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Accountants must understand new laws

Sep 25 2012 13:48 Sapa

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Johannesburg - Accounting professionals must understand how new legislation will affect business at large, the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) said on Tuesday.

The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) had already come into force, and the Financial Services Board's (FSB) treating customers fairly roadmap would be passed into law in January 2014.

"This caution has been made following the increasing amount of legislation impacting the accounting profession," Saica said in a statement.

The Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) programme would try to regulate the financial service industry's market conduct to promote a culture of fair treatment of customers.

It sought to ensure that specific and clearly articulated fairness outcomes for financial services customers were demonstrably delivered by financial services institutions.

"With all the market conduct regulatory frameworks in place, for instance, the CPA, National Credit Act and the proposed 'Twin Peaks' model of regulation, it is important for accounting professionals to understand where TCF fits in and how all these frameworks will work together," said Saica spokesperson Tshegofaco Rametsi.

"Customers have high expectations of their financial services providers, and they rely on the information provided by these professionals when making decisions on products and services they want to engage with."

Saica continued to engage with the FSB and other regulators to influence initiatives.

"Saica encourages accountants who work within the financial services sector to identify the business implications of achieving the TCF objectives as set by the FSB, and linking them to the strategy of their organisations," said Rametsi.

FSB spokesperson Leanne Jackson said: "TCF needs to be thought through right across a group's strategy, as it could impact on profitability, marketing, business processes, product design, human resources, distribution and more."

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