Govt accountant fails to produce financial reports

Accountant-general Daniel Muchemwa yesterday admitted that he is failing to comply with the Public Finance Management Act, which requires his office to produce government financial reports on time.

Muchemwa yesterday told delegates at the Zimbabwe accountants conference organised by the Public Accountants and Auditors Board that he has been struggling to keep his books up-to-date since assuming office a year-and-half ago.

“I have been accountant-general for one and half years and I have never complied with the Public Finance Management Act. There are things that are required of me. Reports by Parliament that I have not submitted on time and on budget and, as accountants, we are all ashamed when we don’t do anything on time and on budget. I am struggling to do things on time and on budget,” he said.

The Public Finance and Management Act regulates the management of finances in national and provincial government and sets out the procedures for efficient and effective management of all revenue, expenditure, assets and liabilities.

Muchemwa said he was working to ensure that all public accountants’ reports that have been tabled to Parliament were properly answered by the State through treasury units.

He said government wants to introduce the International Public Sector Accounting Standards geared towards improving the quality of general purpose financial reporting, leading to more informed and fiscally efficient decision-making by government.

Currently, the government is using cash basis accounting, an accounting method wherein revenues are recognised when cash is received and expenses are recognised when paid.

Muchemwa said all districts in the country should have the international financial reporting system they can relate to by mid next year.

Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa said accountancy professionals should come on board to assist government to grow the economy.

“Tell us what environment you want to exist in order that our economy grows. Yes, we have sanctions, but if we are going to cry about sanctions throughout, no not throughout. We have at our disposal agriculture, mining, tourism and information communication technologies. These can be the bedrock of the resuscitation and growth of our economy. But then, it depends on you coming forward and assisting us,” he said.–newsdy