Uruguay

Member Organizations

Member Organization Associate Other PAOs

  Colegio de Contadores, Economistas y Administradores del Uruguay

Legal and Regulatory Environment

  • Overview of Statuatory Framework for Accounting and Auditing

    The financial reporting framework in Uruguay is established under the Commercial Companies Law No. 16.060 of 1989. The law establishes the obligation for companies to keep books of accounts and provides the basic legal framework for accounting.

    The law requires companies to report annually under generally accepted accounting principles, which are set through Presidential Decrees issued by the Permanent Commission of Adequate Accounting Standards (CPNCA). The CPNCA was established by the Resolution No. 90 of 1991 within the Ministry of Economy and Finance. In 2011, the CPNCA adopted IFRS for listed companies as translated into Spanish and published by the IFRS Foundation without modifications. Subsequently in 2014, the Central Bank of Uruguay (BCU) adopted IFRS as translated into Spanish and issued by the IASB for banks, financial institutions, insurance companies, and pension funds. Finally, as of 2014, the CPNCA adopted IFRS for Small- and Medium-sized Entities for companies that meet the following criteria: (i) do not have public accountability; (ii) annual net operating income does not exceed $UR 200,000; (iii) total indebtedness to entities controlled by the BCU, in any time of year, do not exceed 5% of the Net Asset Value for Financial Accountability; (iv) do not have participation of the state; and (v) do not control or controlled by entities excluded by the preceding items.

    In Uruguay, companies, except for regulated entities, are not legally required to have audited financial statements.

    In accordance the Law No. 18.401 of 2008, the respective regulators of financial institutions, listed companies, insurance companies, and pension funds were integrated into the Superintendence of Financial Services within the BCU. The regulated entities must have their financial statements audited by registered auditors. BCU mandates the use of ISA. Furthermore, listed companies are required by law to appoint a síndico, with wide ranging oversight functions that overlap with the work of external auditors, including the issuance of an opinion on the financial statements.

    In addition, the Tax Administration (DGI) sets standards for preparation of financial statements for tax-reporting and fiscal audits. For tax purposes, financial statements for large and medium-sized companies (as per classification by the DGI) must be audited by a public accountant in accordance the BCU-adopted standards.

  • Regulation of Accountancy Profession

    The Decree No. 103 of 1991 establishes requirements to become a public accountant. Any student graduating with an Economic Sciences and Administration degree from a university recognized by the Ministry of Education and Culture (MoE) is qualified to work, such as bookkeeping or tax preparation services, as an accountant. University graduates must register at the MoE in order to practice as a public accountant or auditor. As far as ethical requirements and investigative and disciplinary procedures are concerned, no law or regulation exists defining these requirements for the profession.

    There is one professional accountancy organization in Uruguay: the Colegio de Contadores, Economistas y Administradores del Uruguay (CCEAU). The only requirement to apply for membership with the CCEAU is to have completed the relevant academic education. Individuals who voluntarily join the CCEAU are self-regulated through its membership requirements. The CCEAU regulates its members by setting professional standards, representing and promoting the accounting profession, providing training activities, and investigating and disciplining its members.

    In the absence of a professional certification mechanism for auditors, the Central Bank of the Republic (BCU) has established its own auditor’s registry through Regulation Nº 2136 of 2013. Once auditors register with the BCU, they become subject to the BCU’s regulatory procedures such as completing professional experience requirements, fulfilling quality control mechanisms, complying with ethical standards, investigate and discipline auditors registered in BCU’s registry, and applying ISA when conducting audits, among other matters.

  • Audit Oversight Arrangements

    There are no independent audit oversight arrangements in Uruguay. Only auditors providing services to entities supervised by the Central Bank of the Republic (BCU)—financial institutions, listed companies, insurance companies, and pension funds—are subject to regulation. The BCU has established its own auditor’s registry through Regulation Nº 2136 of 2013. Once auditors register with the BCU, they become subject to the BCU’s regulatory procedures such as completing professional experience requirements, fulfilling quality control mechanisms, complying with ethical standards, investigate and discipline auditors registered in BCU’s registry, and applying ISA when conducting audits, among other matters.

    In addition, professional accountants, such as auditors, who voluntarily join the Colegio de Contadores, Economistas y Administradores del Uruguay (CCEAU) become subject to its regulations. The CCEAU regulates its members by setting professional standards, representing and promoting the accounting profession, providing training activities, and investigating and disciplining its members.

  • Professional Accountancy Organizations

    The Colegio de Contadores, Economistas y Administradores del Uruguay (CCEAU)

    The CCEAU is a voluntary association comprised of accountants, economists, and business administration professionals in Uruguay. There are also state and provincial level professional associations affiliated with the CCEAU.

    The CCEAU, the oldest accounting association in South America, provides training on accounting and auditing standards, sets ethical requirements for its members, represents and promotes the accounting profession and is recognized as a technical resource and a contributor to accounting and auditing standard-setting in Uruguay. In addition, the CCEAU investigates and disciplines its members in cases of misconduct.

    In addition to being an IFAC Member, the CCEAU is a member of the Inter-American Accounting Association and the Group of Latin American Accounting Standard Setters.

  • Projects or Other Information

Adoption of International Standards

  • Quality Assurance

    There is no legal requirement to implement a quality assurance review system for audits of financial statements in Uruguay.

    The Central Bank of the Republic (BCU), through Regulation Nº 2136 of 2013, requires audit firms providing services to entities under its supervision to establish quality control mechanisms. The BCU procedures are not in line with the requirements of SMO 1.

    Auditing standards are also not specified in law or regulation. De facto, all other audits aside from those of BCU-supervised entities are conducted in accordance with the standards issued by the Colegio de Contadores, Economistas y Administradores del Uruguay. The institute adopted ISA 220 and ISQC 1 for application by its members through the Pronouncement No. 18 in 2010.

    Current Status: Not Adopted

  • International Education Standards

    In accordance with the Decree No. 103 of 1991 professional accountants are required to have a university accounting degree to practice the profession. No professional examination or professional experience is required. University graduates must register with the Ministry of Education in order to practice as a public accountant or auditor.

    Auditors providing services to entities regulated by the Central Bank of the Republic (BCU) are subject to additional regulation. The BCU Regulation No. 2136 of 2013 establishes professional experience requirements for auditors that wish to register with the BCU and conduct audits of entities under its supervision. However, these requirements are not linked to those of the IES.

    Although some of the requirements of IES seem to have been incorporated into the national requirements, such as university accounting degree and practical experience for auditors of regulated entities, it is does not appear that the existing requirements align with the IES nor are there any other national requirements that incorporate the IES requirements.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Standards on Auditing

    In Uruguay, companies are not legally required to have audited financial statements except for listed entities, banks, and financial institutions regulated by the Central Bank of the Republic, which adopted ISA through Regulation No. 2136 of 2013. However, the version of ISA adopted is unclear.

    De facto, all other audits are conducted in accordance with the standards issued by the Colegio de Contadores, Economistas y Administradores del Uruguay (CCEAU), which also adopted ISA by reference through the Pronouncement No. 18 in 2010.

    While the CCEAU recommends the application of ISA, because the CCEAU resolution lacks legal backing, ISA are viewed only as guidelines by practicing auditors.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants

    Auditors of entities regulated by the Central Bank of the Republic (BCU) and individuals who voluntarily join the Colegio de Contadores, Economistas y Administradores del Uruguay (CCEAU) are subject to ethical requirements in Uruguay.

    The BCU has adopted the IESBA Code of Ethics through Regulation No. 2136 of 2013 for auditors registered with the BCU, however the version of the IESA Code adopted is unclear.

    The CCEAU has adopted the 2009 IESBA Code of Ethics, through Pronouncement No. 18 in 2010, for application by its members.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Public Sector Accounting Standards

    In accordance with the Uruguay Constitution, the Court of Accounts (TCR) is the body responsible for setting accounting standards for public sector entities. The TCR adopted 2003 IPSAS through the Ordinance No. 81 of 2002.

    No information is available as to the scope of mandatory application and translation of the IPSAS being applied.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • Investigation and Discipline

    Auditors of entities regulated by the Central Bank of the Republic (BCU) and individuals who voluntarily join the Colegio de Contadores, Economistas y Administradores del Uruguay (CCEAU) are subject to investigative and disciplinary (I&D) systems. There is no regulation that sets the legal foundation for an I&D system for all professional accountants in Uruguay.

    The BCU has responsibility for the I&D of auditors registered in its registry. The extent to which the I&D systems established by the BCU is in line with the requirements of the SMO 6 requirements is unclear.

    The CCEAU has set up an Ethics Commission, which is independent of the Board. The Commission receives complaints about malpractices and misconduct, which is defined as criminal activity, breaches of professional standards, and breaches of ethical requirements. While the CCEAU has established and operationalized an I&D system, the mechanism is not in line with the requirements of SMO 6.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Financial Reporting Standards

    In accordance with the Resolution No. 90 of 1991, the Permanent Commission of Adequate Accounting Standards within the Ministry of Economy and Finance is the body responsible for defining accounting principles, which are set through Presidential Decrees.

    The Presidential Decree No. 266 of 2007, as amended by the Decree No. 291 and the Decree No. 124 of 2011, adopted IFRS for listed companies. The Decree No. 291 of 2014 adopted IFRS for Small- and Medium-sized Entities for all other companies. The standards were adopted by reference, as translated into Spanish, without modification.

    In addition, the Central Bank of the Republic has required the application of IFRS for banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions since 2014.

    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: 12/2017
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