Females Overtake Males In Accountancy Exams As Failure Rate Grows

The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU), has released examination results for the May 2023 diet revealing an increased failure rate in performance.

According to the release, the pass rate for the Certified Public Accountants, for example, was 32 percent, having declined from 36 percent in the previous sitting.

A total of 6,655 candidates sat for the May 2023 cohort compared to 5279 that attempted the December 2022 exam.

Laura Orobia, Vice Chairperson of the Public Accountants Examinations Board (PAEB) attributed the high failure rate to several issues including the fact that this was the first exam under the new syllabus.

She, however, also accused the students of ignoring ICPAU’s engagement that is done online, most of which is targeted at disseminating knowledge to the students.

The new syllabus launched last year was designed with the aim of catering for the changing business and economic dynamics, especially the growing importance of the digital economy as well as the environment and social governance (ESG). The syllabus is reviewed every five years.

The board also condemned the practice of selective revision, also known as spotting, where the candidates choose specific topics and focus on them, with the hope that that is where the exam questions will be picked from.

She urged the students and facilitators to make sure that the candidates concentrate on all the topics to avoid disappointments.

The examination board also for the first time, conducted a computer-based exam, and this was for the final CPA course paper; Integration of Knowledge, which will also be used as a pilot for possible online examinations in the future.

Female candidates accounted for 58 percent of the passes, while of the total number of sitting students, 54.9 percent were female.

ICPAU President Constant Mayende Othieno said despite the fall in passes, the number of accountants is growing commendably and that the profession will continue to grow.

The institute also reviewed the policy of awarding the best candidates, saying that from now on, for one to be declared best candidate, they must have scored at least 60 percent in the respective subject, though the pass mark remains 50 percent.

Derrick Nkajja, the Chief Executive Officer, of ICPAU, urged the public to cooperate by notifying them of areas that are occupied by persons who are not qualified or licensed accountants, including chief financial officers, principal accountants, or heads of accounts departments in ministries, departments and agencies of government, NGOs and local governments.

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