The Accountant-general, Daniel Muchemwa has expressed the need for more accountability in Zimbabwe during a stakeholder meeting on Migration to Accrual Accounting based on International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS)
The Accountant-general said that the accounting method Zimbabwe is using has challenges compared to accrual accounting, which increases accountability.
“There is a school in Kambuzuma where the headmaster has extended the house of the state thinking that it is his house, that is the level of accountability we are right now,” Muchemwa said.
Muchemwa also said that one of the state building has been invaded by street kids who have made rooms for accommodation.
During the meeting, Auditor General Mildred Chiri said regionally Zimbabwe is lagging behind regionally on IPSAS, which are a set of currently 38 accrual-based standards developed and published by the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB).
Chiri said that Zimbabwe currently does not know how much it owes outside as the cash basis has some challenges in transparency.
“The advantage of accrual accounting is that we know how much we owe and how much we own.” said Chiri.
Zimbabwe is in the process of migrating from cash basis to accrual accounting.
Tanzania, a country with a leader well known around Africa for dealing with corruption is one of the countries that has already migrated to accrual accounting.
Neema Mssusa, a member of IPSASB who has witnessed the migration to accrual accounting in Tanzania said during the meeting that the method has helped the country to understand how much they are getting from tourism and also the value of state assets.
Mssusa also said that accrual accounting provides a correct picture of the financial condition of an entity than cash basis.
Zimbabwe started the project of migrating to accrual accounting last year with the help of Department for International Development (DFID) and other international partners.
The acting chairman of the Public Accounting Committee who was representing Paurina Mpariwa said that transparency is also needed for the migration from cash to accrual accounting.