Namibia

Member Organizations

Member Organization Associate

  Institute of Chartered Accountants of Namibia

Legal and Regulatory Environment

  • Overview of Statuatory Framework for Accounting and Auditing

    The Companies Act 2004 governs the corporate financial reporting, accounting, and auditing requirements in Namibia. The Act prescribes the preparation of financial statements for all companies in accordance with the Statements of General Accepted Accounting Practice (GAAP) accepted and applied by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Namibia (ICAN). In accordance with the Act, ICAN determines what constitutes General Accepted Accounting Practice in Namibia.

    ICAN reports that its Council has adopted all IFRS and all pronouncements as issued by the IASB, including the effective date. All listed entities on the Namibian Stock Exchange, subsidiaries of foreign holding companies, and public interest entities (PIEs) are required to apply full IFRS. In February 2010, ICAN adopted IFRS for SMEs. Companies that are not required to apply full IFRS may use IFRS for SMEs or the Namibian Standard (NAC001) for SMEs.

    According to the Companies Act 2004, all companies must have their accounts audited, except for interim financial statements, by auditors who are Chartered Accountants of ICAN and registered the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Board (PAAB). Under the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Act 1951, the PAAB is responsible for the adoption of auditing standards. In 2014, the PAAB officially delegated the responsibility of issuing guidance and standards related to audit and assurance services to ICAN. ICAN has adopted all ISA and pronouncements as issued by the IAASB. ICAN reports this is a standing adoption and all new pronouncements are adopted as and when they are effective, with no time lag in effective date or modifications.

    Banks and other financial institutions are subject to the supervision of the Bank of Namibia (BoN). The Banking Institutions Act 1998 stipulates the banks must prepare their financial statements as prescribed in the Companies Act 2004. Banking institutions must have their accounts audited annually by an auditor registered with the PAAB and approved by the BoN.

  • Regulation of Accountancy Profession

    The accountancy profession in Namibia is largely regulated at the professional level, with the exception of Registered Accountants and Auditors (RAAs). The Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Board (PAAB) is responsible for regulating all RAAs in the country in accordance with the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Act 1951.

    Chartered Accountants

    The education process to receive ICAN’s qualification of Chartered Accountants (CA(Nam) is as follows: a formal competency-based academic education (accredited university program followed by a postgraduate one-year academic qualification referred to as the Certificate in the Theory of Accountancy (CTA)); a standard-setting examination – Initial Test of Competence (ITC); a formal competency-based professional education (professional program); a professional examination – Assessment of Professional Competence (APC); and practical experience (training program accredited by the PAAB). As from 2019, the APC examination run by ICAN is a local Namibian exam which applies and is based on Namibian legislation. ICAN has a memorandum of agreement with SAICA to use the SAICA professional examinations and is bound by agreement to apply the SAICA training and regulations while the PAAB has adopted the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) Training model and Regulations as Namibian Regulations for this purpose, stipulating that that trainee accountants must obtain and present evidence of their competency in four core subjects, Namibian Income Tax, and VAT.

    The objectives and responsibilities of ICAN are to: (i) promote the common interest of persons carrying on the accountancy profession throughout Namibia; (ii) adopt and promulgate accounting standards in the jurisdiction; (iii) implement initial professional development requirements of the PAAB; (iv) conduct all professional examinations; (v) maintain and publish a register of all members (vi) establish continuing professional development and ethical requirements for its members; (vii) establish an investigative and disciplinary system for its members; and (viii) support the PAAB in the implementation of the quality assurance (QA) review system for RAAs.

    Additionally, given ICAN’s partnership and Mutual Recognition Agreement with SAICA, it will also permit members in good standing of other professional bodies that have MRAs with SAICA to apply for ICAN membership.

    Registered Accountants and Auditors

    In order to practice publicly and offer audit services as a RAA, CAs must pass PAAB’s additional requirements as qualification of CA does not imply that a candidate has the appropriate expertise and experience to undertake a statutory audit and assume all the professional responsibilities of an RAA. Therefore, the PAAB implemented the Audit Development Program (ADP) before being able to register with the PAAB. As part of the ADP, individuals are required to complete practical experience requirements that consist of a minimum of 18 months in an audit and assurance environment and 1,500 productive hours in audit and assurance, and submit a portfolio of evidence upon completing the ADP demonstrating competencies in the area of audit and assurance.

    The responsibilities of the PAAB are to: (i) regulate the registration and minimum requirements of both CAs and RAAs through the accreditation of professional bodies; (ii) prescribe an appropriate framework for the education and training of properly qualified CAs and RAAs as well as their ongoing competence through monitoring Continuous Professional Development; (iii) prescribe accounting, auditing, and ethics standards which are internationally comparable; (iv) investigate alleged improper conduct by RAAs and issue disciplinary measures; (v) carry out quality assurance reviews of RAAs; and (vii) take steps it considers necessary to protect the public in their dealings with RAAs.

    Chartered Accountants that do not offer public audit and assurance service remain subject to the regulations of ICAN.

    Other Professional Accountants

    Individuals who perform non-attest functions, such as accounting, tax, and business consulting, may voluntarily join NIPA and be subject to the institute’s rules and regulations. NIPA, previously the Namibian Region of the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA), was formally established in June 2007. NIPA’s responsibilities are to: (i) advance the accountancy profession and contribute to the development of the profession to provide high-quality services in the public interest; (ii) uphold and enforce a high standard of efficiency and professional conduct by all members; (iii) institute and implement investigative and disciplinary processes with penalties that include suspension of, or expulsion from, membership; (iv) provide continuous professional development (CPD) for members and ensure compliance with CPD requirements; (v) promote the application of internationally accepted accounting practice and standards; (vi) establish and accredit training programs or centers and as well as trainers in accountancy and to regulate such training schemes and centers.

    Individuals that meet educational criteria can join NIPA at the following membership levels: Practicing Member (NIPA PM); Accredited Bookkeepers; (NIPA AB); and Trainee Members. NIPA PMs must hold a bachelor’s degree in Accounting, complete at least four years of practical experience with an accredited training center and subsequently demonstrate their ability to apply their academic and practical knowledge to an evaluation panel appointed by Council. NIPA ABs should have at least five years of practical experience in addition to some tertiary-level education. Candidates also need to demonstrate their ability to apply their academic and practical knowledge to an evaluation panel appointed by Council.

  • Audit Oversight Arrangements

    The Namibian Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB) was established by the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Act 1951 as an independent audit oversight entity. It has the legal responsibility for monitoring and maintaining the quality of the services provided by Registered Accountants and Auditors (RAA). In order to practice publicly and offer audit and attest services as a RA, individuals must hold the designation of Chartered Accountants (CA(Nam) by being a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Namibia (ICAN) and subsequently, pass PAAB’s additional requirements.

    The responsibilities of the PAAB are to: (i) regulate the registration and minimum requirements of both CAs and RAAs through the accreditation of professional bodies; (ii) prescribe an appropriate framework for the education and training of properly qualified CAs and RAAs as well as their ongoing competence through monitoring Continuous Professional Development; (iii) prescribe accounting, auditing, and ethics standards which are internationally comparable; (iv) investigate alleged improper conduct by RAAs and issue disciplinary measures; (v) carry out quality assurance reviews of RAAs; and (vi) take steps it considers necessary to protect the public in their dealings with RAAs.

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

  • Professional Accountancy Organizations

    The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Namibia (ICAN)

    ICAN was formally constituted on 20 October 1990 by members of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants who were residing in Namibia and were members of the South West African Chapter of the Cape Society of Chartered Accountants, originally formed in 1955. Membership of the institute is comprised of Chartered Accountants (CA(Nam). Membership in the institute is mandatory in order to use the Chartered Accountant (CA(Nam)) designation and pursue registration with the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Board (PAAB) to offer public attest functions.

    The objectives and responsibilities of ICAN are to: (i) promote the common interest of persons carrying on the accountancy profession throughout Namibia; (ii) adopt and promulgate accounting standards in the jurisdiction; (iii) implement initial professional development requirements of the PAAB; (iv) conduct all professional examinations; (v) maintain and publish a register of all members (vi) establish continuing professional development and ethical requirements for its members; (vii) establish an investigative and disciplinary system for its members; and (viii) support the PAAB in the implementation of the quality assurance review system for RAAs.

    In addition to being a member of IFAC, ICAN is a founding member of the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA).

    Namibia Institute of Professional Accountants (NIPA)

    NIPA, previously the Namibian Region of the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA), was formally established in June 2007 and it is a member of PAFA. Individuals who perform non-attest functions, such as accounting, tax, and business consulting, may voluntarily join NIPA as a Practicing Member (NIPA PM); Accredited Bookkeepers; (NIPA AB); or Trainee Members and be subject to the institute’s rules and regulations.

    NIPA’s responsibilities are to: (i) advance the accountancy profession and contribute to the development of the profession to provide high-quality services in the public interest; (ii) uphold and enforce a high standard of efficiency and professional conduct by all members; (iii) institute and implement investigative and disciplinary processes with penalties that include suspension of, or expulsion from, membership; (iv) provide continuous professional development (CPD) for members and ensure compliance with CPD requirements; (v) promote the application of internationally accepted accounting practice and standards; (vi) establish and accredit training programs or centers and as well as trainers in accountancy and to regulate such training schemes and centers.

  • Projects or Other Information

    The Public Accountants and Auditors Bill 1952 is being revised to provide for the comprehensive regulation of all auditing and accounting (e.g. tax, financial consulting) services by the PAAB. The Bill was submitted to the Minister of Finance in July 2019 with the expectation it may be tabled and promulgated during 2020.

Adoption of International Standards

  • Quality Assurance

    In accordance with the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Act 1951, the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Board (PAAB) is legally responsible for establishing and implementing a quality assurance (QA) review system.

    The PAAB reports that its QA review system meets the best practices outlined in SMO 1. Further, the methodology was updated with effect from January 2020 to require more detailed information about the audit client base of the firm to allow better assessment of inherent risk in the portfolio of audit clients.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • International Education Standards

    The Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Act 1951 stipulates that the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Board (PAAB) is legally responsible for establishing initial professional development (IPD) requirements for Chartered Accountants and Registered Accountants and Auditors and the National Council for Higher Education accredits Namibian tertiary institutions that provide accountancy programs leading to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Namibia (ICAN)’s qualifying examinations for Chartered Accountants.

    The education process to receive ICAN’s qualification is as follows: a formal competency-based academic education (university program); a standard-setting examination – Initial Test of Competence (ITC); a formal competency-based professional education (professional program); a professional examination – Assessment of Professional Competence (APC); and practical experience (training program). As from 2019, the APC examination run by ICAN is a local Namibian exam which applies and is based on Namibian legislation.

    The PAAB has agreed to assume responsibility for determining practical experience requirements for CAs and RAAs while ICAN has delegated authority to manage the professional education and the qualifying examinations. The PAAB has adopted the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) Training model and Regulations as Namibian Regulations for this purpose, stipulating that that trainee accountants must obtain and present evidence of their competency in four core subjects, Namibian Income Tax, and VAT.

    ICAN has a memorandum of agreement with SAICA to use the SAICA professional examinations and is bound by agreement to apply the SAICA training and regulations. ICAN confirms that the adopted initial education requirements meet the 2015 revised IES requirements.

    Finally, ICAN established a Training and Education Committee to oversee and monitor compliance with training regulations and membership requirements and established CPD requirements for its members which it indicates are in line with the 2015 revised IES.

    In addition, individuals who perform non-attest functions, such as accounting, tax, and business consulting, may voluntarily join the Namibia Institute of Professional Accountants (NIPA) as a Practicing Member (NIPA PM); Accredited Bookkeepers; (NIPA AB); or Trainee Members if they demonstrate fulfillment of educational criteria.

    NIPA’s IPD requirements include holding a bachelor’s in accounting, at least four years of practical experience, and a demonstration of candidates’ ability to apply their academic and practical knowledge to an evaluation panel appointed by Council. It has also set CPD requirements at 120 hours every three years. While these educational requirements incorporate some of the IES requirements (e.g. NIPA adopted the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) educational manual which aligns with the 2015 revised IES), further clarification is needed on the alignment of all requirements (e.g. university curricula and NIPA’s final evaluation) with the revised requirements in the 2015 IES.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Standards on Auditing

    Under the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Act 1951, the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Board (PAAB) is responsible for the adoption of auditing standards. In 2014, the PAAB officially delegated the responsibility of issuing guidance and standards related to audit and assurance services to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Namibia (ICAN).

    ICAN has adopted all ISA and pronouncements as issued by the IAASB. ICAN reports this is a standing adoption and all new pronouncements are adopted as and when they are effective, with no time lag in effective date or modifications.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants

    The Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Act 1951 stipulates that the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Board (PAAB) is responsible for establishing ethical requirements for registered auditors. The PAAB has adopted the 2018 International Code of Ethics.

    The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Namibia (ICAN) is also authorized to adopt ethical requirements for its members. ICAN has adopted the 2018 International Code of Ethics and confirmed that its Council’s policy decision is that all pronouncements issued by the IESBA are adopted as and when issued.

    In addition, individuals who perform non-attest functions, such as accounting, tax, and business consulting, may voluntarily join the Namibia Institute of Professional Accountants (NIPA) and be subject to the institute’s rules and regulations, which include ethical requirements. NIPA states it has adopted the 2018 International Code of Ethics for its members.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • International Public Sector Accounting Standards

    Central government financial reporting is determined by the State Finance Act of 1991 and reporting is cash based with an annual Revenue and Expenditure presented to Parliament by the Minister of Finance.

    Regional and local government financial reporting is governed by the Local Authorities Act of 1992. This Act does not prescribe any accounting standards but requires local authorities to present a balance sheet, a statement of income and expenditure and any other statements or reports that the Auditor General may require. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Namibia (ICAN) reports that one Municipality has adopted IPSAS for financial reporting purposes.

    In 2018, ICAN adopted IPSAS as a reporting framework. The adoption of IPSAS by ICAN allows Namibian entities to apply IPSAS if they choose to do so but ICAN is not authorized to mandate the reporting frameworks for public sector entities.

    There is no official timeline for an adoption of accrual based IPSAS.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • Investigation and Discipline

    Under the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Act 1951, the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Board (PAAB) is authorized to investigate and discipline (I&D) Registered Accountants and Auditors for improper conduct. The PAAB reports its I&D procedures meet the SMO 6 best practices.

    ICAN has established I&D procedures for its members, which are Chartered Accountants, and reports its I&D system is operational and functioning. In 2019, ICAN reviewed its I&D procedures and reports that its procedures mostly meet SMO 6 best practices. ICAN has one committee tasked with investigation of complaints and one that administers disciplinary actions. It notes that although members are appointed to the committees with careful consideration of independence, only members of ICAN serve on the committees and composition does not include any non-professionals. Additional areas for improvement include setting a timeframe for disposal of cases and establishing an independent review of complaints for which there was no follow-up.

    Lastly, individuals who perform non-attest functions, such as accounting, tax, and business consulting, may voluntarily join the Namibia Institute of Professional Accountants (NIPA) and be subject to the institute’s rules and regulations, which include investigative and disciplinary procedures. NIPA reports that its procedures mostly align with the SMO 6 best practices, but improvements could be made to its investigative processes and liaison with relevant external agencies.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Financial Reporting Standards

    The Companies Act 2004 prescribes the preparation of financial statements for all companies in accordance with the Statements of General Accepted Accounting Practice (GAAP) established by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Namibia (ICAN).

    ICAN reports that its Council has adopted all IFRS and all pronouncements as issued by the IASB, including the effective date. All listed entities on the Namibian Stock Exchange, subsidiaries of foreign holding companies, and public interest entities (PIEs) are required to apply full IFRS. In February 2010, ICAN adopted IFRS for SMEs. Companies that are not required to apply full IFRS may use IFRS for SMEs or the Namibian Standard (NAC001) for SMEs.

    Banks and other financial institutions are subject to the supervision of the Bank of Namibia (BoN). The Banking Institutions Act 1998 stipulates the banks must prepare their financial statements as prescribed in the Companies Act 2004.

    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: 03/2020
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