Ordre des Experts Comptables de Tunisie
Member | Established: 1988 | Member since 1985
The Ordre des Experts Comptables de Tunisie (OECT) was established in 1988 in accordance with Law 88–108 on the Chartered Accountancy Profession. The OECT, with membership comprising Chartered Accountants, is subject to oversight by the Ministry of Finance and it works to ensure the appropriate functioning of the accountancy industry in Tunisia.
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 OECT has no legal responsibility for the quality assurance (QA) review system in Tunisia, but it supports the implementation of the system through the funding it provides and the significant role that it plays within the Control Committee, which is responsible for the system. Members of the review team are also drawn from OECT membership.
The OECT’s main focus is to collaborate with the Control Committee to establish a two-tiered QA system compliant with the requirements of SMO 1, as well as an independent oversight body. Both bodies have formed partnerships with the World Bank to facilitate an exchange of experience with the Moroccan PAO and the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators, and intend to adopt an action plan on the implementation of the proposed revised QA review system in mid-2015.
The OECT has also spearheaded the adoption and dissemination of appropriate standards, such as ISQC 1 (2009 version), to enhance audit quality and has supported the implementation of the standard. The OECT liaised with another international body to obtain, and subsequently disseminate, the French version of IFAC’s Guide to Quality Control for Small-and Medium-sized Practices to provide implementation guidance for its members. It is in the process of organizing training courses based on the guide.
Once the proposed action plan has been finalized and approved, the OECT is encouraged to provide an update in its next SMO Action Plan submission on the progress made in establishing and implementing the revised QA review system and an independent public oversight system. Relevant information would include the status of approval from the Ministry of Finance and agreement to the action plan by key stakeholders. While preparations for the new system is underway, the institute is encouraged to ensure that members of current QA review teams have access to appropriate training and all updates on quality control and auditing standards, in order to improve the quality of the inspections that are being conducted.
The OECT shares responsibility for the initial professional development (IPD) and continuous professional development (CPD) programs for the accountancy profession and supports the adoption of requirements and implementation of programs that comply with IES.
In 2013, the institute prepared draft CPD requirements for its members that are in line with IES requirements and is in the process of making the system operational by: (i) seeking necessary approval from the Ministry of Finance for the draft requirements; (ii) designing appropriate CPD courses; (iii) establishing a monitoring mechanism to track members’ CPD compliance and proposing balanced sanctions to strengthen compliance; and (iv) seeking funding to institute a sustainable CPD program. The OECT designs and implements CPD programs and has a mechanism in place to enforce compliance with the requirements.
The OECT plans to conduct a gap analysis of the IPD and CPD requirements in Tunisia once the Ministry of Educations has finalized setting the IPD requirements, which are currently under review.
The OECT is encouraged to promote the adoption of IES to all parties involved in the process of education and certification of professional accountants, and help facilitate access to translated copies of the standards. It would be beneficial for the institute to have a system in place for communicating IAESB revisions and updates to the other parties that are also responsible for further aligning the IPD and CPD of the accountancy profession with IES. The OECT is also encouraged to participate in the international standard-setting process by providing comments on Exposure Drafts and other IAESB pronouncements.
The OECT, which shares responsibility for the adoption and implementation of auditing standards, is in the process of revising the current auditing standards to incorporate Clarified ISA issued by the IAASB.
In addition to its work on the review and enhancement of the current auditing standards to incorporate the updated Clarified ISA, the OECT is developing a strategy to adopt ISA and other IAASB pronouncements on an ongoing basis. In July 2013, the OECT issued a financing request to international donors to fund these activities and improve its information system and knowledge management. The request is in process, but will take more time.
The OECT delivers training for its members, raises awareness about existing and new IAASB pronouncements, and reviews its continuing professional development program with a view to introducing Clarified ISA in the next program.
The OECT is encouraged to continue working on designing a system that would allow for an ongoing adoption of IAASB pronouncements. The OECT should also collaborate with other parties responsible for initial professional development requirements to ensure that standard-related topics are included in the education and training programs.
The OECT, which shares responsibility for the ethical requirements of members of the profession, uses its best efforts to adopt and implement the IESBA Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.
The institute adopted the 2006 version of IESBA Code of Ethics and planned to adopt the 2009 version without modifications by February 2016. Meanwhile, it monitors the issuance of French translations of the IESBA Code and disseminates them to members.
The OECT reviewed its continuing professional development courses and introduced content on the revised ethical pronouncements. It organized and delivered a number of training courses to support member compliance with the revised Code. The OECT also disseminates translated amendments to the IESBA Code, and makes every effort to provide comments on Exposure Drafts issued by IESBA. In addition, the OECT encourages universities to update the accounting syllabus in the initial professional development program with the revised ethics requirements.
The OECT is encouraged to develop implementation guidance, if possible, to further support member compliance with applicable requirements and to continue developing mechanisms to monitor compliance with the requirements of the Code of Ethics.
The OECT has no responsibility for the adoption of IPSAS in Tunisia, but it supports their adoption through its participation in the IPSAS Council established by the Ministry of Finance. The OECT’s participation in the council enables it to continue to promote the adoption of IPSAS in the jurisdiction. It is also taking part in a project to implement IPSAS-based accounting rules at the local government level.
The OECT raises awareness of the importance of adopting IPSAS through its organization and delivery of workshops and conferences with sessions devoted to IPSAS. It also offers continuing professional development courses on IPSAS.
The OECT is encouraged to consider disseminating information on updates issued by the IPSASB and to promote the translation of the standards into French. The OECT is further encouraged to participate in the international standard-setting process by providing comments on Exposure Drafts and other IPSASB pronouncements.
The OECT’s Disciplinary Committee shares responsibility with the Control Committee for the investigative and disciplinary (I&D) system in place for dealing with non-compliance with applicable rules and regulations by members of the profession. The OECT reports that it has conducted a review of the I&D system against the requirements of SMO 6 and has prepared a draft law to facilitate incorporation of the necessary changes. In 2015, the law was pending approval by the relevant authorities.
The institute intends to organize learning events to raise member awareness of the importance of complying with ethical and professional conduct requirements, as well as of the existing I&D mechanisms. In 2014, the OECT prepared and distributed an interactive CD to raise awareness of the activities of the Disciplinary Committee.
The OECT is encouraged to provide an update in its next SMO Action Plan submission on the progress, if any, made in aligning the existing system with SMO 6 requirements.
Although the OECT has no responsibility for private sector accounting standards, it promotes the adoption of IFRS and IFRS for SMEs. The institute supports the standard-setter, Conseil National de la Comptabilité (CNC, National Accounting Council) by having its members participate in the CNC. It uses its best endeavors to promote the re-establishment of a previous project initiated by the Ministry of Finance to assess the possible impact of adoption of IFRS for public interest entitles.
To raise awareness and enhance member knowledge of IFRS, the OECT reviewed the continuing professional development program and then included standard-related topics in courses and learning events. The institute also participates in workshops and seminars that promote the adoption of IFRS at national, regional, and international levels.
The OECT is encouraged to facilitate access to translated versions of IFRS and IFRS for SMEs to key stakeholders and members of the profession and consider participating in the international standard-setting process by providing comments on Exposure Drafts and other IASB pronouncements.
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