CPA Laura Orobia, an Assoc. Prof. at MUBS-Mbarara is a proud Accountant who has also served as an educationist. Assoc. Prof. CPA Orobia serves on the Marketing Committee of the Institute. She shared her earliest memories about accountancy and her dreams for the Institute.
Prof. Dr. CPA Laura Orobia, how did you end up in the accountancy profession?
CPA Orobia did a Diploma in Accounting, then upgraded to a Bachelors of Business Administration – Accounting Option, the head of department at Makerere University later mentored and advised her to take on a profession qualification.
She explains that she was caught in between CPA and ACCA as she contemplated on which course was more affordable and passable.
“I went on and did my Masters before I took on a professional qualification. It’s in 2005 that I decided to go back and do what my professor had earlier on advised me and started my CPA journey. I actually regret not embarking on the program much earlier. I did my first exams in December 2005, become a member in 2008.”
“I didn’t know what I wanted to do with myself until a later stage in my high school when my guardian uncle talked me into Accountancy” – CPA Orobia
Any proud moments as a CPA council member?
“I was one of the pioneers that engineered for the first ICPAU graduation ceremony back in 2008. A few of my fellow council members then, CPA David Muwase and I pushed for the Inaugural Graduation ceremony in a bid to promote the qualification. I consider this an achievement because it has created awareness and confidence among the graduates and the future generations of accountants.”
CPA Orobia also notes that teaching Accounting became easier, with an improvement in her teaching approach when she started the qualification.
“I remember one of my colleagues said I wasted my CPA because I stayed in teaching after completion, I disagree with that mindset. I’ve been able to teach and mentor accountants and entrepreneurs with my qualification.
The qualification gives you confidence in your practice and ICPAU gives you a sense of belonging through its membership portal.”
CPA Laura, where do you see the profession in the next ten years?
“I see the number of Certified Public Accountants grow, the number of graduates that completed the course and register as members of ICPAU to grow following new regulations; the Accountants Act that requires top gov’t official one must be a member of ICPAU.
The task is with ICPAU, how we capture all the graduates out there and model them into members?
My only worry is the ladies are not so into the qualification. Most of the previous ICPAU meetings are dominated by our male counterparts. Only 36% ladies attend most of the recent ICPAU engagements. The institute faces a challenge to create platforms that will build capacity and inclusion for all. Prior efforts have been recognized, i.e. the Women in Accountancy Forum, a CPD event meant to develop and bring women accountants together. ICPAU needs to look for more avenues to engage women.
“The ladies are not so into the qualification. Most of the previous ICPAU meetings are dominated by our male counterparts”
ICPAUat25 brings much excitement and energy. The profession has grown since inception, from regulatory, capacity building to monitoring Accountants. Starting with very few people and very few activities, monitoring these many accounting firms wasn’t easy back then mainly because of capacity but today, ICPAU is able to accomplish that with the Technical Department. The same department is able to pronounce international regulations to the local ears as well as monitor the quality and conduct of accountants in the country. All this is to boost the public’s confidence in accountants and accountancy as a profession.”