Uganda

Member Organizations

Member Organization Associate Other PAOs

  Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda

Legal and Regulatory Environment

  • Overview of Statuatory Framework for Accounting and Auditing

    The Companies Act 2012 and the Accountants Act 2013 specify the corporate accounting, auditing, and financial reporting requirements in Uganda. The Companies Act 2012 stipulates that all entities are required to prepare financial statements, which must comply with the Fifth Schedule of the Act. The Schedule describes disclosure and presentation requirements for the balance sheet and financial statements. The Accountants Act 2013 then empowers the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) to set the accounting standards, and the institute has adopted IFRS Standards as issued by the IASB. The ICPAU also requires public interest entities (PIEs) to apply IFRS Standards in the preparation of their financial statements. PIEs are defined as those with (i) publicly traded debt or equity instruments, (ii) public organizations that are fully or partially owned or controlled by the State, (iii) private organizations in which the State has a non-controlling equity interest, and (iv) entities that hold assets in a fiduciary capacity for a broad group of outsiders as one of their primary businesses. Other entities that are not classified as PIEs may use IFRS or IFRS for SMEs.

    The Bank of Uganda, Uganda Securities Exchange, Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority, and the Insurance Regulatory Authority additionally prescribe the use of IFRS Standards for entities under their supervision.

    Under the Companies Act 2012, all entities are required to have their financial statements audited. ICPAU, established as the auditing standard-setter under the Accountants Act 2013, mandates the use of ISA as issued by the IAASB for the performance of all financial statement audits.

  • Regulation of Accountancy Profession

    Professional accountants in Uganda are regulated by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU), originally established under the Accountants Act 1992. The Accountants Act 1992 was repealed and replaced with the Accountants Act 2013 and Accountants Regulations 2016 to amend and consolidate regulations relating to professional accountants.

    The Institute confers the designations of Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Accounting Technician (AT), and Certified Tax Advisor (CTA), depending on the course of study. To pursue the CPA qualification, individuals must hold a university degree from a recognized university or an Accounting Technician certificate from a recognized training institution. To enroll for membership, candidates must complete a minimum of three years’ practical experience and pass ICPAU’s examinations. To register as a practicing accountant, ICPAU members must apply and receive a practicing certificate from the ICPAU Council. Audits must be conducted by members of the ICPAU with practicing certificates.

    Under the Accountants Act 2013 , the ICPAU is responsible for: (i) setting and maintaining accounting and auditing standards; (ii) setting licensing requirements for accounting firms, and issuing and renewing licenses; (iii) issuing practicing certificates to qualified members who wish to practice accountancy; (iv) maintaining a register of practicing accountants; (v) setting initial professional development and continuing professional development requirements and regulating practical training; (vi) establishing ethical requirements; (vii) monitoring the conduct and performance of its members, including quality assurance reviews; (viii) investigating and disciplining members for misconduct and breach of professional standards; (ix) and advising the government on matters of financial accountability.

    In addition, the Bank of Uganda, Uganda Securities Exchange, Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority, and the Insurance Regulatory Authority obligate regulated entities to choose auditors from a list of pre-qualified auditors and obtain approval prior to the appointment of the auditor. The list of pre-qualified auditors is made up of only ICPAU members.

  • Audit Oversight Arrangements

    There is no independent audit oversight body in Uganda. Auditors are regulated by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) in accordance with the Accountants Act 2013. Audits must be conducted by members of the ICPAU with practicing certificates. The ICPAU is responsible for: (i) setting and maintaining auditing standards; (ii) issuing practicing certificates and maintaining a register of practitioners; (iii) setting initial professional development and continuing professional development requirements and regulating practical training; (iv) establishing ethical requirements; (v) monitoring the conduct and performance of its members, including quality assurance reviews; and (vi) investigating and disciplining members for misconduct and breach of professional standards.

  • Professional Accountancy Organizations

    The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU)

    ICPAU was established in 1992 under the Accountants Act 1992, which has since been repealed by the Accountants Act 2013 and Accountants Regulations 2016. Its membership comprises professional accountants and auditors. In addition to auditors, who must be members of ICPAU, mandatory membership in the institute is required for all heads of accounts, finance, and internal audit in public and private sector entities that are of public interest. The ICPAU is responsible for: (i) setting and maintaining accounting and auditing standards; (ii) setting licensing requirements for accounting firms, and issuing and renewing licenses; (iii) issuing practicing certificates to qualified members who wish to practice accountancy; (iv) maintaining a register of practicing accountants; (v) setting initial professional development and continuing professional development requirements and regulating practical training; (vi) establishing ethical requirements; (vii) monitoring the conduct and performance of its members, including quality assurance reviews; (viii) investigating and disciplining members for misconduct and breach of professional standards; and (ix) advising the government on matters of financial accountability.

    In addition to its membership of IFAC, ICPAU 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 Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) have partnered with the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) since 2015 to strengthen accountancy education, qualification, and examinations; quality assurance; continuing professional development; and public sector financial management in Uganda.

    In accordance with the Protocol on the Establishment of the East African Community (EAC) Monetary Union, member states such as Uganda are required to adopt accrual-basis IPSAS. Since 2007, the Uganda Government’s Financial Management Accountability Program has been leading the Public Financial Management (PFM) reform and ICPAU has supported the development of a PFM roadmap and accrual IPSAS implementation strategy.

Adoption of International Standards

  • Quality Assurance

    Section 36 of the Accountants Act 2013 establishes the Quality Assurance Board (QAB) of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) with responsibility of implementing a mandatory quality assurance (QA) review system for all audits of financial statements.

    The ICPAU states that a QA review system has been operational since 2007 with the QA framework last updated in May 2014 to comply with the revised SMO 1 best practices. As of 2019, the QA review system continues to meet the best practices.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • International Education Standards

    In accordance with Sections 12 and 15 of the Accountants Act 2013, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) establishes initial professional development (IPD) and continuous professional development (CPD) requirements for professional accountants, oversees the implementation of those requirements, and advises regulators of educational institutions on the curricula of study in accountancy-related courses.

    The ICPAU’s Public Accountants Examination Board (PAEB) develops the syllabus and curriculum, conducts the examinations, appoints and trains examiners, and defines the rules governing the examinations process. The syllabus must then be approved by the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) which is the regulatory body for higher education in Uganda.

    ICPAU reports that it has mapped the IPD requirements leading to its qualifications (Certified Public Accountants (CPA), Accounting Technicians Diploma (ATD), and Certified Tax Advisor (CTA)) to meet the revised 2015 IES.

    Additionally, the Accountants Regulations approved in 2016 prescribes input- and output-based CPD requirements. ICPAU also ensures that practicing accountants performing the role of an engagement partner maintain and demonstrate professional competence as required by IES 8.

    The Institute indicates that the education requirements in place for all professional accountants meet the revised 2015 IES.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • International Standards on Auditing

    The Accountants Act 2013 specifies that the Institute of Certified Public Accountants is responsible for setting auditing standards in Uganda. Since 1999, the institute has adopted ISA issued by the IAASB without modifications, including the effective dates, for the conduct of all financial statement audits. The 2018 Handbook is effective, and the institute is already raising awareness and encouraging early adoption of the revised ISA 540, which is effective in December 2019.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants

    The Accountants Act 2013 stipulates that all professional accountants in Uganda must adhere to ethical requirements developed by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU).

    The institute requires professional accountants to adhere to the 2017 IESBA Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants alongside the ICPAU Code of Ethics, which is generally based on the IESBA Code of Ethics.

    ICPAU notes that it maintains an ongoing process to adopt updated versions of the IESBA Code of Ethics as they become issued by the IESBA. Secondary regulations—Accountants (Disciplinary and Ethics) Regulations—are being developed to incorporate the requirements of the 2018 International Code of Ethics. The institute expects these to be issued in 2019. The Institute is raising awareness of the 2018 International Code of Ethics and the E-code.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • International Public Sector Accounting Standards

    At the regional level, in accordance with the Protocol on the Establishment of the East African Community (EAC) Monetary Union, member states such as Uganda are required to adopt accrual-basis IPSAS for central and local government, regulatory bodies, and non-trading State-owned entities. In line with this requirement, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) reports that all current versions of the IPSAS have been adopted in Uganda without modifications (i.e. 2018 Handbook of International public Sector Accounting Pronouncements).

    Per national legislation, specifically the Accountants Act 2013 and the Public Finance Management Act 2015, ICPAU and the Accountant General have authority to adopt and approve public sector accounting standards for use in the preparation of government financial statements. Although ICPAU reports that all IPSAS have been adopted without modifications, the government is currently implementing a modified cash-basis form of IPSAS while committing to the full adoption and implementation of accrual-basis IPSAS by 2023.

    The government, together with ICPAU, has developed a strategic roadmap towards implementation of accrual-basis IPSAS.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • Investigation and Discipline

    The Accountants Act 2013 provides the legal authority for the Institute of Certified Public Accountants Uganda (ICPAU) to design and implement an investigation and disciplinary (I&D) system for all professional accountants. The Accountants Act 2013 establishes a Disciplinary Committee with the responsibility to handle and deliver judgment on cases of professional misconduct. The Act also establishes a Disciplinary Appeals Committee with the responsibility to hear and determine appeals from the decisions of the Disciplinary Committee.

    The Institute states that its I&D procedures meet the SMO 6 best practices. Furthermore, the ICPAU reports that it is developing secondary regulations—Accountants (Disciplinary and Ethics) Regulations—to further enhance the I&D procedures. The regulations are expected to be issued in 2019. Currently, the secretary to the Disciplinary Committee and investigations staff perform investigations. The regulations would provide for a distinct investigations body.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • International Financial Reporting Standards

    In accordance with the Accountants Act 2013, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants Uganda (ICPAU) is responsible for setting applicable private sector accounting standards in Uganda. Since 1998, the institute has adopted IFRS without modifications for the preparation of financial statements, and the standards become effective in Uganda on the effective dates prescribed by the IASB.

    All public interest entities (PIEs) are required to apply IFRS. Other companies are permitted to use IFRS or IFRS for SMEs, which the institute has also adopted. The 2015 IFRS for SME are effective as of January 2017.

    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
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