LESOTHO’S first locally-developed accounting qualification is best suited to respond to the country’s economic needs, the Lesotho Institute of Accountants (LIA) has said.
The Lesotho Professional Accountancy Programme (LePAP) will have its first intake in July 2017 and will be offered by the Centre of Accounting Studies (CAS).
LePAP is aimed at creating high qualified accounting professionals for the private and public sectors.
Currently, all professional accounting qualifications offered in the country’s tertiary institutions were crafted in other countries and according to LIA, the introduction of LePAP will bring a qualification that is more responsive to the local conditions and amore cost-effective.
LIA has a mandate as a membership and regulatory body for the accounting profession in the country. It also provides accounting education and training through the CAS.
Acting LIA Chief Executive Officer, Nthabiseng Shale-Tlhomola this week told the Lesotho Times that Lesotho already had “a number of professional accounting qualifications that are United Kingdom-based, but it would be more appropriate to have a locally crafted qualification, which will be more responsive and relevant to our unique economic needs as a country”.
Ms Shale-Tlhomola said they had benefitted from financial support from the World Bank and the European Union for the development and implementation of the programme.
She said they had followed the example of other African countries like Zambia who have been running their home-grown professional accounting qualifications for many years.
“What is unique about LePAP is that when you get to the chartered accounting (CA) stage, it has two parts namely private sector and public sector streams.
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“This means if one wishes to be employed in the private sector they will follow the relevant stream and one who wishes to work for government will follow the public sector stream,” she said.
“This is because we observed some challenges as far as financial management is concerned in government departments. So the public sector stream will be more responsive to those existing challenges in the public sector.”
Ms Shale-Tlhomola said LePAP which would be offered along with foreign programmes, was a six and half year programme.
It has three stages, the entry level being the Technician Accounting Stage which has a one and half year duration.
The minimum entry requirements for this level include a high school qualification with a credit pass in Mathematics and a pass (D) in English Language or relevant Diploma and A Level qualifications are the requirements to qualify for this level.
The second level is the General Accounting Stage, which also has a one and half year duration and prospective students must have successfully completed the Technical Accounting Stage or be holders of the BCom in Accounting or other relevant degrees.
The Chartered Accounting Stage has a three and a half year duration and prospective students must have successfully completed the LePAP General Accounting stage or the ACCA skills module, the CIPFA International Diploma or a chartered accountancy qualification from other institutions.
Ms Shale-Tlhomola said students would be required to undergo experiential training upon completion each stage as part of the process of preparing for the workplace upon completion of their studies.
She said the programme would be rolled out to other tertiary institutions in the country at a later stage.
Applications forms are available at LIA offices in Maseru.