Jamaica

Member Organizations

Member Organization Associate Other PAOs

  Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica

Legal and Regulatory Environment

  • Overview of Statuatory Framework for Accounting and Auditing

    The accounting, auditing, and financial reporting requirements in Jamaica are governed by the following laws:

    • the Companies Act, as amended 2004;
    • the Banking Act, as amended 2002;
    • the Insurance Act; and
    • the Financial Institutions Act, as amended 2002.

    The Companies Act 2004 requires all registered companies to prepare annual audited financial statements. Small companies may seek an exemption under the Companies Act from both the audit of financial statements and the preparation of financial statements that comply with IFRSs.

    The Companies Act further requires that all financial statements be prepared and audited in accordance with standards approved by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ). To practice as an auditor, a professional must be a registered public accountant licensed by the Public Accountancy Board.

    The Central Bank, the Financial Services Commission, and the Jamaica Stock Exchange require companies under their supervision to prepare annual audited financial statements in accordance with the accounting and auditing standards established by the ICAJ.

  • Regulation of Accountancy Profession

    The Public Accountancy Act 1968 establishes a regulatory framework for the accountancy profession. The Act created a statutory body, the Public Accountancy Board (PAB), within the Ministry of Finance and Planning that is responsible for issuing licenses to registered public accountants, promoting standards of professional conduct among registered public accountants, and maintaining an investigation and discipline system for public accountants. All PAB decisions are subject to approval by the Ministry.

    A person wishing to be registered as a public accountant in Jamaica needs to either become a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica or be member of the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland, Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. In addition the person shall obtain practical experience of no less than three years. Only registered public accountants have the legal authority to sign audit reports on financial statements.

    Accountants who are employed by business entities, government, academia, and other organizations are not required to be licensed by the PAB and are not subject to its regulation and oversight.

  • Audit Oversight Arrangements

    The Ministry of Finance and Planning, through the Public Accountancy Board (PAB) established under the Public Accountancy Act 1968, oversees the audit profession in Jamaica. The PAB has several oversight functions that include:

    • establish, evaluate, and monitor the experience requirements of registered public accountants;
    • establish, evaluate, and monitor accounting and auditing standards to be complied with by registered public accountants;
    • establish, implement, and regulate a system of continuing professional development (CPD) for registered public accountants, prescribe CPD requirements, and monitor compliance with the requirements;
    • implement, regulate, and monitor a system of quality control reviews or perform any other monitoring functions as it considers necessary or expedient.

    The PAB is not a member of the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators.

  • Professional Accountancy Organizations

    The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ) was created by the Public Accountancy Act 1968. The ICAJ has the responsibility for setting the profession’s accounting and auditing standards; promoting and increasing professional knowledge; regulating the discipline and professional conduct of its members and students; and making provisions for the training, education, and examination of those practicing or intending to practice in the profession.

    Membership in the ICAJ is voluntary. The ICAJ has two main categories of members designated as chartered accountants (CAs): members in public practice and members not in public practice.

    To become an ICAJ member, applicants must complete any of the qualifying examinations of the following accounting bodies recognized by the ICAJ: the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Alternatively, applicants can complete the ICAJ/ACCA joint examination or a Master of Science Degree in Accounting from the University of the West Indies, along with meeting other conditions established by the ICAJ. In addition, applicants must have practical experience of not less than three years.

    Members of the following foreign professional accounting bodies qualify for ICAJ membership—Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland, Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, CPA Canada.

    The ICAJ is member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean.

  • Projects or Other Information

    No information is available on development projects or initiatives.

Adoption of International Standards

  • Quality Assurance

    The Public Accountancy Board (PAB) has a statutory responsibility under the Public Accountancy Act 1968 to establish a mandatory quality assurance (QA) review system for all audits of financial statements.

    The PAB and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ) have entered into an agreement to share responsibilities for ensuring unified standards for the control, monitoring, and discipline of all registered public accountants in Jamaica, and to improve the effectiveness of the PAB as the legal authority for the oversight of registered practicing accountants in the country.

    In 2007, the ICAJ together with the PAB and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean contracted with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) to assist it in implementing a practice monitoring and QA review system. The program was launched in January 2012.

    According to ACCA, the scope and design of Jamaica’s QA review system is aligned with SMO 1 requirements.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • International Education Standards

    The Public Accountancy Act 1968 empowers the Public Accountancy Board to set the initial professional development and continuous professional development requirements for registered public accountants in Jamaica.

    A registered public accountant needs to become a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica or must be a member of certain professional accountancy organizations: the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland, Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. All these bodies require their aspiring members to complete a professional accountancy education program, a practical experience requirement, and to pass final examinations. There is no examination on Jamaican tax and business laws.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Standards on Auditing

    The Companies Act 2004 requires that all financial statements be audited in accordance with auditing standards adopted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ). The Companies Act gave the ICAJ the official responsibility for setting auditing standards. The ICAJ has adopted ISAs by reference, without modification, since 2002. ISAs are required for all mandatory audits.

    Companies under the supervision of the Central Bank, the Financial Services Commission, and the Jamaica Stock Exchange are required to prepare audited financial statements in accordance with the auditing standards established by the ICAJ.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants

    Under the Public Accountancy Act 1968, the Public Accountancy Board (PAB) has a statutory responsibility to regulate registered public accountants. The PAB requires registered public accountants to comply with the ethical and professional standards issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ).

    The ICAJ has adopted by reference the IESBA Code of Ethics. In addition, public accountants must adhere to the rules of professional conduct issued by their respective Mother Institutes.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • International Public Sector Accounting Standards

    The Ministry of Finance and Planning (MoF) is responsible for setting public sector accounting standards. Both cash-basis and accrual accounting systems are being used in Jamaica. Although the MoF has not adopted IPSASs, there is a plan to incorporate accrual IPSASs into the national requirements. The timeline for the adoption of IPSASs is unclear.

    Current Status: Not Adopted

  • Investigation and Discipline

    The investigation and disciplinary (I&D) regulatory framework for professional accountants and auditors in Jamaica is fragmented. The Public Accountancy Board, which has a statutory responsibility under the Public Accountancy Act 1968 to regulate registered public accountants, does have an I&D system in place. The extent of compliance with the SMO 6 requirements is unclear.

    Under its by-laws, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ) has the responsibility for operating an I&D system for its members. According to the ICAJ, its system generally complies with the SMO 6 requirements.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Financial Reporting Standards

    In accordance with the Companies Act 2004, companies must comply with accounting standards adopted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ). The Companies Act gave the ICAJ the official responsibility for setting accounting standards.

    The ICAJ adopted IFRSs in 2002 and IFRSs for SMEs in 2011 by reference, without modification. IFRSs are mandatory for the preparation of financial statements of all entities, with the exception of very small companies, as defined under the Companies Act 2004. Those small companies use IFRSs for SMEs.

    Companies under the supervision of the Central Bank, the Financial Services Commission, and the Jamaica Stock Exchange require the preparation of financial statements in accordance with the accounting standards issued by the ICAJ.

    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: 12/2015
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