree Road on July 14, where she gave an insight and overview of the work, roles and functions of the accounting body and sought to dispel misconceptions.
“Another misconception people have is that once they have finished their examination, people can set up business as chartered accountants or set up accounting practices. This is not so,” Miss Vassell said. She added that even members registered with the ICAJ can only legally set up practices if they have a licence from the Public Accountancy Board (PAB).
Persons, who practice without being registered by the ICAJ and licensed by the PAB, are in breach of the Public Accountancy Act and are subject to being fined or imprisoned, Miss Vassell pointed out.
In addition to chartering accountants, the ICAJ has responsibility to promote and increase the knowledge, skill and proficiency of its members and students and to regulate the discipline and professional conduct of members and students.
It is also charged with promoting and protecting the welfare and interest of the Institute and the accountancy profession, both locally and abroad, and making provision for the training, education and examination of persons engaging in or intending to engage in the profession.
According to the President, membership in the ICAJ is attained through a combination of academic examinations and experience. The prospective applicant must be over the age of 21 years, have sat and passed one of the qualifying examinations, be of good moral character, have gained the requisite level of accountancy experience and be recommended by two members.
The requisite experience required is at least three years continuous practical experience in accountancy while working with a practising chartered accountant.
In the past, persons have been chartered based on years of service under the so-called ‘grandfather clause,’ (practising prior to the formation of the ICAJ) but the numbers of such persons have dwindled considerably, Miss Vassell said.
The ICAJ was established in 1965 and incorporated under the Public Accountancy Act in 1968.

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