Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants
Member | Established: 1990 | Member since 1984
The Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) is a professional body of accountants in the Republic of Botswana established under the Accountants Act of 2010. The role of the Institute is to represent its members’ interests, develop the accounting profession, protect the public interest, ensure observance of the highest professional and ethical standards by its members, and carry out any other functions expected of a professional accountancy and membership body.
Statements of Membership Obligations (SMOs)
The Statements of Membership Obligations form the basis of the IFAC Member Compliance Program. They serve as a framework for credible and high-quality professional accountancy organizations focused on serving the public interest by adopting, or otherwise incorporating, and supporting implementation of international standards and maintaining adequate enforcement mechanisms to ensure the professional behavior of their individual members.
Prior to the adoption of the Financial Reporting Act 2010, BICA was responsible for conducting quality assurance (QA) reviews for all audits and had contracted the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) to conduct the reviews. Although the responsibility for QA reviews for all audits now lies with Botswana Accountancy Oversight Authority (BAOA), BICA continues its ongoing efforts to raise awareness and educate its members about QA and encourages compliance with ISQC 1. BICA focuses on assisting members in improving audit quality using the results of the practice reviews, which were previously conducted by the ACCA on its behalf. The institute offers training on undergoing practice reviews and delivers workshops on how to address weaknesses identified during reviews for its members. Also, BICA collaborated with Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, as part of a World Bank-sponsored twinning arrangement, to produce an audit manual for small and medium-sized practices and to provide training.
In 2014, BICA and the BAOA signed a Memorandum of Understanding to clarify responsibilities for the quality assurance review system in Botswana. The institute intends to review the current quality assurance arrangements and to improve the system where necessary.
In its next Action Plan submission, BICA is encouraged to share the status of the adoption of amendments to the Accountants Act 2010 and the Financial Reporting Act 2010, which would clarify the responsibilities of BICA and the BAOA in practice.
BICA shares responsibility for initial professional development (IPD) and continuing professional development (CPD) requirements for professional accountants, and has undertaken a number of initiatives to ensure that national requirements are aligned with the revised IES requirements. BICA has established Botswana’s Professional Accountancy Qualification and continues to raise awareness about the new certification requirements. The institute provides support to BICA staff, Authorized Training Employers, and students through Training of the Trainer programs and mentoring of students. The institute also raises members’ awareness of CPD requirements and monitors member compliance, taking action against those who are not compliant. Additionally, BICA supports the implementation of IES by working with academic institutions to ensure that syllabi incorporate revised IES requirements. The institute collaborated with universities to ensure that IFRS, ISA, the Code of Ethics and other standard-related topics were included in their curricula. BICA intends to review national educational requirements against the revised IES requirements.
BICA is encouraged to share the results of the planned review of national educational requirements against IES and its plans to address gaps, if any, in its next Action Plan submission. The institute is also encouraged to participate in international standard setting-process by providing comments on Exposure Drafts and other pronouncements issued by the IAESB.
Prior to the adoption of the Financial Reporting Act 2010, BICA was responsible for setting auditing standards and had adopted and supported the implementation of ISA, which are required by law, on an ongoing basis. Although the responsibility for setting auditing standards now lies with the Botswana Accountancy Oversight Authority (BAOA), BICA continues its ongoing efforts to raise awareness and educate its members about ISA, and encourages compliance with the standards. The institute offers training and hosts annual update workshops on standard-related topics in addition to disseminating revisions via email, its website, social media, and its members’ portal. BICA is in the process of hiring a Technical Director and Director of Training and Professional Development to strengthen the technical compliance capacity of its members. The institute ensures that university curricula incorporate content on ISA and collaborates with the appointed standard setter, the BAOA, in the standard-setting process. BICA is in the process of jointly reviewing the legal framework to identify and minimize overlaps between the two institutions. The institute also participates in the review of Exposure Drafts issued by the IAASB.
The institute is encouraged to share the results of the review of the legal framework and any new legislation affecting BICA’s responsibilities in its next Action Plan update. BICA is also encouraged to support the BAOA to remain committed to the ongoing adoption of ISA.
BICA has direct responsibility for the adoption of ethical standards for members of the profession, and adopted the 2010 version of the IESBA Code of Ethics, supporting member compliance by raising awareness of new ethical requirements and through the training that it provides. BICA provides a copy of the Handbook of the Code of Ethics to each member, and members are required to annually declare they have read and understood the Code and comply with its requirements. The institute also sends all revised requirements of the Code to its members via email. BICA offers pre-qualification ethics trainings to candidates, and includes ethics topics in its continuing professional development events.
BICA is encouraged to clarify the existing legal framework for ethics in the jurisdiction in its Action Plan. The role of the Botswana Accountancy Oversight Authority, if any, in setting ethical requirements for auditors also needs to be clarified. The institute could also consider participating in the international standard-setting process by providing comments on IESBA Exposure Drafts and other pronouncements.
Although BICA has no direct responsibility for the adoption and implementation of public sector accounting standards in Botswana, it promotes the adoption of IPSAS without modifications and assists with their implementation. BICA established a Public Sector Committee, which comprises key stakeholders from the government, to help lead the transition to accrual-basis IPSAS and to develop professional examinations for the public sector. BICA collaborates with the standard setter, the Botswana Accountancy Oversight Authority, to provide training on IPSAS for public sector accountants, and is in the process of developing a public sector accounting curriculum.
The institute may consider exploring ways in which it could raise member awareness of IPSAS prior to the implementation of its public sector curriculum.
BICA shares responsibility for investigating and disciplining members of the profession and has established investigation and discipline (I&D) mechanisms. BICA established an Appeals Committee in 2014 and has proposed revisions to the Accountants Act 2010 and the Financial Reporting Act 2010 that would help to strengthen the I&D system and improve compliance with revised SMO 6. BICA states that it provides updates on its website and via emails about new and revised requirements on an ongoing basis.
BICA states that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Botswana Accountancy Oversight Authority (BAOA) while amendments to the Financial Reporting Act 2010 and Accountants Act 2010 are pending approval before Parliament. Although the BAOA is to assume responsibility for the I&D of all auditors, BICA reports that there is a process in place to collaborate with the BAOA on the I&D of members who are auditors.
In its next Action Plan submission, BICA should report on the amendments that would revise the Accountants Act and Financial Reporting Act. After the amendments have been adopted, BICA is encouraged to review the revised SMO 6 requirements to ensure its existing I&D system remains compliant. BICA is encouraged to educate the public on the I&D system and about the process for forwarding complaints.
Prior to the adoption of the Financial Reporting Act 2010, the institute was responsible for setting accounting standards and had adopted and supported the implementation of IFRS on an ongoing basis since 2007. Although the responsibility for setting accounting standards now lies with the Botswana Accountancy Oversight Authority (BAOA), BICA continues its ongoing efforts to raise awareness and educate its members about IFRS and IFRS for SMEs, and encourages compliance with the standards.
BICA focuses on the dissemination of IASB Standards and Exposure Drafts, as well as on providing training to support implementation. The institute hosts workshops on IFRS for SMEs and GAAP standards and has prepared implementation guidance for its members in the form of pro forma financial statements. BICA has also established a process for gathering comments from its members on IASB Exposure Drafts.
BICA is encouraged to share additional information in its Action Plan on its support of the implementation process through the incorporation of standard-related topics in professional examinations, initial professional development and continuing professional development education and training materials. Also, in its next Action Plan submission, BICA is encouraged to outline the established division of responsibility between the institute and the BAOA for accounting standard setting once the arrangements have been approved by the Ministry of Finance.
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