Previously, accounting in the Public sector has had many challenges as there were no regulations. However the Institute of certified public accountant of Kenya (ICPAK) adopted the International Public sector accounting standards (IPSAS) and all Public institutions have a guideline of operation.

Many parliaments including Kenya played limited role in public finance oversight and accountability.

This led to establishment of Principal accountant’s Offices at both the National and County Assemblies which should advice the management on financial issues.

The Role/Functions of Principal Accountant’s Office

The Accounting function entails; providing data for use in financial management; functional control of accounting staff within the Unit including Training and Development; management and development of the accounting system including issue of accounting instructions; maintaining an effective internal control system; and advising the Clerk on financial and accounting matters. The function further entails; preparation of Annual Accounts, replying to Audit queries, developing briefing for the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), follow-up actions on PAC recommendations and any other related matters.

The office is responsible for the control and co-ordination of both routine and non-routine accountancy matters; interpretation of financial policies, budgeting controls management accounting methods and financial returns.

The office is required to work within National and County Government policies and general directives given by the head of the accounting unit. Overall review of accounting procedures and practices including undertaking a limited range of management accounting, Preparation of final accounts and statements, Preparation of reports and returns ensuring that payments are made accordingly.

The office also supervises preparation of payment vouchers in accordance with the laid down rules and regulations and general accounting work involving book-keeping knowledge and routine accounting entries