Ufaa wants firms to declare unclaimed assets in reports

Ufaa Chairman Francis Njenga. [David Gichuru, Standard]

The Unclaimed Financial Assets Authority (Ufaa) wants accountants’ professional bodies to compel their members to declare unclaimed proceeds during their reporting.

The authority has said that withholding this information is misleading the public, particularly investors, who seek to put their money in those institutions.

Ufaa Chairman Francis Njenga said some of the unclaimed assets are reflected in those institutions’ financial statements, which does not show the true picture of how those businesses are performing.

Dr Njenga urged the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (Icpak), Public Sector Accounting Standards Board, and The Institute of Internal Auditors to hasten the process of disclosure.

“So many Kenyans are holding our money and this money is being portrayed in their financial statements as their money. This is misleading Kenyans,” he said during the launch of the authority’s third strategic plan for 2023-2028.

He added that the firms should disclose this money and remit it to Ufaa so that financial statements can show a fair view to enable the public to make proper decisions.

According to the strategic plan, which cited a baseline study done in 2018, an estimated Sh241 billion in unclaimed financial assets is unreported to Ufaa.

Additionally, 477,112 public and private entities hold the assets in their books.

Ufaa Chief Executive and managing trustee John Mwangi (pictured) said the authority has received billions even as he noted that many still do not know about the authority and its mandate.

He spoke of an ambitious plan to reduce the turnaround time for those who lodge their claims with the authority as one of the key objectives of the strategic plan.

“It was taking us a long time, 60 or 70 days. Now we are working on an average of 30, and in this plan, we do hope that at least in two weeks, we have paid you if you are the original owner, if not in less time,” said Mr Mwangi.

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