Swaziland

Member Organizations

Member Organization Associate Other PAOs

  Swaziland Institute of Accountants

Legal and Regulatory Environment

  • Overview of Statuatory Framework for Accounting and Auditing

    In Swaziland, the Companies Act of 2009 governs the corporate financial reporting, accounting, and auditing requirements. The Act stipulates that all companies must prepare annual financial statements in accordance with IFRS.

    The Act requires the following companies to use full IFRS: listed companies, public companies and enterprises, banking institutions, non-banking financial institutions, insurance companies, and retirement funds. Under the Act, small- and medium-sized entities (SMEs), defined as companies which do not exceed five shareholders and share capital of E50,000 (estimated USD 6,700), and do not trade in a public market, are not required to publish financial statements. If they elect to, the Act permits the use of full IFRS. Alternatively, the Swaziland Institute of Accountants (SIA), as established by the Accountants Act of 1985, approved compliance with the IFRS for SMEs.

    In addition to the Companies Act of 2009, the following Acts also govern financial reporting and filing requirements for financial institutions, insurance companies, pension funds, non-banking financial institutions, public enterprises, and listed companies, correspondingly: the Financial Institutions Act of 2005, Insurance Act of 2005, Retirement Funds Act of 2005, Financial Services Regulatory Authority Act of 2010, Public Enterprises Act of 1989, and the Securities Act of 2010.

    In accordance with the Companies Act of 2009, all companies must be audited annually. The Act establishes the ISA as adopted by the SIA as the applicable auditing standards in Swaziland and specifies that audits must be carried out by an auditor that is registered with the SIA and qualified under the Accountants Act 1985.

  • Regulation of Accountancy Profession

    The Accountants Act of 1985 establishes the Swaziland Institute of Accountants (SIA) as the national professional accountancy organization and the regulator of the accountancy profession.

    Under the Accountants Act of 1985, SIA’s responsibilities include: (i) setting auditing standards; (ii) promulgating applicable accounting standards; (iii) establishing ethical requirements; (iv) setting initial and continuing professional development requirements; (v) maintaining and publishing a registry of its registered and practicing members; (vi) establishing quality assurance and investigative and disciplinary systems for its members; and (vii) assisting the government with legislation deemed relevant to the profession.

    SIA’s members consist of Registered Accountants and Chartered Accountants. Membership of the institute is mandatory in order to practice publicly.

    Candidates for SIA membership must fulfill academic and practical work experience requirements, and pass final examinations; however, SIA has not established its own qualification program. Registered Accountants must either (i) pass the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT-UK) Technician training scheme, (ii) hold a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Swaziland (UNISWA), (iii) hold a bachelor’s degree in commerce or accounting which included three years of accounting courses from a SIA-approved university, or (iv) be a member in good standing of the Institute Chartered Secretaries & Administrators or the Certified Institute for Public Finance & Accounting. All Registered Accountants must have three years of proven accounting work experience.

    Candidates for the Chartered Accountant designation must hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting from an SIA-approved university and complete accountancy education delivered by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA). Candidates must also complete three years of practical experience and pass final examinations conducted by either SAICA or the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). Alternatively, individuals without a university degree may also become Chartered Accountants if they have five years of work experience and pass final examinations conducted by SAICA or the ACCA.

    In order to obtain an Audit Practicing Certificate in Swaziland, individuals must hold the Chartered Accountant designation from SIA and must pass the SIA’s “Conversion Examination” on Swazi taxation and business legislation.

    SIA’s Council will also accept membership applications from members in good standing of the ACCA or another institute, provided the organization is a member of IFAC. All applicants to SIA must be citizens of Swaziland or holders of valid residence permits.

    In addition, auditors for financial institutions, insurance companies, and pension funds must be approved by the Central Bank of Swaziland and the Registrar of Insurance and Retirement Funds, respectively. Under the Public Enterprises Act of 1989, the Standing Committee and Responsible Minister for a public enterprise may appoint or dismiss an auditor and similarly, the Registrar of Capital Markets may do the same for auditors of listed companies in accordance with the Securities Act of 2010.

  • Audit Oversight Arrangements

    There is no independent audit oversight authority in Swaziland.

    Auditors are regulated by the Swaziland Institute of Accountants (SIA), established under the Accountants Act of 1985.

    Under the Act, SIA’s responsibilities include: (i) setting auditing standards; (ii) establishing ethical requirements; (iii) setting initial and continuing professional development requirements; (iv) maintaining and publishing a registry of its practicing members; (v) establishing quality assurance and investigative and disciplinary systems for its members; and (vi) assisting the government with legislation deemed relevant to the profession.

    Membership of SIA is comprised of Registered Accountants and Chartered Accountants and membership of the institute is mandatory in order to practice publicly. Chartered Accountants that wish to obtain an Audit Practicing Certificate must pass the SIA’s “Conversion Examination” on Swazi taxation and business legislation.

    In addition, auditors for financial institutions, insurance companies, and pension funds must be approved by the Central Bank of Swaziland and the Registrar of Insurance and Retirement Funds, respectively. Under the Public Enterprises Act of 1989, the Standing Committee and Responsible Minister for a public enterprise may appoint or dismiss an auditor and similarly, the Registrar of Capital Markets may do the same for auditors of listed companies in accordance with the Securities Act of 2010.

  • Professional Accountancy Organizations

    The Accountants Act of 1985 establishes the Swaziland Institute of Accountants (SIA) as the only national professional accountancy organization. SIA’s members consist of Registered Accountants and Chartered Accountants. Membership in the institute is mandatory for in order to practice publicly.

    Under the Accountants Act of 1985, SIA’s responsibilities include: (i) setting auditing standards; (ii) promulgating applicable accounting standards; (iii) establishing ethical requirements; (iv) setting initial and continuing professional development requirements; (v) maintaining and publishing a registry of its registered and practicing members; (vi) establishing quality assurance and investigative and disciplinary systems for its members; and (vii) assisting the government with legislation deemed relevant to the profession.

    In addition to being a Member of IFAC, SIA is a member of the Pan African Federation of Accountants.

  • Projects or Other Information

Adoption of International Standards

  • Quality Assurance

    Amendments to the Accountants Act of 1985 establish mandatory quality assurance (QA) reviews for all audits. In accordance with the Act, the Swaziland Institute of Accountants (SIA) is responsible for establishing a QA review system.

    From 2008–2015, SIA contracted the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) to carry out the QA reviews on behalf of SIA utilizing a QA review system that was in line with the SMO 1 requirements. SIA indicates that its contract with ACCA will not be renewed and the institute is in discussions with other QA service providers with the assistance of the Pan African Federation of Accountants.

    SIA has adopted ISQC 1 and ISA 220.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Education Standards

    In accordance with the Accountants Act of 1985, the Swaziland Institute of Accountants (SIA) is responsible for establishing initial professional development (IPD) and continuing professional development (CPD) requirements for the profession.

    Candidates for SIA membership as Registered Accountants and Chartered Accountants must fulfill particular academic and practical work experience requirements, and pass final examinations.

    To publicly practice auditing, SIA members must pass an exam on local tax and business law.

    Lastly, SIA members must complete mandatory CPD, which the SIA reports are in line with IES requirements.

    While CPD and several aspects of IPD requirements have been adopted in the jurisdiction, it is unclear if SIA-approved universities are required to meet IES content requirements.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Standards on Auditing

    The Companies Act of 2009 establishes the ISA as adopted by the Swaziland Institute of Accountants (SIA) as the applicable auditing standards in Swaziland.

    SIA states that it adopts ISA as issued by the IAASB without modifications and including effective dates.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants

    Ethical requirements are established in the Accountants Act of 1985 and by the Swaziland Institute of Accountants (SIA) for its members.

    Having first established its own Code of Ethics that incorporated the 2004 IESBA Code of Ethics, the SIA has since updated its Code of Ethics by adopting the 2009 IESBA Code without modifications for its members in December 2011.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • International Public Sector Accounting Standards

    The Government of Swaziland is responsible for establishing public sector accounting standards, which are cash-basis.

    Current Status: Not Adopted

  • Investigation and Discipline

    In accordance with the Accountants Act of 1985 the Swaziland Institute of Accountants (SIA) is responsible for establishing an investigative and disciplinary (I&D) system for its members for misconduct and breach of professional standards.

    SIA has established a Disciplinary Committee to conduct inquiries into any charges, complaints, or allegations of unprofessional conduct. The Disciplinary Committee then reports its findings and any recommendations of sanctions to the SIA Council. SIA’s Council is then responsible for issuing the formal decision.

    Individuals may appeal the Council’s decision with the High Court and must submit an appeal notice to the SIA’s Registrar.

    In 2011, amendments to the Accountants Act strengthened SIA’s I&D system; however, it is unclear if the I&D system is fully in line with SMO 6.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Financial Reporting Standards

    The Companies Act of 2009 stipulates that all companies must prepare annual financial statements in accordance with the IFRS.

    The Act requires the following companies to use full IFRS: listed companies, public companies and enterprises, banking institutions, non-banking financial institutions, insurance companies, and retirement funds. Under the Act, small- and medium-sized entities (SMEs), defined as companies which do not exceed five shareholders and share capital of E50,000 (estimated USD 6,700), and do not trade in a public market, are not required to publish financial statements. If they elect to, the Act permits the use of full IFRS. Alternatively, the Swaziland Institute of Accountants, as established by the Accountants Act of 1985, approved compliance with the IFRS for SMEs in 2010.

    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: 12/2016
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