Compliance Responses and Action Plans

  • Compliance Responses and Action Plans

    IFAC members and associates have provided self-assessment information about the regulatory and standard-setting framework in their countries (Part 1) and their organizations' activities in addressing IFAC's membership requirements (Part 2) as described in the Statements of Membership Obligations. Based on an analysis of this information, they are developing SMO Action Plans for continuous development and improvement.

    Some organizations have qualified to submit SMO Action Plans on a biennial basis by meeting eligibility criteria. These organizations are indicated with an asterisk (*).

    In the interest of transparency and providing information to the profession, regulators, and other stakeholders, all responses and SMO Action Plans are accessible below.

     

    Introduction

    The information below has been submitted as part of the IFAC Member Body Compliance program. The Program has two components:

    Part 1: Assessment of the Regulatory and Standard-Setting Framework (provides information about regulatory requirements and standard-setting processes in member body countries); and
    Part 2: Assessment of Compliance (provides information on compliance by member bodies with the Statements of Membership Obligations). Part 2 of the Compliance Program will begin later this year, and the results will also be posted to the website.

    The responses to Part 1 are provided below. IFAC staff has reviewed the responses and, where necessary, validated them with external knowledgeable parties. A list of key terms is available to assist readers in understanding the responses.

    The purpose of this Part 1 Assessment is to collect information on the roles of IFAC member bodies and other organizations (including government, regulatory or other appointed authorities) with respect to:

    1. Setting auditing, accounting, ethics, public sector and education standards; and
    2. Regulating the accountancy profession.

    Sections 1 and 2 of Part 1 contain an introduction and instructions for member body respondents. For this reason, they are not included here, and the responses begin with Section 3.

    Questions or comments may be sent to complianceassessment@ifac.org.


    Section 3 -- Member Body General Information

    1. Country:

      Belgium


    2. Name of member body:

      Or please specify name:



    3. Individual responsible for preparation:
      David Szafran


    4. Date member body became a member of IFAC:
      Note: Please enter a numeric date (e.g., 12/2001, Month/Year)

      10 / 1977



    Questions 5 - 22 are for internal use only


    Section 3G -- Affiliations


    23. Please list those regional organizations to which your organization belongs (e.g., FEE, CAPA, ECSAFA, IAA, etc.):



    Section 4 -- Statutory Framework


    Responses to this section will provide a description of the legal framework governing the commercial aspects of auditing and financial reporting in your country.

    Section 4A -- The Companies Act or Commercial Code


    The following questions concern the Companies Act (the Act) or Commercial Code (the Code) or similar Legal authority in your country. If no Legal authority exists, or the Legal authority does not address particular questions, please indicate "N/A" for Not Applicable.

    24. What is the full name of:
      a). the Act or the Code: Code des sociétés – Wetboek van vennootschappen, hereinafter referred to as “Company Code”
      b). the Enacting body: Belgian Parliament
      c). date the Act or Code came into force: 02 / 2001


    25. How can IFAC obtain a copy of the Act or Code?
      www.just.fgov.be/index_fr.htm - section “Moniteur belge” - date of publication “6 août 1999”


    26. Is the Act or Code available in English?
      Yes   No


    27. What are the types of entities covered by the Act or the Code?
      Please check all that apply.
      Listed entities   Other (please specify):
      Private companies   Other (please specify):
      Governmental   Other (please specify):
      Not-for-profit   Other (please specify):


    28. Is there a requirement for the following entities to prepare annual statutory financial statements? If YES, please describe the financial reporting requirements including the accounting standards to be followed.
      Please check all that apply.
        No Yes (If YES, please describe)
      Listed entities The EU Regulation of July 19, 2002 requires the use of International Financial Reporting Standards for consolidated accounts of listed companies. This is enacted through in Belgium by the Royal Decree of December 4, 2003 and the Company Code, art. 97-106
      Private companies Company Code, art. 97-106 for Belgian companies and art. 107 for foreign companies supplmented by the Royal Decree of January 30, 2001
      Governmental
      Not-for-profit
      Other (please describe)
      Other (please describe)


    29. Is there a statutory requirement for the following entities to be audited? If YES, describe the requirement including the auditing standards to be followed:
      Please check all that apply.
        No Yes (If YES, please describe)
      Listed entities National GAAS required by Company Code - also see Q37
      Private companies National GAAS required by Company Code
      Governmental
      Not-for-profit
      Other (please describe)
      Other (please describe)


    30. Are the auditors ("statutory auditors") that are appointed for audits required by the Act or Code ("statutory audits") appointed for a specific period?
      Yes   No
      If YES, please indicate the term of appointment: 3 Year(s)


    31. Who appoints the statutory auditors?
      Please check all that apply.
      Shareholders   Management
      Board of directors   Other (please specify):
      Audit committee   Other (please specify):
      Government agency   Other (please specify):


    32. Does the Act or Code require joint auditors for the statutory audit?
      Yes   No
      If yes, please describe the requirement:


    33. Does the Act or Code require the rotation of the auditors or audit firms performing statutory audits?
      Yes   No
      If yes, please describe the requirement:



    Section 4B -- Securities Market Regulations


    Responses to this section will provide a description of the financial reporting and auditing requirements for listed entities in your country.

    34. What are (a) the major items of Legal authority for such requirements, (b) the Enacting body(ies) and (c) the latest amendment date? Please identify the specific articles or sections that pertain to auditing and financial reporting:
    1. the major items of Legal authority for such requirements

    2. the Enacting body(ies)

      Euronext and Belgian Parliament.

    3. the latest amendment date?



    35. How can IFAC obtain a copy of the Legal authority?
      www.euronext.be; www.moniteurbelge.be


    36. Is the Legal authority available in English?
      Yes   No


    37. Are there any additional or alternative financial statement reporting requirements for listed entities that are not described in your answer to Question 28?
      Yes   No
      If YES, please describe the requirement:


    38. Are there any additional auditing requirements that apply to listed entities other than those described in your answer to Question 29 (e.g., additional GAAS requirements, additional independence requirements, requirements to report to those charged with governance, etc.)?
      Yes   No
      If YES, please describe the requirement:


    39. Who appoints the statutory auditors of listed entities?
      Please check all that apply.
      Shareholders   Management
      Board of directors   Other (please specify):
      Audit committee   Other (please specify):
      Government agency   Other (please specify):


    40. Are auditors who perform audits of listed entities appointed for a specified period?
      Yes   No
      If YES, please indicate the term of appointment: 3 Year(s)


    41. Are joint auditors required for audits of listed entities?
      Yes   No
      If YES, please describe the requirement:


    42. Is rotation of the auditor or audit firm for audits of listed entities required?
      Yes   No
      If YES, please describe the requirement:
      Please note however that a draft recommendation from the Institute of Registered Auditors on statutory auditor’s independence includes a provision on internal rotation of the audit partner (permanent representative of audit firm) after 7 years for public interest entities, according to the EU Recommendation of May 16, 2002.



    Section 5 -- Auditing Standards


    Responses to this section will provide a description of the legal and professional framework governing audit and other assurance standards in your country. The section focuses on the establishment of such standards. Please indicate the role your organization plays within this framework.

    Section 5A -- Statutory Framework


    43. Please provide the name of the Legal authority and/or self-regulatory rules that establish audit and other assurance standards in your country, the date of the last amendment of such authority or rules and the name of body responsible for setting audit and other assurance standards. If the standards are different for different entities (e.g., listed entities, private companies, governmental bodies, not-for-profit organizations, etc.), please specify the details that apply to each:
      Type of entity Name of
      applicable
      legal
      authority
      Date of last
      amendment
      (e.g. MM/YYYY 06/2001)
      Name of body responsible
      for setting audit and
      other assurance standards
      Listed entity Law July 22, 1953 05/1999 Institute of Registered Auditors
      Other (please describe) Private Companies Law July 22, 1953 05/1999 Institute of Registered Auditors
      Other (please describe) Non-Profit Law July 22, 1953 05/1999 Institute of Registered Auditors
      Other (please describe)

      a. How can IFAC obtain copies of these documents?

      On request to the Institute of Registered Auditors (available for members on the extranet).

      b. Are the documents available in English?
      Yes   No


    Section 5B -- Standard-Setting (Institute of Registered Auditors)


    44. For Institute of Registered Auditors, please indicate the nature of the body (i.e., whether it is part of a government ministry or department, an agency appointed by government, a private organization established by the profession, or other [please describe]) and the name of the standards.
      a. Nature of body



      b. Name of standards



    45. How many voting members does the standard-setting body have?
      14 members of the Board of the Institute of Registered Auditors


    46. Are the members of the standard-setting body involved on a voluntary basis or employed by the standard-setting body?
      Voluntary  
      Employed  
      Both - Please describe:


    47. What are the criteria considered in selecting members of the standard-setting body (e.g., best person for the job, sector of the profession, private and public members, academic, geographical representation, etc.)?
      They should have been members of the Institute of Registered Auditors for at least five years. They should have paid their annual subscription fee; they should not be subjected to a pending disciplinary proceeding with the Appeal Committee or the Supreme Court following a sentence to suspension by the Disciplinary Committee or the Appeal Committee; they should not have been subjected to a reprimand in the last three years or been suspended for less than six months in the last five years or for at least six months in the last ten years.


    48. Who appoints these members (e.g., member body, government, user, regulator, etc.)?
      General meeting of the members of the Institute of Registered Auditors.


    49. What is the term of appointment for members?
      3 Year(s)


    50. For how many years has the standard-setting body been in existence?
      51 Year(s)


    51. Please indicate the budget in US$ of the standard-setting body for the last fiscal year:
      Note: Please enter a whole number using commas (e.g., 4,000,000)

      $5,654,243 - This global budget does not only cover standard setting but also includes training, quality control, supervision, administration, legislation (ethics included), education, other services towards the members of the Institute of Registered Auditors, disciplinary actions, etc.

      Please enter the exchange rate used to calculate this number.

      Note: Please enter a decimal amount (e.g., 4.0027)

      1.1942



    52. To what entity is the standard-setting body accountable?
      -The Minister of Economic Affairs;
      -The High Council for the Economic Professions.


    53. Describe the due process followed by the standard-setting body. Please include explanations of the following:
    1. public exposure of standards

      1 month exposure period for the Members of the Institute of Registered Auditors;
      3 months exposure period for the High Council for the Economic Professions.


    2. accessibility of meetings (i.e., public or private)

      Private

    3. approval process for final standards (i.e., majority required to approve final standards)

      The Board of the Institute of Registered Auditors approves upon consensus.

    4. other relevant due process activities

      N/A


    54. Approximately how many days per year does the standard-setting body meet in full session (including teleconferences)?
      13 Day(s)



    Section 6 -- Ethics


    Responses to questions in this section will provide a description of the legal and professional framework governing ethics standards for accountants in your country. This section focuses on the establishment of such standards. Please indicate the role your organization plays within this framework.

    Section 6A -- Statutory Framework


    55. For each of the following types of professionals, please indicate the name of the Legal authority and/or self-regulatory rules establishing ethics standards for accountants and auditors in your country, the date of the last amendment of such authority or rules and the name of body responsible for setting the ethics standards.
      Type of professional covered Name of
      applicable
      legal
      authority
      Date of last
      amendment
      (e.g. MM/YYYY 06/2001)
      Name of body responsible
      for setting ethics standards
      Professional Accountants in Public Practice Law of July 22, 1953 and Company Code and Royal Decrees relating to independence rules 04/2003 Institute of Registered Auditors and Parliament
      Professional Accountants in Business
      Professional Accountants in the Public Sector
      Other (please describe)

      a. How can IFAC obtain copies of these documents?



      b. Are the documents available in English?
      Yes   No


    Section 6B -- Standard-Setting (Institute of Registered Auditors and Parliament)


    56. For Institute of Registered Auditors and Parliament, please indicate the nature of the body (i.e., whether it is part of a government ministry or department, an agency appointed by government, a private organization established by the profession, or other [please describe]) and the name of the standards.
      a. Nature of body

      -Professional organization created by Law of July 22, 1953.
      -Legislative body


      b. Name of standards



    57. How many voting members does the standard-setting body have?
      The Board of the Institute of Registered Auditors is composed of 14 voting members (one President, one Vice-President and 12 other members).


    58. Are the members of the standard-setting body involved on a voluntary basis or employed by the standard-setting body?
      Voluntary  
      Employed  
      Both - Please describe: The members of the Board of the Institute of Registered Auditors are elected for a three years period, which is renewable by the Annual General Meeting.


    59. What are the criteria considered in selecting members of the standard-setting body (e.g., best person for the job, sector of the profession, private and public members, academic, geographical representation, etc.)?
      They should have been members of the Institute of Registered Auditors for at least five years; the should have paid their annual subscription fee; they should not be subjected to a pending disciplinary proceeding with the Appeal Committee or the Supreme Court following a sentence to suspension by the Disciplinary Committee or the Appeal Committee; they should not have been subjected to a reprimand in the last three years or been suspended for less than six months in the last five years or for at least six months in the last ten years.


    60. Who appoints these members (e.g., member body, government, user, regulator, etc.)?
      The Annual General Meeting of the Institute of Registered Auditors appoints the members of the Board.


    61. What is the term of appointment for members?
      3 Year(s)


    62. For how many years has the standard-setting body been in existence?
      51 Year(s)


    63. Please indicate the budget in US$ of the standard-setting body for the last fiscal year:
      Note: Please enter a whole number using commas (e.g., 4,000,000)

      5,654,243

      Please enter the exchange rate used to calculate this number.

      Note: Please enter a decimal amount (e.g., 4.0027)

      1.1942



    64. To what entity is the standard-setting body accountable?
      The Board of the Institute of Registered Auditors is accountable to its members, a.o. through its Annual General Meeting and to the High Council for the Economic Professions, that is related to the Ministry of Economic Affairs.


    65. Describe the due process followed by the standard-setting body. Please include explanations of the following:
    1. public exposure of standards

      Standards (exposure drafts) are submitted to all members of the Institute of Registered Auditors for consultation prior to their adoption (1 month period) and then to the High Council for the Economic Professions (3 months period).

    2. accessibility of meetings (i.e., public or private)

      The meetings held in order to discuss draft standards are private.

    3. approval process for final standards (i.e., majority required to approve final standards)

      Standards are adopted by the Board with consensus.

    4. other relevant due process activities

      N/A


    66. Approximately how many days per year does the standard-setting body meet in full session (including teleconferences)?
      13 Day(s)



    Section 7 -- Education


    Responses to questions in this section will provide a description of how education requirements for the profession are established. Please indicate the role your organization plays within this process.

    Section 7A -- Education Requirements


    67. Please describe in general terms the education system in your country including the different stages of education from early childhood education through to tertiary level study. Please indicate which aspects / levels are compulsory as part of the national education system:
      Compulsory
      -Primary school
      -Secondary high school

      Not compulsory
      -Tertiary: short type (3 years) or long type (4 years)
      -University (4 or 5 years)


    68. Is there a legal authority or regulation that specifies the requirements for an individual to operate as an accountant or auditor in your country?
      Yes   No

      If YES, please provide the name and describe the requirements, including any relating to education, experience or qualifications.

      The Institute of Registered Auditors (under the supervision of the High Council for the Economic Professions, related to the Ministry of Economic Affairs), according to the Law of July 22, 1953 and the Royal Decree of October 13, 1987:

      -Education : University degree;
      -Experience : 3 years training period with examination.


    69. Please select from below all the relevant key levels of requirements to obtain certification from your member body (i.e. to qualify as a certified or chartered accountant) and provide a general description of the requirement.
      Academic requirements
      University degree or equivalent.
      Professional examinations
      During the training period.
      Practical experience
      Training period of at least 3 years (and no more than 5 years).
      Final qualifying examination
      Written and oral examination.
      Other (please describe) Take an oath


    70. Which of the following arrangements best describes who establishes the education requirements for the accounting profession in your country? Please select one option.
      A government ministry, department or agency establishes education requirements for the accounting profession with no additional requirements set by the member body(ies).
      A government ministry, department or agency establishes minimum education requirements for the accounting profession, and member body(ies) supplement these requirements.
      Member body(ies) establishes the education requirements for the accounting profession.
      Other (please describe) Following the provisions of the Law of July 22, 19


    71. Please provide the name(s) of the relevant body in the government ministry, department, agency and / or member body who establishes the education requirements.
      The Institute of Registered Auditors.

    1. A general description of the role of the relevant body(ies) including how it operates and its due process in establishing the education requirements.

    2. How many voting members does the relevant body(ies) have

      14 members of the Board of the Institute of Registered Auditors.

    3. Are the members of the relevant body(ies) involved on a voluntary basis or employed by the standard-setting body?
      Voluntary  
      Employed  
      Both - Please describe:

    4. For how many years has the body been in existence?

      51 Year(s)


    72. How would you describe the authority that the education requirements have?
      Requirements are legally-based
      Requirements are set in the constitution, by-laws or other rules of the relevant body(ies).
      Requirements are set in member body(ies) policy document(s).
      Other (please describe) Requirements are legally-based and are set in relevant body(ies) policy document(s).

    72 a. How can IFAC obtain copies of these documents?
      On request to the Institute of Registered Auditors. Documents are available in the Vademecum 2002 of the Institute of Registered Auditors, p. 43-54 (Law of July 22, 1953) and p. 59-70 (Royal Decree October 13, 1987).

    72 b. Are these documents available in English?
      Yes   No


    73. Are the education requirements for accountants and auditors the same throughout your country, or do they differ among regions, provinces or states?
      Same   Different
      If different, please briefly describe the main differences:


    74. Please indicate the scenario that best describes who delivers the education and examination process for members of the profession. Please only select one option.
      The education program and final examination are delivered by the member body.
      The education program and final examination are delivered by the member body and other education institutions (e.g., universities, colleges, and others).
      The education program and final examination are delivered by education institutions (e.g., universities, colleges, and others).
      Other (please explain)


    75. Once qualified as a member of your professional body, can members offer their services directly to the public?
      Yes   No



    Section 7B -- Licensing


    76. Are there licensing requirements for auditors in your country?
      Yes (continue with Question 77)   No (proceed to Section 8)


    77. Who sets the requirements to obtain a license?
      Yes registration with the Institute of Registered Auditors is required.

      A specific license, provided by the sector-based regulators, is required for the registered auditors of financial institutions, credit institutions, insurance companies and mutual benefit insurance companies. See Section 10.


    78. What are the requirements to obtain a license (please select all relevant requirements.)?
      Academic study specific for obtaining a license
      Practical experience
      Licensing examination
      Final qualifying examination
      Other (please describe)


    79. Are there ongoing requirements to retain a license?
      Yes   No

      If YES, please select all relevant requirements.
      Continuing professional development
      Re-examination
      Other (please specify): A licensee should not remain without statutory auditor mandate in the sector for more than five years.


    80. What entity grants the license?
      The Institute of Registered Auditors proceeds with the registration. The sector-based regulators, i.e. Banking, Finance and Insurance Commission (financial and credit institutions and insurance companies) and the Control Service of mutual benefit insurance companies grant a specific license.


    81. Describe any additional licensing requirements for auditors of listed entities (e.g., additional education requirements, registration, etc.).
      N/A



    Section 8 -- Public Sector Accounting Standards


    Responses to this section will provide a description of the legal and professional framework governing public sector accounting standards in your country. The section focuses on the establishment of such standards. Please indicate, where appropriate, the role of your organization within this framework.

    Section 8A -- Statutory Framework


    82. Please provide the name of the Legal authority and/or self-regulatory rules establishing public sector accounting standards in your country, the date of last amendment and the name of the body responsible for setting public sector accounting standards. If the standards are different for different entities (e.g., whole of government, ministry/department, statutory authority/agency, profit entity owned by government, state governments, local governments, other [please specify]), please specify the details that apply to each.
      Type of entity Name of
      legal
      authority
      Date of last
      amendment
      (e.g. MM/YYYY 06/2001)
      Name of body responsible
      for setting public sector
      accounting standards
      Whole of government
      Ministry/department
      Statutory authority/agency
      Profit entity owned by government
      State governments
      Local governments
      Other (please describe)
      Other (please describe)

      a. How can IFAC obtain copies of these documents?

      Question 82:

      Ministry/department - None/In progress/Belgian federal parliament, regional parliaments

      Statutory authority/agency - Belgian State or Communities/Some have been reformed; others are in progress/Belgian legislator or Community legislators

      Profit entity owend by government - +/- 40 entities;The majority of such entities is subjected to the Company Code and is in compliance with the business accounting regulation Law of July 17,1975./N/A/Belgian federal parliament, regional parliaments

      State governments - Law of May 16, 2003; Royal Decree May 26, 2002/N/A/Belgian federal parliament, regional parliaments


      Local governments - Flemish Decree July 18, 2003/N/A/Flemish parliament

      Ministry/Community Dept - None/In progress/Flemish parliament/ French Community legislator

      Education institutions Flemish Community - University: Decree of February 8, 1995. Superior schools: Decree of July 28,1995. High schools: Decree of July 14, 1998/N/A/Flemish parliament

      Question 82a:
      On request at the Institute of Registered Auditors.


      b. Are the documents available in English?
      Yes   No



    Section 9 -- Private Sector Accounting Standards


    Responses to the questions in this section will provide a description of the legal, statutory and professional framework governing private-sector accounting standards in your country. The section focuses on the establishment of such standards. Please indicate what role your organization plays within this framework.

    Section 9A -- Statutory Framework


    94. Please provide the name of the Legal authority and/or self-regulatory rules that establish private-sector accounting standards in your country, the date of last amendment, and the name of the body responsible for setting private sector accounting standards. If the standards are different for different entities (for example, listed entities, private companies, governmental organization, not for profit organizations, etc.), please specify the requirements that apply to each.
      Type of entity Name of legal
      authority or
      applicable
      rules
      Date of last
      amendment
      (e.g. MM/YYYY 06/2001)
      Name of body responsible
      for setting private sector
      accounting standards
      Listed entity Company Code 05/1999 12/2003 Accounting Standards Commission (CNC/CBN) under the supervision of the Minister of Economic Affairs (also for private companies and Financial sector)
      Other (please describe) Private companies Company Code 05/1999 and Law July 17, 1975 12/2003
      Other (please describe) Financial Sector Law May 2, 2002 05/2003
      Other (please describe)
      Other (please describe)

      a. How can IFAC obtain copies of these documents?

      www.just.fgov.be/index_fr.htm

      b. Are the documents available in English?
      Yes   No


    Section 9B -- Standard-Setting (Accounting Standards Commission (CNC/CBN) under the supervision of the Minister of Economic Affairs (also for private companies and Financial sector))


    95. For Accounting Standards Commission (CNC/CBN) under the supervision of the Minister of Economic Affairs (also for private companies and Financial sector), please indicate the nature of the body (i.e., whether it is part of a government ministry or department, an agency appointed by government, a private organization established by the profession, or other [please describe]) and the name of the standards.
      a. Nature of body

      Body appointed by the Parliament and thus part of the government structure.

      b. Name of standards

      Belgian Law on annual accounts.


    96. How many voting members does the standard-setting body have?
      16


    97. Are the members of the standard-setting body involved on a voluntary basis or employed by the standard-setting body?
      Voluntary  
      Employed  
      Both - Please describe:


    98. What are the criteria considered in selecting members of the standard-setting body (e.g., best person for the job, sector of the profession, private and public members, academic, geographical representation, etc.)?
      All criteria noted above are valid including equilibrium between private and public members and preparers, professional accountants and auditors.


    99. Who appoints these members (e.g., member body, government, user, regulator, etc.)?
      The Government (4 ministers) appoints these members by proposing a royal decree to the King. This appointment follows the suggestions for the nominations by the different institutions involved.


    100. What is the term of appointment for members?
      4 Year(s)


    101. For how many years has the standard-setting body been in existence?
      Year(s)


    102. Please indicate the budget in US$ of the standard-setting body for the last fiscal year:
      Note: Please enter a whole number using commas (e.g., 4,000,000)

      N/A

      Please enter the exchange rate used to calculate this number.

      Note: Please enter a decimal amount (e.g., 4.0027)

      N/A



    103. To what entity is the standard-setting body accountable?
      Minister of Economic Affairs


    104. Describe the due process followed by the standard-setting body. Please include explanations of the following:
    1. public exposure of standards

      Draft Law and draft interpretation by the Accounting Standards Commission (CNC/CBN).

    2. accessibility of meetings (i.e., public or private)

      Yes, public and website : www.senat.be and www.lachambre.be.
      CNC/CBN: www.cnc-cbn.be.


    3. approval process for final standards (i.e., majority required to approve final standards)

      Majority (Parliament).
      Consensus (CNC/CBN).


    4. other relevant due process activities

      Hearings and interaction between the House of Representatives and the Senate and Government.


    105. Approximately how many days per year does the standard-setting body meet in full session (including teleconferences)?
      Day(s)



    Section 10 -- Monitoring (Quality Assurance) and Enforcement


    Responses to the questions in this section will provide a description of the legal and professional framework governing regulation of the profession in your country. Please indicate what role your organization plays within this framework.

    Section 10A -- Securities Market Regulatory Authority


    106. Name the authority that regulates the securities market:
      Banking, Finance and Insurance Commission (BFIC), as from January 1, 2004


    107. What responsibilities does this organization have for monitoring and enforcing compliance with accounting, reporting or auditing requirements? Please identify the Legal authority that establishes that responsibility:
      Law of August 2, 2002 on the supervision of the financial sector and on financial services.


    108. Briefly describe the role of the regulatory authority as it relates to the following:
    1. regulation of the audit profession

      Licensing of registered auditors for admission to the audit of financial institutions, banks and insurance companies.

    2. accounting and auditing standard-setting

      Issuing of practice statements for the audit of financial statements of financial institutions.

    3. review of financial statements prepared by listed entities, and monitoring of their compliance with the accounting and disclosure requirements

      Yes, and comparisons between accounting periods and across financial institutions.



    Section 10B -- Stock Exchange


    109. Name the four largest stock exchangers (by market capitalization) and whether it is organized as a profit or not-for-profit organization:
      Profit Not
      for
      profit
      Stock Exchange
      Euronext



    Section 10B -- Stock Exchange
    Euronext Details


    110. For Euronext, is there a mechanism at the stock exchange(s) for monitoring and enforcing financial reporting, accounting and auditing of listed entities?
      Yes   No

      If YES, please describe the following:

    1. How the monitoring and enforcement of financial reporting, accounting and auditing is conducted.

      The executive board can install and execute review procedures and will contact the competent Authority in case of any non-compliance with the Internal rules of Euronext.

    2. The consequences of non-compliance with the financial reporting, accounting or auditing requirements.

      Suspension of the membership for a maximum period of six months. Eventual exclusion from the security market.

    3. How enforcement actions are administered.

      Euronext organizes a meeting with the non-compliant member. In case of further non-compliance, Euronext takes appropriate enforcement actions and informs the member thereof by registered mail.



    Section 10C -- Regulatory Oversight of the Accounting Profession


    111. Has an audit profession oversight body been established (e.g., to oversee the external quality assurance review process, etc.)?
      Yes   No

      If NO, proceed to the next section.

      If YES, please describe :

    1. What are the name and duties of the oversight body?



    2. The number of members on the oversight body

      See a.

    3. Its powers

      See a.

    4. How the oversight body conducts or oversees a program of inspections to assess the degree of compliance of each audit firm/auditor with applicable auditing standards and regulations

      See a.

    5. The sanctions the oversight body may impose in the event of non-compliance

      See a.

    6. How the oversight body is accountable to any public institution or body

      See a.


    Section 10D -- Banks Regulatory Authority


    112. Name the authority that regulates the banks and similar financial institutions. Discuss how this authority differentiates between accounting requirements for regulatory reporting and general purpose external financial reporting:
      Pursuant to the Law of August 2, 2002 on the supervision of the financial sector and on financial services, the Banking, Finance and Insurance Commission (BFIC) , created as a result of the integration of the Insurance Supervisory Authority (ISA) into the Banking and Finance Commission (BFC), is since January 1, 2004 the single supervisory authority for the Belgian financial sector. This authority is not competent for the enforcement of accounting, reporting and auditing for general external financial reporting. The authority is competent for “prudential reporting” (“contrôle prudentiel”) by financial institutions to the authority.


    113. Discuss briefly the legal requirements with respect to monitoring and enforcement by the regulatory authority of accounting and auditing standards that apply to the banks and similar financial institutions:
      See Section 10E.


    114. Briefly describe the role of the regulatory authority as it relates to the following:
    1. regulation of the audit profession

      Financial institutions can only be audited by external auditors licensed by the BFIC. There is a formal document (99/1) which describe the contribution of an external licensed auditor to the prudential reporting.

    2. accounting and auditing standard-setting

      N/A

    3. review of financial statements prepared by listed entities

      N/A. See Section 10E.

    4. enforcement of accounting, reporting and auditing requirements

      N/A. See Section 10E.



    Section 10E -- Non-Banking Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority


    115. Name the regulatory authority(ies) responsible for monitoring compliance with and enforcing accounting, reporting and auditing requirements imposed on non-banking institutions.
      BFIC, limited to listed companies for enforcement of reporting requirements


    116. What is the source of Legal authority of the regulatory authority(ies)?
      The Law of August 2, 2002 and Royal Decree of March 31, 2003.


    117. Briefly describe the role of the regulatory authority(ies) as it relates to the following:
    1. regulation of the audit profession

      N/A for BFIC.

    2. accounting and auditing standard-setting

      N/A for BFIC.

    3. review of financial statements prepared by listed entities

      Ex post monitoring and control of financial sheets and all kind of financial information.

    4. enforcement of accounting, reporting and auditing requirements

      BFIC: cf. art. 16 Royal Decree March 31, 2003 and art. 10, § 1, Law of August 2, 2002 and art. 34, Law of August 2, 2002.



    Section 10F -- Insurance Companies Regulatory Authority


    118. Name the regulatory authority responsible for monitoring compliance with and enforcing accounting, reporting and auditing requirements imposed on insurance companies.
      The Banking, Finance and Insurance Commission (BFIC) (“Commissie voor het Bank-, Financie-, en Assurantiewezen”/“Commission Bancaire, Financière et des Assurances”) (CBFA), originated from an integration of the “Controledienst voor de Verzekeringen”/“Office de Contrôle des Assurances” (CDV/OCA) in the “Commissie voor het Bank- en Financiewezen”/ “Commission Bancaire et Financière” (CBF), is as from January 1, 2004 the only control authority over the Belgian Financial Sector.


    119. What is the source of Legal authority of the regulatory authority(ies)?
      The source of legal authority of the BFIC is the Law of July 9, 1975 (as amended and officially coordinated in January 2004) regarding the control over insurance companies.


    120. Briefly describe the role of the regulatory authority(ies) as it relates to the following
    1. regulation of the audit profession

      The Belgian audit profession is regulated by the Company Code and by the Institute of Registered Auditors, created by the Law of July 22, 1953 (as amended). The audit of insurance companies is performed through so-called “Erkende Commissarissen”/ “Commissaires Agrées” who are appointed amongst the members of the Institute of Registered Auditors, and who are recognized by the BFIC (i.e. article 38 of the Law of July 9, 1975) in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in “regulation” n° 11 of June 21, 1999 of the BFIC.

    2. accounting and auditing standard-setting

      The accounting standard setting is regulated through the Belgian Accounting Law of July 17, 1975 and the Law of July 9, 1975 relating to insurance companies. Such laws are implemented through Royal Decrees and specific regulations (“verordeningen” / “communications”) based upon the advise of the BFIC (e.g. the Royal Decree of February 22, 1991 regarding the control over insurance companies, the Royal Decree of November 17, 1994 regarding the statutory accounts for insurance companies, the Royal Decree of February 13, 1996 regarding the consolidated financial statements for insurance companies, Regulation n° 12 of the BFIC regarding the permanent inventory of assets backing insurance liabilities, etc.). -The auditing standards are set by the Institute of Registered Auditors through so-called Auditing standards (i.e. imposed by the Law of July 22, 1953 as amended, and the Royal Decree of January 10, 1994 regarding the duties of the registered auditors) and through so-called “Notes E” from the BFIC to the “Erkende Commissarissen”/ “Commissaires Agrées”.

    3. review of financial statements prepared by listed listed entities

      There are no specific rules for insurance companies regarding the review of the financial statements of listed entities. The general rules for listed entities apply.

    4. enforcement of accounting, reporting and auditing requirements

      -Accounting requirements are enforced through the Belgian Accounting Law of July 17, 1975 and by Law of July 9, 1975 relating to insurance companies and implemented through Royal Decrees and specific regulations based upon the advise of the BFIC (see b.) -Reporting requirements are enforced through the so-called “Notes E” from the BFIC to the “Erkende Commissarissen”/ “Commissaires Agrées” and through the so-called “Communications D” from the BFIC to the insurance companies. -Auditing requirements are enforced through the so-called Auditing standards from the Institute of Registered Auditors and through the so-called “Notes E” from the BFIC (see b.)



    Section 10G -- Other Regulatory Authority


    121. Name any other regulatory authority(ies) responsible for monitoring compliance with and enforcing accounting, reporting and auditing requirements.
      The Institute of Registered Auditors


    122. What is the source of Legal authority of each regulatory authority?
      The Law of July 22, 1953 creating an Institute of Registered Auditors modified by the Law of February 21, 1985 concerning the reform of the audit profession.


    123. Briefly describe the role of the regulatory authority(ies) as it relates to the following
    1. regulation of the audit profession

      Licensing auditors and withdrawal of the licenses (art. 4, 4bis and 4quater of the Law of July 22, 1953 creating an Institute of Registered Auditors); this characteristic regulation power is a good example of how the profession has the legal authority to supervise its members (mandatory membership).

    2. accounting and auditing standard-setting

      Setting specific rules, such as (technical) audit standards (art. 18bis of the Law of July 22, 1953 creating an Institute of Registered Auditors).

    3. review of financial statements prepared by listed listed entities

      N/A

    4. enforcement of accounting, reporting and auditing requirements

      The Institute of Registered Auditors can enforce the compliance with reporting and auditing requirements by its members.



    Section 10H -- Quality Assurance


    124. Does any organization of professional accountants/auditors organize a program of quality assurance review to monitor compliance with accounting, reporting and auditing requirements?
      Yes   No

      If NO, proceed to next Section.

      If YES, briefly describe the monitoring and enforcement mechanism.



    125. Under what authority does the organization conduct the program of quality assurance review?
      The Law of July 22, 1953, creating an Institute of Registered Auditors modified by the Law of February 21, 1985 concerning the reform of the audit profession.

      The program of quality assurance review is subject to the supervision of the Commission of Quality control and the Board of the Institute of Registered Auditors, which takes the ultimate decisions. Such supervision is developed in the Mission statement of the Institute of Registered Auditors as well as in the standards.


    126. Who performs the review (e.g., one firm reviewing another firm, staff from the national professional organization, contractors, or a combination of these)?




    Section 10 I -- Investigation and Discipline


    127. Is there a process for investigating and disciplining the accounting profession in your country?

    128. Which of the following best describes the responsibility for the investigatory and disciplinary function in your country?
      Government or other agencies are solely responsible for this function.
      Government or other agencies have this responsibility, but the member body or bodies participate in the process.
      Government formally delegates this function to the member body or bodies, to exercise on its behalf.
      Member body or bodies have separate and independent processes that operate alongside processes of legal authorities.
      Other (please explain) See Q129.


    129. Please indicate the name of the body or bodies responsible for investigation and discipline.



    Responses to the remaining questions in this Section are required if your organization has responsibility for investigation and disciplinary actions.

    130. How many voting members does the body have?
      3 (first degree) 5 (appeal)


    131. Are the members of the body involved on a voluntary basis or employed by the standard-setting body?
      Voluntary  
      Employed  
      Both - Please describe: The judges and auditors acting as consular judges receive indemnities (fees paid by the Institute of Registered Auditors).


    132. What are the criteria considered in selecting members of the body (e.g., best person for the job, sector of the profession, private and public members, academic, geographical representation, etc.)?
      The candidate professional judge is appointed according to his/her profile. Professional judges competent for disciplinary files must be professional judges. Auditors acting as consular judges must be auditors with an irreproachable profile, i.e. with no disciplinary past.


    133. Who appoints these members (e.g., member body, government, user, regulator, etc.)?
      Professional judges are appointed by Royal Decree. Auditors acting as consular judges are appointed in first degree, by the Board of the Institute of Registered Auditors (IBR) and in degree of Appeal by the Annual General Meeting of the IBR.


    134. What is the term of appointment for members?
      6 Year(s)


    135. For how many years has the body been in existence?
      51 Year(s)


    136. Please indicate the budget in US$ of the body for the last fiscal year.
      Note: Please enter a whole number using commas (e.g., 4,000,000)

      29,855

      Please enter the exchange rate used to calculate this number.

      Note: Please enter a decimal amount (e.g., 4.0027)

      1.1942 (specify currency)



    137. To what entity is the body accountable?
      The Supreme Court.


    138. Approximately how many days per year does the body meet in full session (including teleconferences)?
      15 Day(s)



     

     

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