Rwanda

Member Organizations

Member Organization Associate Other PAOs

  Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda

Legal and Regulatory Environment

  • Overview of Statuatory Framework for Accounting and Auditing

    The Companies Act, 2018 sets the requirements for the preparation and presentation of financial statements in Rwanda, mandating that they be prepared in accordance with international accounting standards. The Law on the Institute of Certified Public Accountants (iCPAR) No. 11, 2008 (ICPAR Law 2008) authorizes the iCPAR, under Article 3, to set accounting standards consistent with IFRS. In line with this requirement, iCPAR adopted IFRS for application by companies with public accountability (i.e. banks, other financial institutions, and insurance companies) and IFRS for small- and medium-sized entities (SMEs) for application by all other companies.

    The Companies Act 2018 states that the financial statements of all companies, except small private companies, must be audited annually by a licensed member of iCPAR. Article 3 of the iCPAR Law 2008 establishes iCPAR as the auditing standard-setter and requires that the auditing standards in Rwanda be consistent with ISA issued by the IAASB. In line with this requirement, iCPAR has adopted ISA as issued by the IAASB without amendment.

    In addition to the requirements of the Companies Act, the Banking Act of 2002, as amended in 2017, empowers the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) to regulate financial reporting by banks, other financial institutions, and insurance companies, and to issue accounting instructions governing the treatment of specific transactions. Lastly, the Capital Market Authority (CMA) defines the regulatory framework under which the Rwanda Stock Exchange (RSE) operates. The RSE Rulebook states that financial statements should be prepared in accordance with internationally acceptable accounting standards. In practice, listed companies are to comply with IFRS and to be audited in terms of ISA as adopted by iCPAR.

  • Regulation of Accountancy Profession

    The accountancy profession in Rwanda is regulated at the professional level by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda (iCPAR) as established under the Law on the Institute of Certified Public Accountants (iCPAR) No. 11 of 2008 (iCPAR Law 2008).

    In accordance with Article 7 of iCPAR Law 2008, iCPAR is responsible for: (i) providing members with professional education in accountancy and related fields; (ii) advising on curricula for any accountancy courses; (iii) developing teaching programs to organize examinations and issuing certificates in matters relating to the accounting profession; (iv) establishing continuing professional development requirements; (v) issuing and promoting the implementation of accounting and auditing standards in the public and private sector; (vi) advising the government on matters relating to the profession; (vii) setting ethical requirements for members; (viii) issuing license of exercising the accounting profession to qualifying members requesting such license and withdrawing it in case of misconduct; (ix) operating a quality assurance (QA) review system for all audits; and (x) taking disciplinary measures against members.

    Under iCPAR Law 2008, iCPAR confers two designations for its members: Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) depending on their course of study. To pursue the CPA qualification, an individual must fulfill one of the following requirements: (a) passing the Senior Six Examination with a score of 30 points and above or its equivalent; (b) holding a Certified Accounting Technician Certificate; (c) holding a Bachelor’s Degree or Diploma in Accounting or Accounting Certificate from a recognized university/ tertiary institution or professional body; or (d) being a third year university students specializing in Accounting or Business studies. Subsequently, to join iCPAR and be able to practice publicly, individuals must pass iCPAR’s examinations set by the institute’s Education, Curriculum Development, and Examinations Commission, have two years of practical experience in a position of responsibility to manage audits or accounting assignments, and receive a practicing license from the institute. Only CPAs with iCPAR Practicing Certificates (PC) are eligible to conduct audits in Rwanda.

    Entryways for the CAT qualification include (a) obtaining a score of 15 points or more on the Senior Six Examination; (ii) holding the Senior Six Examination certificate with at least two years of relevant work experience; (iii) holding a certificate from recognized institutions in accounting; (iv) holding a certificate from other recognized professional examination bodies; or (v) passing the Senior Six Examination with 15 points or more and having at least three year’s work experience.

    The National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) requires banks, financial institutions, and insurance companies to designate at least one external auditor chosen from a list generated by the BNR. Any auditor on the BNR’s list must be a member of the iCPAR.

  • Audit Oversight Arrangements

    There is no independent audit oversight entity in Rwanda.

    Auditors are regulated by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda (iCPAR) in accordance with the Law on the Institute of Certified Public Accountants (iCPAR) No. 11 of 2008. Audits must be conducted by CPAs, who must be a member of and hold a Practicing Certificate (PC) from iCPAR. In accordance with Article 7 of iCPAR Law 2008, iCPAR is responsible for: (i) providing members with professional education in accountancy and related fields; (ii) advising on curricula for any accountancy courses; (iii) developing teaching programs to organize examinations and issuing certificates in matters relating to the accounting profession; (iv) establishing continuing professional development requirements; (v) issuing and promoting the implementation of auditing standards; (vi) setting ethical requirements for members; (vii) issuing license of exercising the accounting profession to qualifying members requesting such license and withdrawing it in case of misconduct; (viii) operating a quality assurance (QA) review system for all audits; and (ix) taking disciplinary measures against members.

  • Professional Accountancy Organizations

    Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda (iCPAR)

    iCPAR was established under the Law on the Institute of Certified Public Accountants (iCPAR) No. 11 of 2008 (iCPAR Law 2008) with the mandate to regulate the accountancy profession in Rwanda. iCPAR confers two designations for its members: Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Accounting Technician (CAT) depending on their course of study. iCPAR membership is mandatory for CPAs, and only CPAs may conduct audits.

    In accordance with Article 7 of iCPAR Law 2008, iCPAR is responsible for: (i) providing members with professional education in accountancy and related fields; (ii) advising on curricula for any accountancy courses; (iii) developing teaching programs to organize examinations and issuing certificates in matters relating to the accounting profession; (iv) establishing continuing professional development requirements; (v) issuing and promoting the implementation of accounting and auditing standards in the public and private sector; (vi) advising the government on matters relating to the profession; (vii) setting ethical requirements for members; (viii) issuing license of exercising the accounting profession to qualifying members requesting such license and withdrawing it in case of misconduct; (ix) operating a quality assurance (QA) review system for all audits; and (x) taking disciplinary measures against members.

    In addition to being an IFAC Associate, iCPAR is a member of the Pan African Federation of Accountants.

  • Projects or Other Information

    As part of the UK’s Department of International Development-funded IFAC PAO Capacity Building Program, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) is working with iCPAR to implement its 2017–2021 strategy, which has included reviewing and strengthening the systems for accountancy education, qualification, and continuing professional development. Updates are included in relevant SMO sections.

    iCPAR is also a co-signatory of the mutual recognition agreement (MRA) between professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) in the East African Community (EAC) Institutes of Accountancy. The EAC is moving towards the harmonization of its economies, including the harmonization of qualifications and regulation of qualifications. The objective of the MRA is to facilitate the mutual recognition of members of PAOs in the region who have completed a professional accountancy qualification in line with the IES requirements.

Adoption of International Standards

  • Quality Assurance

    The Law on the Institute of Certified Public Accountants (iCPAR) No. 11 of 2008 gives the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda (iCPAR) the responsibility of establishing a quality assurance (QA) review system for all professional accountants.

    As a follow up on the policy recommendations made by a World Bank 2008 Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) was contracted to establish iCPAR’s audit quality assurance function. iCPAR launched its Audit Quality Assurance (AQA) Review program in September 2015. The first review cycle was the pilot phase during which ACCA conducted audit reviews for all audit firms in Rwanda and provided them with an initial assessment of the quality of their audits, which will form the basis for improvements in subsequent review cycles.

    During 2017–2018, iCPAR recruited a Professional Development Services Director and a Quality and Development Manager to run the AQA going forward with the support of the ACCA. iCPAR expects to conduct its first formal AQA cycle in 2019. iCPAR indicates that the AQA will meet the SMO 1 requirements once operational and as such, it has adopted ISQC 1 as the relevant quality control standard.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Education Standards

    The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda (iCPAR) is mandated by the Law on the Institute of Certified Public Accountants (iCPAR) No. 11 of 2008 to design the syllabus/curricula and conduct examinations leading to the available professional qualifications and may set continuing professional development requirements (CPD) for professional accountants in Rwanda. The curricula at training institutions, including universities which issue accounting degrees, are solely determined by the Higher Education Council (HEC).

    iCPAR’s Education, Curriculum Development, and Examinations Commission establishes the syllabus, curriculum, and examinations for designations of Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Accounting Technician (CAT). With the assistance of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland, iCPAR reports its CPA qualification was developed in line with IES requirements as of 2010.

    iCPAR reports that a new “competency-based curriculum” is being developed with the first sitting envisaged for the second quarter of 2019, starting with the CAT and later the CPA program. The curriculum entails content from various subject areas and competences, with an appropriate mix of soft skills; professional values, ethics and attitude that may be required for any professional accountant to work effectively.

    The institute’s Education Development Services and Professional Development Services departments are responsible for implementing and monitoring compliance with the mandatory CPD requirements, which are in line with revised IES 7 and 8.

    Lastly, iCPAR is progressing with strengthening its practical experience requirement to meet IES 5. This would entail a mandatory, monitored three-year practical training period.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Standards on Auditing

    Article 3 of the Law on the Institute of Certified Public Accountants (iCPAR) No. 11 of 2008 mandates that the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda (iCPAR) adopt and implement auditing standards in Rwanda. The law requires that auditing standards in Rwanda be consistent with ISA issued by the IAASB.

    iCPAR reports that it has adopted ISA as issued by the IAASB without modifications. As of the assessment, iCPAR indicates that all listed entities apply the new auditor’s reporting standard as per the 2016 ISA (e.g. Bank of Kigali). In consultation with other regulators such as the Capital Market Authority and National Bank of Rwanda, iCPAR is planning to issue a circular at the end of 2019 which clearly defines public interest entities and will require these entities to apply the new auditor’s reporting standard and Key Audit Matters reporting requirements with the audit of FY 2019.

    Furthermore, iCPAR plans to adopt and implement the 2018 ISA by its effective date of December 15, 2019.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants

    Article 82 of the Law on the Institute of Certified Public Accountants (iCPAR) No. 11 of 2008 provides that the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics approved by the iCPAR shall be established through a Ministerial Order. The provisions of the Code issued by iCPAR are to be consistent with the IESBA Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.

    Accordingly, the iCPAR issues a Professional Code of Ethics that is kept consistent with the IESBA Code of Ethics for application by its members. iCPAR states that the 2016 IESBA Code is effective for its members and the 2018 International Code of Ethics will be adopted when it is effective as of June 15, 2019.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • International Public Sector Accounting Standards

    The East African Community (EAC) Protocol includes a requirement for member states to adopt accrual-basis IPSAS for central and local governments, non-trading state-owned enterprise and regulatory bodies, and IFRS for state-owned enterprises. As a member state of the EAC, the Rwandan Government set an objective to achieve full compliance with the cash-basis IPSAS by June 30, 2016 and aims to achieve full compliance with the accrual-basis IPSAS by June 30, 2023.

    Article 3 of the Law on the Institute of Certified Public Accountants (iCPAR) No. 11 of 2008 stipulates that within public institutions the accounting standards be consistent with IPSAS. Under the law, iCPAR is also responsible for advising the Rwandan Government on matters related to public financial management and accountancy.

    According to the World Bank ROSC 2015, the central government, local government and projects are on the modified cash basis of accounting transitioning to an accrual-basis and are consolidated in the general government financial statements. Government business entities utilize the IFRS framework.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • Investigation and Discipline

    In accordance with Article 40 of the Law on the Institute of Certified Public Accountants (iCPAR) No. 11 of 2008, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda (iCPAR) is responsible for the investigation and discipline (I&D) of its members for breach of rules and misconduct. iCPAR has established I&D procedures accordingly.

    The institute has an Inspection Commission which, upon request by the Council, may investigate allegations/cases of professional misconduct and submit the report to the Governing Council.

    The Council will in turn hand the report over to the Disciplinary Commission which is responsible for analyzing and examining complaints related to professional misconduct and communicating a conclusion back to the Council. Individuals have the right to appeal the decision before the Council before a final decision is made.

    iCPAR reports that steps were taken to enhance independence and objectivity of the Disciplinary Commission by having a lawyer advise on disciplinary cases. iCPAR notes that it has as formalized a link between its quality assurance (QA) review results and once QA reviews commence, this will be operational. This ensures that iCPAR’s I&D procedures fulfill all the SMO 6 best practices.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • International Financial Reporting Standards

    Article 3 of the Law on the Institute of Certified Public Accountants (iCPAR) No. 11 of 2008 provides that, within the private sector, the accounting standards must be consistent with IFRS. The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Rwanda (iCPAR) has adopted IFRS and IFRS for small- and medium-sized entities (SMEs) without modifications. Companies with public accountability (i.e. banks, other financial institutions, insurance companies, and listed companies) must use full IFRS. All other companies should use IFRS for SMEs.

    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: 06/2019
We welcome feedback. Please email compliance@ifac.org

Thank you for your interest in our publications. These valuable works are the product of substantial time, effort and resources, which you acknowledge by accepting the following terms of use. You may not reproduce, store, transmit in any form or by any means, with the exception of non-commercial use (e.g., professional and personal reference and research work), translate, modify or create derivative works or adaptations based on such publications, or any part thereof, without the prior written permission of IFAC.

Our reproduction and translation policies, as well as our online permission request and inquiry system, are accessible on the Permissions Information web page.

For additional information, please read our website Terms of Use. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.