Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
Member | Established: 1880 | Member since 1977
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) is a global body of chartered accountants with 146,000 members in 155 countries, operating under Royal Charter in the public interest. ICAEW regulates and supervises activity under statute, most notably as a Recognized Qualifying Body and Recognized Supervisory Body for statutory audit in the UK, with similar status in Ireland. ICAEW also supervises local audit and anti-money laundering, regulates and licenses probate services, is the largest Insolvency Regulator in the UK, and is represented on the UK Takeover Panel. It is also accredited by the Tax Practitioner Board, Australia. ICAEW works to develop sustainable national professions, leading donor-funded capacity building projects across Europe, Asia, and Africa. It belongs to the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies, Fédération des Experts Comptables Européens, Pan African Federation of Accountants, Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants, Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean, ASEAN Federation of Accountants, Global Accounting Alliance, and Chartered Accountants Worldwide.
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.
The ICAEW, with shared responsibility for the quality assurance (QA) review system in the UK, has an established system that fulfills its SMO 1 obligations. The Institute has long-standing policies and procedures that guide its QA review process, and annually reviews that system to improve compliance with SMO 1 as necessary. The ICAEW has a number of ongoing processes in place to support strengthening the QA review system. They include regular training of its QA staff to keep them abreast of relevant technical, legal, and ethical requirements; new and revised accounting and auditing standards; frequent review of audit visit procedures and documentation; production and distribution of extensive guidance on good practice; and updates to members on technical and practical developments.
The ICAEW shares the responsibility for initial and continuing professional education (IPD and CPD) for statutory auditors/accountants in the UK with the other Recognized Qualifying Bodies and the oversight body, the Financial Reporting Council. The Institute supports the adoption of International Education Standards (IES) through its support of the work of the International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) and the provision of comments on all pronouncements issued by the IAESB, including drafts of revised IES issued under the Clarity project.
The ICAEW supports the implementation of IES by ensuring that its syllabus and training programs are aligned and comply with the standards. It supports its students and members by providing relevant updates periodically and through its strategic relationship with training providers. The Institute regularly monitors, reviews, and take necessary actions to continue to strengthen the IPD and CPD arrangements for its members.
The ICAEW has no direct responsibility for audit standard setting in the UK, but exerts its best endeavors to support the adoption of all pronouncements issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB). It liaises with the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) to promote the adoption of international standards issued by the IAASB. It provides periodic inputs to FRC International Committee briefs and shares its views with the UK member of the IAASB.
The ICAEW extensively supports the implementation of the IAASB’s International Statements on Auditing (ISA) through: (i) the preparation and distribution of comprehensive implementation guidance via its website, bulletins, articles, other publications, and road shows, (ii) the provision of updates on new and revised standard related information, (iii) collaboration and support on the implementation of ISA in the UK to training providers, software developers, and methodology providers, and (iv) extensive engagement in international standard-setting activities through the provision of comments on Exposure Drafts issued by the IAASB, and via representation on relevant national and regional committees, panels, and boards.
With shared responsibility for the Code of Ethics for its members, the ICAEW supports adoption of the ICAEW’s Code of Ethics and is in the process of revising its current Code of Ethics to introduce amendments incorporated in the latest version of the IESBA’s Code.
The ICAEW raises awareness and strengthens the knowledge of its members and students through publication of articles, case studies, and providing responses to frequently asked questions. The Institute also monitors changes to the IESBA’s Code of Ethics and informs members about relevant updates via newsletters and journals. In addition, the ICAEW conducts periodic reviews of continuing professional development and student training material to include new and revised changes issued by the standard setter. To strengthen compliance with the Code, the Institute includes review of compliance with the Code of Ethics during QA review visits and as part of the complaints investigative process.
The ICAEW has no direct responsibility for adoption or implementation of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), but supports the current approach to use of the standards in the UK. It encourages and is involved in the current debate on the adaption of IPSAS in the EU. It raises awareness of the pronouncements issued by the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB) by posting relevant material on its website and encourages its members and others to provide comments. It also collaborates where appropriate with government bodies, such as the National Audit Office, on developing international public sector accounting standards. From August 2015 onwards considerable additional resources have been devoted to commenting on IPSASB consultation papers and encouraging debate of them in the UK. A new IPSAS learning program is under development.
The ICAEW shares responsibility for the investigation and disciplinary (I&D) system of professional accountants in the UK, and has an I&D system that is compliant with SMO 6. The Institute periodically monitors and reviews the system to ensure that it is working effectively and liaises with other bodies as necessary. The Institute indicates that it establishes appropriate powers and processes and provides the necessary resources throughout the investigative and disciplinary system. In addition to having a complaints-based system, it proactively monitors other sources of information to identify possible misconduct by members. It supports members’ compliance with the system through the provision of frequent updates and guidance. The processes are also subject to regular review by oversight regulators.
ICAEW, with no direct responsibility for the adoption of accounting standards in the UK, exerts its best endeavors to support the implementation of IFRS. The Institute’s accounting training program is primarily based on IFRS, it has a dedicated Financial Reporting Faculty, and it provides extensive resources on IFRS and UK GAAP to members and non-members. Also, ICAEW maintains comprehensive information from the standard-setting bodies on its website and encourages its members to comment on pronouncements issued by standard setters. The Institute provides relevant training programs, educational material, and technical and practical help to strengthen the knowledge and implementation practices of members and non-members alike. It distributes monthly alerts to raise awareness of new and revised standards.
Although the IFRS for SMEs has not been adopted in the UK, ICAEW promotes adoption/convergence where appropriate and raises awareness of the IFRS for SMEs for small companies.
IFAC bears no responsibility for the information provided in the SMO Action Plans prepared by IFAC member organizations. Please see our full Disclaimer for additional information.