Jamaica

Member Organizations

Member Organization Associate

  Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica

Legal and Regulatory Environment

  • Overview of Statuatory Framework for Accounting and Auditing

    The Companies Act of 2004 (as amended) governs the corporate financial reporting framework in Jamaica. The Companies Act outlines the formation and operation of companies and stipulates the requirements for the preparation of their financial statements. It also establishes mandatory audit requirements for all companies.

    The Companies Act stipulates that all limited companies must present financial statements, including, when appropriate consolidated financial statements. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ) is authorized by the Public Accountancy Act as the standard-setter in the jurisdiction and ICAJ has adopted IFRS and IFRS for SMEs as the applicable accounting standards. Observance of ICAJ-issued accounting standards is required under the legal and regulatory framework for entities directly supervised by the Bank of Jamaica, the Financial Services Commission, and the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

    The Companies Act further requires that all financial statements be prepared and audited in accordance with standards adopted and issued by ICAJ. As of 2019, ICAJ reports that it adopted ISA as issued by the IAASB for application in the jurisdiction.

  • Regulation of Accountancy Profession

    Public Accountants are the only segment regulated at the state level under the Public Accountancy Act of 1968 (as amended).

    Regulation of Public Accountants

    The Public Accountancy Act establishes the Public Accountancy Board (PAB), within the Ministry of Finance and Planning, as the entity primarily responsible for regulating Public Accountants. The Public Accountancy Act also designates the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ) as the accounting and audit standard-setter in the jurisdiction.

    Specifically, PAB is responsible for: (i) licensing and registering Public Accountants; (ii) maintaining the registry for Public Accountants; (iii) establishing initial and continuing professional development (IPD and CPD, respectively) requirements for Public Accountants; (iv) promoting standards of professional conduct among registered Public Accountants; (v) maintaining an investigation and disciplinary (I&D) system for Public Accountants; and (vi) establishing a mandatory quality assurance (QA) review system for all audits of financial statements. All PAB decisions are subject to approval by the Ministry.

    PAB and ICAJ entered into an agreement to share responsibilities for: (i) conducting QA reviews; (ii) conducting I&D; (iii) establishing ethical requirements; and (iv) conducting CPD for Public Accountants.

    A person wishing to be registered as a Public Accountant in Jamaica needs to become a member of ICAJ. To become a member of ICAJ, individuals must: (i) complete an accountancy education program recognized by the institute, (ii) practical experience requirements of no less than three years; and (iii) pass an examination administered by ICAJ. Presently, there is no examination assessing candidate’s knowledge of Jamaican tax and business law as part of the registration process to practice in the jurisdiction.

    ICAJ sets out a list of accountancy organizations whose members are eligible to apply for ICAJ membership. These include: (i) Association Chartered Association of Certified Accountants; (ii) Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales; (iii) Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland; (iv) Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland; (v) Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada; and (vi) American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

    The listed organizations require aspiring candidates to complete a professional accountancy education program, practical experience requirements, and pass final examinations that are reported to meet the 2015 revised IES requirements. Individuals who are members of professional accountancy bodies other than above, but which satisfy requirements relating to qualification in the field of accountancy and have a minimum of three years practical experience may also apply to register as a Public Accountant.

    ICAJ reports that the CPD requirements are in line with IES 7 and 8. ICAJ members are also required to follow their qualifying (overseas) institute’s CPD requirements.

    Only registered Public Accountants have the legal authority to sign audit reports on financial statements.

    Other segments of the profession, which include 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. Nevertheless, they may voluntarily join a professional accountancy organization and be subject to its rules and regulations.

  • Audit Oversight Arrangements

    In accordance with the Public Accountancy Act of 1968, the Public Accountancy Board (PAB) is the independent audit oversight entity in Jamaica.

    In addition to overseeing the regulatory functions of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ), PAB is granted the authority for: (i) licensing and registering Public Accountants; (ii) maintaining the registry for Public Accountants; (iii) establishing initial and continuing professional development (IPD and CPD, respectively) requirements for Public Accountants; (iv) promoting standards of professional conduct among registered Public Accountants; (v) maintaining an investigation and disciplinary (I&D) system for Public Accountants; and (vi) establishing a mandatory quality assurance (QA) review system for all audits of financial statements. All PAB decisions are subject to approval by the Ministry.

    PAB and ICAJ entered into an agreement to share responsibilities for: (i) conducting QA reviews; (ii) conducting I&D; and (iii) conducting CPD for Public Accountants.

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

  • Professional Accountancy Organizations

    Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ)

    The ICAJ was established by the Public Accountancy Act of 1968 as the accounting and audit standard-setter in the jurisdiction. While the Public Accountancy Board (PAB) is the entity primarily responsible for regulating Public Accountants, it entered into an agreement with ICAJ to share responsibilities for: (i) conducting quality assurance reviews; (ii) conducting an investigations and disciplinary system; (iii) establishing ethical requirements; and (iv) conducting continuing professional development for Public Accountants. A person wishing to be registered as a Public Accountant in Jamaica needs to become a member of ICAJ.

    In addition to being a member of the International Federation of Accountants, ICAJ is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean.

  • Projects or Other Information

Adoption of International Standards

  • Quality Assurance

    The Public Accountancy Act of 1968 (as amended) requires the establishment of a mandatory quality assurance (QA) review system for all audits in Jamaica.

    The Act established the Public Accountancy Board (PAB) as the entity authorized to conduct QA reviews the audits of all financial statements.

    PAB and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ) entered into an agreement to share responsibilities for ensuring unified standards for the control, monitoring, and discipline of all registered Public Accountants in Jamaica.

    In 2007, ICAJ together with 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 ICAJ, the scope and design of the 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 (PAB) to set the initial professional development and continuous professional development requirements for registered Public Accountants in Jamaica.

    A person wishing to be registered as a Public Accountant in Jamaica needs to become a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ). To become a member of ICAJ, individuals must: (i) complete an accountancy education program recognized by the institute, (ii) practical experience requirements of no less than three years; and (iii) pass an examination administered by ICAJ. Presently, there is no examination assessing candidate’s knowledge of Jamaican tax and business law as part of the registration process to practice in the jurisdiction.

    ICAJ sets out a list of accountancy organizations whose members are eligible to apply for ICAJ membership. These include: (i) Association Chartered Association of Certified Accountants; (ii) Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales; (iii) Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland; (iv) Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland; (v) Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada; and (vi) American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

    The listed organizations require aspiring candidates to complete a professional accountancy education program, practical experience requirements, and pass final examinations that are reported to meet the 2015 revised IES requirements. Individuals who are members of professional accountancy bodies other than above, but which satisfy requirements relating to qualification in the field of accountancy and have a minimum of three years practical experience may also apply to register as a Public Accountant.

    ICAJ reports that the CPD requirements are in line with IES 7 and 8. ICAJ members are also required to follow their qualifying (overseas) institute’s CPD requirements.

    Other segments of the profession, which include 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. Nevertheless, they may voluntarily join a professional accountancy organization and be subject to its educational requirements.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Standards on Auditing

    The Companies Act of 2004 (as amended) requires that all financial statements be prepared and audited in accordance with standards adopted and issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ). As of 2019, ICAJ reports that it adopted ISA as issued by the IAASB for application in the jurisdiction.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants

    Under the Public Accountancy Act of 1968, the Public Accountancy Board (PAB) has a statutory responsibility to establish ethical requirements for registered Public Accountants. PAB requires registered Public Accountants to comply with the ethical requirements issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ).

    ICAJ adopted the International Code of Ethics as issued by IESBA.

    Other segments of the profession, which include 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. Nevertheless, they may voluntarily join a professional accountancy organization and be subject to its ethical requirements.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • International Public Sector Accounting Standards

    The Ministry of Finance and Planning (MoF) is responsible for setting public sector accounting standards.

    The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica reports that the MoF has amended its financial laws to require central government entities to prepare financial accounts using cash-basis IPSAS; and local government entities to prepare financial accounts using accrual-basis IPSAS.

    As of the date of the assessment, the MoF commenced implementation of cash-basis IPSAS for the 2019/20 financial year.

    According to Ministry Paper 56 (September 11, 2002), the MoF intends to require accrual-basis IPSAS for all public sector entities, but the timeframe is unknown.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • Investigation and Discipline

    In accordance with the Public Accountancy Act of 1968, the Public Accountancy Board (PAB) is responsible for maintaining an investigation and disciplinary (I&D) system for Public Accountants. PAB and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ) entered into an agreement to share responsibilities for operating the system.

    ICAJ reports that the I&D system is aligned with SMO 6 requirements.

    Other segments of the profession, which include 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. Nevertheless, they may voluntarily join a professional accountancy organization and be subject to its ethical requirements.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • International Financial Reporting Standards

    The Companies Act of 2004 (as amended) outlines the formation and operation of companies and stipulates the requirements for the preparation of their financial statements.

    The Companies Act stipulates that all limited companies must present financial statements, including, when appropriate consolidated financial statements. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ) is authorized by the Public Accountancy Act as the standard-setter in the jurisdiction and ICAJ has adopted IFRS and IFRS for SMEs as the applicable accounting standards. Observance of ICAJ-issued accounting standards is required under the legal and regulatory framework for entities directly supervised by the Bank of Jamaica, the Financial Services Commission, and the Jamaica Stock Exchange.

    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: 12/2019
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