Back to school for executives

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IT was back to school for company executives last week as international accounting firm KPMG held a business seminar for company top officials in Bulawayo on new financial reporting standards as part of efforts to improve transparency and accountability among corporates.

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The business seminar was targeted at private and public companies.

In an interview with Southern Eye Business KPMG audit manager Bhekimpilo Mpofu said this year’s seminar was aimed at training mainly company accountants on new requirements of the profession in the preparation of financial results.

“This year the thrust of the seminar was to discuss the new International financial reporting standards (IFRS) that companies would have to comply with this year in publishing their annual financial results,” Mpofu said.

IFRS are designed as a common global language for business affairs so that company accounts are understandable and comparable across international boundaries.

There are a consequence of growing international shareholding and trade and are particularly important for companies that have dealings in several countries and are aimed at improving transparency and accountability in financial reporting.

Mpofu said the seminar was also aimed at simplifying to the business community the new Income Tax Bill expected to be passed into law next year.

The Bill, set to become law in January next year, will replace the current Income Tax Act of 1967 and has been widely criticised for being complex and harsh by seeking to widen the government’s tax base. Experts say it would undermine confidence and curtail foreign investment if passed in its current state.

Among the new changes in the Bill, Zimbabwean residents would now be taxed for income from all sources, whether inside or outside the country, while non-residents would be taxable on Zimbabwe-sourced income.

Temporary residents would be taxed on income sources from outside Zimbabwe remitted into the country in terms of the exchange control regulations, as well as on locally sourced income.

Capital gains and gifts received in connection with business would also be subject to income tax which has been criticised as worse that the old Act.