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Saiba expands global footprint to Mexico and Russia


Saiba – the natural home for entrepreneurial accountants – is rapidly expanding its network of international alliances to provide better coverage, recognition and mobility for its members.

In November, Saiba will lead of team to Mexico for the annual conference of the Mexican Institute of Finance Executives (IMEF), which will include presentations by the chief economist of the World Bank and two Nobel prize winners.

IMEF is a founding member of the International Association of Financial Executives Institutes (IAFEI) of which Saiba is also a member. Mexico plays a critical role in the North Atlantic Free Trade Association (NAFTA) and is also seen as a gateway to Latin America.

Now Saiba is extending its international links to the Russian Federation, which opens the door to the larger Eastern bloc.

Angel García-Lascurain, national president of IMEF, recently told Accounting Weekly that IMEF has become a trusted source of insight into the business and accounting professions, and is relied upon to help shape government policies. Nicolaas van Wyk, CEO of Saiba, says a similar role awaits Saiba in helping to shape the future direction of government policy in SA as it affects entrepreneurs and small businesses, which are the engine of the economy.

“The reason for extending our international alliances to Mexico and Russia is to benefit our members in terms of our global reach and to develop our network of relationships with other accounting bodies. This keeps us aligned with international best practices and provides stronger international recognition for our members, as well as better mobility between countries,” says Nicolaas van Wyk, CEO of Saiba. “We see a much larger role for Saiba in shaping South Africa’s policies as it affects SMEs, and our expanding network of international alliances will support that role.”

Irina Yatsenko, international liaison officer for Saiba, departs for Russia in September to build relationships with a number of professional accounting bodies.

“Russian-speaking regions are forming an economic bloc within which Saiba can play a supporting role as some the professional bodies being created are in need of support,” says Yatsenko.

Adds van Wyk: “This will give us political infuence in IFAC (International Federation of Accountants). Russia has adopted a Professional Accountants Standard that aligns qualifications and experience to job levels, and provides a system of recognition that includes general accountants, tax accountants, financial managers and CFOs. The Russian model is similar to the way Saiba issues its designations. The Russian model provides a precedent that Saiba can adopt in its interactions with local government branches, such as DTI and National Treasury.”

The Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) was formed in 2015 between five post-Soviet countries and is estimated to have an integrated single market of 183 million people, a gross domestic product of over $2.2 trillion, and trade exports estimated at $750 billion.

The member states, including Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and the Russian Federation, are amending national laws aimed at enhance cooperation and free movement of people, services, and goods by 2022.

SA is also a member of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and SA), a powerful emerging bloc accounting for 41% of the world’s population, 24% of global GDP and 16% of world trade. Saiba’s out-reach to the Russian Federation will strengthen its presence within the BRICS professional accounting sector.

Professional accounting bodies in the Russian Federation

  • Audit Chamber of Russia http://www.sroapr.ru/
  • The Russian Collegium of Auditors and Accountants (RCA) http://www.rkanp.ru/node/1810
  • The Russian Union of Auditors (RUA) http://org-rsa.ru/
  • The Self-Regulatory Organization of Auditors Association “Sodruzhestvo” (SRO AAS) https://auditor-sro.org/files/help_AAS/zakonodatelstvo/315/180803_fz-315_o_sro.docx

Russian professional bodies of accountants similar to Saiba

These entities receive “Self-Regulating Organizations” status from the Ministry of Finance allowing them to register members and issue designations:

  • The Institute of Professional Accountants of Russia (IPAR) has roughly 70,000 members in 65 regions in Russia: https://www.ipbr.org/about/documents/improvement/statute/
  • The National Institute of professional accountants, financial managers and economists – with 2,058 members in 45 regions: http://stipb.org/en/index.php/membership .
  • International Association of Certificated Accountants – about 3,049 members in 16 regions.
  • Chamber of Professional Accountants and Auditors (St. Petersburg), with around 2,500 members in six regions of Russia.
  • International Public Organization Association of Accountants and Auditors Sodruzhestvo, with about 2,000 members in 31 regions.
  • Association of Professional Accountants Sodruzhestvo with roughly 500 members.
  • National Union Professional Accountants (estimated 200 members).