Colombia

Member Organizations

Member Organization Associate Other PAOs

  Instituto Nacional de Contadores Públicos de Colombia

Legal and Regulatory Environment

  • Overview of Statuatory Framework for Accounting and Auditing

    The financial reporting framework in Colombia is established under the Code of Commerce of 1971 and the Law No. 43 of 1990. The Code establishes the obligation for companies to keep books of accounts and provides the basic legal framework for accounting.

    The Law establishes a general legal framework authorizing the government to issue accounting and auditing standards and to regulate the practice of professional accountants. The Law No. 1314 of 2009 authorizes the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism (MCIT) and the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, acting jointly, to set accounting and auditing standards for all companies. The Technical Council of the Public Accountancy, an entity under the authority of the MCIT, prepares proposals for the ministries relating to new standards on accounting and auditing. In 2015, the regulators adopted IFRS, IFRS for Small- and Medium-sized Entities; the IESBA Code of Ethics and ISA for all professional accountants.

    In Colombia, in accordance with the Code of Commerce of 1971 and the Law No. 43 of 1990, all companies with the following characteristics shall appoint a statutory auditor: (i) companies with assets higher than 5,000 minimum legal wages; (ii) companies with income higher than 3,000 minimum legal wages; and (iii) international branches and stock companies. Colombian regulation requires companies to appoint a revisor fiscal with broad oversight responsibilities. The revisor fiscal performs annual audits and are legally required to perform various activities that do not constitute auditing of financial statements.

  • Regulation of Accountancy Profession

    The profession is regulated at the state level in Colombia by the Law No. 43 of 1990. This law sets initial professional development and ethical requirements as well as investigative and disciplinary procedures. A university accounting degree and one year of practical experience are the only requirements to practice the profession in Colombia. No law or regulation exists defining continuing professional development requirements or stipulating that individuals must pass a qualification examination prior to practicing. The law created a Central Board of Accountancy (JCC) under the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism to supervise the profession. The JCC responsibilities include: (i) maintaining a registry of professional accountants; (ii) establishing and operating a quality assurance review system for audits; and (iii) implementing an investigation and discipline system for the profession.

    In addition, professionals may voluntary join a professional accountancy organization (PAO) and be self-regulated through the membership requirements of the PAO. The Instituto Nacional de Contadores Públicos de Colombia (INCP) is the oldest and most representative PAO in the jurisdiction. The INCP unites professional accountants through voluntary membership, and requires its candidates to hold a JCC license and bachelor degree in accounting in order to be considered for membership. Although legally the INCP cannot judge or impose any disciplinary sanction on its members’ professional conduct, the INCP’s bylaws establish a requirement to follow a Code of Ethics or face sanctions on membership rights. The INCP promotes the adoption and implementation of international standards, represents and promotes the accounting profession, develops trainings activities, and promotes improvements to professional practices.

  • Audit Oversight Arrangements

    There are independent audit oversight arrangements in Colombia. The Central Board of Accountancy (JCC) under the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, as established under the Law No. 1314 of 2009, is responsible for supervising the audit profession in Colombia. The JCC responsibilities include: (i) maintaining a registry of professional accountants (including auditors); (ii) establishing and operating a quality assurance review system for audits; and (iii) implementing an investigation and discipline system for the profession. The JCC is not a member of the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators.

  • Professional Accountancy Organizations

    The Instituto Nacional de Contadores Públicos de Colombia (INCP)

    The INCP, established in 1951, is the oldest and most representative PAO in Colombia that unites professional accountants and firms on a voluntary basis. The INCP promotes the adoption and implementation of international standards, represents and promotes the accounting profession, develops trainings activities, and promotes improvements to professional practices.

  • Projects or Other Information

Adoption of International Standards

  • Quality Assurance

    In accordance with the Law No. 1314 of 2009, the Central Board of Accountancy (JCC) under the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism is responsible for establishing a quality assurance (QA) review system for all mandatory audits. Accordingly, since 2017, the JCC has established and operated a QA review system. The Instituto Nacional de Contadores Públicos de Colombia reports that the peer review system partially adopted the SMO 1 requirements, having only one difference which is that policies and procedures related to inspection cycles may vary among firms.

    In addition, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, and the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit have adopted ISQC 1 and ISA 220 through Decrees No. 302 and 2496 of 2015, amended by Decree No. 2132 of 2016 for application in all audits.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Education Standards

    In accordance with the Law No. 43 of 1990 professional accountants are required to have a university accounting degree and one year of practical experience to practice the profession. The Ministry of Education and universities control the curriculum and qualifications of professional accountants. The Central Board of Accountancy, under the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, have a role in monitoring practical experience and issuing a license to practice.

    Although some of the requirements of IES appear to have been incorporated into the national requirements, such as university accounting degree and practical experience requirements, it is does not appear that any other national requirements exist that incorporate the IES.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Standards on Auditing

    Law No. 1314 of 2009 empowers the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism and the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, acting jointly, to set auditing standards for all companies. The regulators have adopted the 2013 ISA through Decrees No. 302 and 2496 of 2015, amended by Decree No. 2132 of 2016 as published in the Official Gazette for application in all audits.

    As of 2017, the regulators have published a draft Decree for comments, in order to update to the most recent version of ISA that includes new auditor report requirements.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants

    In Colombia, Law No. 43 of 1990 set ethical requirements for professional accountants, which were in line with the IESBA Code of Ethics. Subsequently, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism and the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit were authorized to update ethical requirements for all professional accountants in accordance with Law No. 1314 of 2009. The regulators issued Decree No. 302 of 2015, amended by Decree No. 2132 of 2016 requiring the application of the 2014 IESBA Code of Ethics. The INCP plans to promote the adoption of the 2016 IESBA Code of Ethics version once the translation becomes available.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Public Sector Accounting Standards

    The Constitution of Colombia establishes the General Accounting Office (CGN) as the accounting standard-setter for the public sector. The CGN have adopted 2015 IPSAS through Resolution No. 533 of 2015, effective as of January 1, 2018.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • Investigation and Discipline

    In accordance with Law No. 43 of 1990, the Disciplinary Court of the Central Board of Accountancy is responsible for investigating and disciplining (I&D) professional accountants, which is complaints-based. The Disciplinary Court has established an I&D system, which, as reported by the Instituto Nacional de Contadores Públicos de Colombia, partially adopted the SMO 6 requirements, having only one difference which is that the link with the results of QA reviews has not been established.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Financial Reporting Standards

    In accordance with Law No. 1314 of 2009, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism and the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, acting jointly, are responsible for setting corporate accounting standards for all companies.

    The regulators issued Decree No. 2784 of 2012, amended by the Decree No. 2131 of 2016, adopting IFRS and IFRS for Small- and Medium-sized Entities (SMEs). The decree stipulated a phased implementation plan. Group 1 consisted of listed companies, subsidiaries or public-interest companies and required application of IFRS from January 2015 onwards. Group 2 included large and medium-sized companies other than those listed above (group 1) and implemented IFRS for SMEs beginning in January 2016. Finally, group 3 was for micro-companies that were to apply a simplified accounting beginning in January 2015.

    Current Status: Adopted

Disclaimer

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.

Methodology

Methodology
Last updated: 12/2017
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