Haiti

Member Organizations

Member Organization Associate Other PAOs

  Ordre des Comptables Professionnels Agréés d'Haïti

Legal and Regulatory Environment

  • Overview of Statuatory Framework for Accounting and Auditing

    The financial reporting framework in Haiti is governed by Tax Decree 29 of 2005.

    Tax Decree 29 mandates that all companies and sole proprietorships with annual sales or total assets of US $35,000 or more prepare financial statements in accordance with the accounting system—the Plan Comptable National, which, according to the World Bank, is exclusively tax oriented and significantly outdated. Small enterprises, defined as having annual sales or assets below US $35,000, are only required to keep a record of their cash inflows and outflows.

    In accordance with Tax Decree 29, companies and sole proprietorships with annual sales or total assets of US $35,000 or more must have their financial statements audited by an independent, authorized professional accountant or authorized audit firm, and the auditor must be a member of the Ordre des Comptables Professionels Agrees d'Haiti (OCPAH). However, no auditing standards are stipulated in the decree. OCPAH reports that it recommends that its members apply ISA; however, it is unclear if this is actually done in practice.

    The Central Bank (BRH) regulates banks in accordance with Article 57 of Decree 14 of 1980. The BRH requires banks to prepare annual financial statements and have them audited in accordance with general accounting and auditing principles but does not define specific standards. Audits of banks must be conducted by an audit firm that is approved by the BRH and the BRH has the power to dismiss external auditors of banks.

  • Regulation of Accountancy Profession

    The profession is self-regulated by the Ordre des Comptables Professionels Agrees d'Haiti (OCPAH), established under Decree 16 of 1981. All Certified Public Accountants (CPA) must be registered with OCPAH and only registered members of OCPAH are authorized to conduct audits and to offer accounting services, except for bookkeeping.

    OCPAH is responsible for: (i) implementing entry requirements for CPAs set in law and establishing continuing professional development requirements; (ii) setting ethical requirements for its members; (iii) establishing an investigative and disciplinary system for its members; and (iv) safeguarding the public interest.

    The requirements to obtain a CPA qualification are stipulated in a Presidential Decree of November 1983 which establishes OCPAH’s organizational structure. In order to be obtain the CPA title, candidates are required to be a Haitian citizen, hold a degree in accounting from an Haitian university or foreign university recognized by the Ministry of Education, complete five years of work experience with at least one year of work experience in Haiti, take an eight-week course conducted by OCPAH, and pass its final examinations. Individuals are then eligible for membership of the OCPAH. The Ministry of Education is responsible for determining the content of the university accounting programs and maintaining registry of the recognized training institutions.

    In addition, auditors that provide services to banks are subject to prior authorization and subsequent regulation of the Central Bank (BRH). According to the World Bank’s 2007 Report on the Observance of Standards and Code, at the time of the completion of the report a new banking law was presented to the Haitian Parliament which included several provisions to increase external auditors’ accountability. In particular, the new law was expected to: (i) require that at least two partners in a licensed audit firms have a minimum of five years of experience as senior staff or audit partner; (ii) set stringent prohibitions aimed at ensuring the auditor’s independence; (iii) enable the BRH to dismiss the audit firm with cause; and (iv) allow the BRH to notify the “appropriate disciplinary authority” in case of violations of law by an external auditor. However, at the time of the assessment, it seems that this bill is still pending the Haitian Parliament’s approval.

  • Audit Oversight Arrangements

    There is no independent audit oversight body in Haiti. Auditors are self-regulated by the Ordre des Comptables Professionels Agrees d'Haiti (OCPAH), established by Decree 16 of 1981. All Certified Public Accountants must be registered with OCPAH and only registered members of OCPAH are authorized to conduct audits.

    OCPAH is responsible for: (i) implementing entry requirements for the auditing profession—set in the Presidential Decree of November 1983—and establishing continuing professional development requirements; (ii) setting ethical requirements for its members; (iii) establishing an investigative and disciplinary system for its members; and (iv) safeguarding the public interest. There is no quality assurance review system in the jurisdiction.

  • Professional Accountancy Organizations

    Ordre des Comptables Professionels Agrees d'Haiti (OCPAH)

    The OCPAH, established by the Decree 16 of 1981, represents the Haitian accounting and auditing profession. All Certified Public Accountants (CPA) must be registered with OCPAH and only registered members of OCPAH are authorized to conduct audits and to offer accounting services, aside from bookkeeping.

    OCPAH is responsible for: (i) implementing entry requirements for CPAs set in law and establishing continuing professional development requirements; (ii) setting ethical requirements for its members; (iii) establishing an investigative and disciplinary system for its members; and (iv) safeguarding the public interest.

    In addition to being a Member of IFAC, OCPAH is a member of the Inter-American Accounting Association and the International Federation of Francophone Accountants.

  • Projects or Other Information

    In 2012, the World Bank completed the Strengthening Accounting and Audit Practices Project. The project resulted in several outputs such as: (i) the creation of a clear roadmap to strengthen Haiti’s accounting practices, which was endorsed by Ordre des Comptables Professionels Agrees d'Haiti (OCPAH), the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and the Prime Minister’s Office; (ii) an update to the chart of accounts; and (iii) a draft of new, modern statutory and regulatory framework for the accountancy profession, including amendments to the Tax Decree 29 of 2005 and the Companies Law. In particular, the proposed amendments to the abovementioned legislation would achieve three primary objectives: (i) permit foreign firms to practice in Haiti; (ii) create two categories of professionals, Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) in industry and CPAs in public practice; and (iii) oblige companies to submit audit reports.

    Additionally, as a result of the roadmap, the OCPAH, with the support of the World Bank and the Direction du Développement et des Partenariats Internationaux (DDPI), and in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and Finance worked to develop the “Accountancy Reform Law”. The new law was drafted to include direct references to the IESBA Code of Ethics, enhance OCPAH’s investigation and discipline mechanisms, require OCPAH members to fulfill continuing professional development requirements aligned with the IES, and stipulate that OCPAH is the legal auditing standard-setter.

    However, the approval of the proposed amendments to the Tax Decree and the Companies Law as well as the passage of the Accountancy Reform Law have been stalled due to the postponement of presidential and Parliament elections. A new Parliament was confirmed in January 2017 and it is expected to review the all proposals by end of 2018.

    In addition, the World Bank has another project that aims at increasing the capacity of the OCPAH members by enhancing its continuing education programs. As part of this project, in collaboration with the DDPI, the World Bank has offered trainings on ISA, IESBA Code of Ethics, and IFRS to OCPAH members throughout 2016 and 2017.

Adoption of International Standards

  • Quality Assurance

    There is no legal requirement to implement a quality assurance (QA) review system for audits of financial statements. However, the Ordre des Comptables Professionels Agrees d'Haiti has indicated it is planning to develop a QA system and has already adopted ISQC 1 and ISA 220.

    The Central Bank occasionally reviews audits of firms conducting bank audits. However, no formal QA system has been established.

    Current Status: Not Adopted

  • International Education Standards

    In Haiti, the initial professional development (IPD) requirements for Certified Public Accountants (CPA) are stipulated in a Presidential Decree of November 1983.

    In order to be obtain the CPA title, candidates are required to be a Haitian citizen, hold a degree in accounting from an Haitian university or foreign university recognized by the Ministry of Education, complete five years of work experience with at least one year of work experience in Haiti, take an eight-week course conducted by Ordre des Comptables Professionels Agrees d'Haiti (OCPAH), and pass its final examinations. Individuals are then eligible for membership of the OCPAH. The Ministry of Education is responsible for determining the content of the university accounting programs and maintaining registry of the recognized training institutions.

    OCPAH has also established mandatory continuing professional development (CPD) requirements for its members. Members are required to complete 20 hours of CPD per year.

    According to the World Bank Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) in 2007, the content of the university programs is not aligned with IES requirements. Additionally, it is unclear if the IPD requirements established by OCPAH are in line with the IES requirements. However, OCPAH reports that it plans to bring its examinations and CPD requirements in line with IES 6 and 7.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Standards on Auditing

    Tax Decree 29 of 2005 stipulates that all companies and sole proprietorships with annual sales or total assets of US $35,000 or more must have their financial statements audited by an independent, authorized professional accountant or authorized audit firm. However, no auditing standards are specified in the decree.

    In the absence of legally required auditing standards, the Ordre des Comptables Professionels Agrees d'Haiti reports that its members are required to apply ISA as a self-regulatory requirement; however, no further information is available as to what version of ISA is applicable.

    Additionally, the Central Bank issued Circular 61-1 of 1998 stating that, pending the establishment of national auditing standards, auditors of banks must apply international auditing standards. Nonetheless, it remains unclear if ISA are being applied in bank audits.

    Current Status: Not Adopted

  • Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants

    In accordance with Decree 16 of 1981, the Ordre des Comptables Professionels Agrees d'Haiti (OCPAH) is responsible for adopting the ethical requirements for its members. OCPAH also reports that its members are required to comply with additional ethical requirements established by law in the course of their activities; however, these requirements are not specified.

    The OCPAH’s Code of Ethics, known as the “Golden Book”, was adopted in 1988, and is not based on or converged with the IESBA Code of Ethics. However, OCPAH has reported plans to adopt the IESBA Code of Ethics by the end of 2018 through a new, proposed accountancy law that would overhaul the entire regulatory framework of the accountancy profession.

    Current Status: Not Adopted

  • International Public Sector Accounting Standards

    The Direction Générale du Trésor et de la Comptabilité Publique, under the Ministry of Economy and Finance, has responsibility for adopting public sector accounting standards in Haiti. All public sector entities must prepare financial statements in accordance with the accounting standard system—the Plan Comptable National—although in practice the Ordre des Comptables Professionels Agrees d'Haiti indicates that each institution uses its own reporting format.

    At the time of the assessment, it is not known if there is a timeline in place for the adoption of IPSAS.

    Current Status: Not Adopted

  • Investigation and Discipline

    The Ordre des Comptables Professionels Agrees d'Haiti (OCPAH) is empowered by Decree 16 of 1981 to regulate and discipline its members for misconduct and breach of rules and to establish an investigative and discipline (I&D) system for these purposes.

    While the I&D procedures are operational—for example, the OCPAH publicly censured one member in 2015—these mechanisms do not include all SMO 6 requirements and do not always function as intended due to lack of financial and institutional capacity. OCPAH has reported plans to strengthen its I&D mechanisms in order to bring them in line with the SMO 6 requirements by the end of 2018 through a new, proposed accountancy law that would overhaul the entire regulatory framework of the accountancy profession.

    OCPAH reports that the law would address independence and conflicts of interest and will establish separate investigative, disciplinary, and appeals procedures as well as administrative processes for monitoring and recording cases.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Financial Reporting Standards

    In 2005, the Tax Decree 29 mandated that all companies and sole proprietorships with annual sales or total assets of US $35,000 or more prepare financial statements in accordance with the accounting system—the Plan Comptable National, which, according to the World Bank, is exclusively tax oriented and significantly outdated. Small enterprises, defined as having annual sales or assets below US $35,000, are only required to keep a record of their cash inflows and outflows.

    The Central Bank (BRH) regulates banks in accordance with Article 57 of Decree 14 of 1980. The BRH requires banks to prepare annual financial statements in accordance with general accounting principles.

    Current Status: Not 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: 09/2017
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