Expats far outnumber Saudis in accounting

Accountancy firms employ 167,000 non-Saudis against 4,800 Saudis

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By Abdul Rahman Al-Misbahi

Okaz/Saudi Gazette

JEDDAH — Secretary-General of the Authority of the Chartered Accountants (ACA) Ahmed Al-Mighmas has revealed that there are 167,000 non-Saudi accountants in the Kingdom, compared to 4,800 Saudis.

Speaking during an open meeting organized by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) on Tuesday, Mighmasi said contacts were currently being made with the Ministry of Labor and Social Development to Saudize the profession.

He expected the recruitment of accountants from abroad to be limited only to those with experience of more than three years in the field.

JCCI Deputy Chairman Mazen Batterjee, and Yasser Balkhy, chairman of the committee of chartered accountants at the chamber, attended the meeting.

A number of accountants who attended the event questioned why commercial banks were allowed to classify the accountancy offices.

They said the banks have made it a condition on the accountancy offices wishing to obtain loans to review their financial statements by chartered accountants.

He said the classification of the accountancy offices should be done by the authority, not the banks.

Mighmasi told the meeting that the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) has assured the ACA that it would not oblige the banks to approve all the reports of the chartered accountants and said every bank had the freedom to choose the most appropriate method for keeping and managing their funds so as to preserve the rights of the clients and shareholders.

He said some banks classified the chartered accountancy offices but some others did not.

Mighmasi said the authority was not happy with the classification of the accountancy offices by the banks but this phenomenon was common among banks.

He said the ACA could not so far find an appropriate modality to prevent the unjust classification of the accountancy offices by banks.

The authority recently uploaded on its website data about a number of accountancy offices so that the clients will be able to choose what is most suitable for them.

The secretary-general revealed that the system of the chartered accountants was made about 25 years ago and has since then remained without any changes or amendments.


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