Zimbabwe

Member Organizations

Member Organization Associate Other PAOs

  Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe

Legal and Regulatory Environment

  • Overview of Statuatory Framework for Accounting and Auditing

    The Companies Act (Chapter 24:03) defines basic requirements for accounting, auditing, and financial reporting for companies registered under the Act. The Act requires that all companies apply the international accounting standards as adopted by the Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB).

    The PAAB has adopted all IFRS and other pronouncements as issued by the IASB as the financial reporting framework applicable in the country through Statutory Instrument 62 of 1996. Under the Public Accountants and Auditors Act 1996 (as amended in 2015), the standards adopted by the PAAB received legal backing. The PAAB also adopted IFRS for SMEs in January 2010, effective for periods commencing on or after January 1, 2011.

    The Companies Act requires all public companies to be audited. Private companies are not required to be audited if they are not subsidiaries of public companies. The Companies Act does not specify which auditing standards are to be applied in audits.

    Under the Public Accountants and Auditors Act 1996 (as amended in 2015), the auditing standards adopted by the PAAB have immediate legal backing. The PAAB has adopted all ISA and other pronouncements issued by the IAASB as issued, without any amendments or modifications.

    Public interest entities (PIEs) such as listed companies, banks, and insurance companies are regulated by the Securities Commission, the Central Bank, and the Insurance Commission in accordance with their respective Acts. In accordance with the Public Accountants and Auditors Act 1996 (as amended in 2015), PIEs must apply IFRS and their statements must be audited by an auditor registered by the PAAB. All registered auditors apply ISA as mandated by law.

  • Regulation of Accountancy Profession

    Under the Public Accountants and Auditors Act (Chapter 27:12), which became effective in 1996 and subsequently amended in 2015, the accountancy profession in Zimbabwe is regulated by the Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB) and professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) with the status of principal or associate operating in the jurisdiction. The principal and associate PAOs are defined in the Second Schedule of the act.

    The Public Accountants and Auditors Act provides for the registration of all professional accountants and establishes the PAAB as the registering, regulatory, and standard-setting body for all professional accountants and PAOs. Under the amended Public Accountants and Auditors Act Section 2(b), the accountancy profession is defined as individuals registered with the PAAB as general accountants, tax accountants, public accountants, and/or public auditors.

    Its functions under the Act include: (i) prescribing auditing and accounting standards; (ii) considering and determining applications for registration of all professional accountants; (iii) maintaining the registers of Public Accountants; Public Auditors; General Accountants; and Tax Accountants; (iv) prescribing the minimum qualifications, competency standards and requirements for registration of all accountancy professionals; (v) recommending to the Minister of Finance the recognition of any organization as a principal or associate PAO; (vi) defining and enforcing ethical practice and discipline among registered persons; (vii) evaluating and monitoring the standards of qualifying examinations, courses, and training set or offered by the PAOs; (viii) evaluating and monitoring training courses of foreign institutions with a view to making recommendations to principal and associate PAOs; and (ix) promoting the standardization of qualifying examinations on common subjects.

    General accountants may provide services consisting of recording, reporting, and analysis of financial statements, financial transactions, books, accounts or records while tax accountants may prepare, submit and certify a tax return or other return in terms of any one or more of the revenue laws. Both general and tax accountants must be members in good standing of a principal or associate PAO and passed examinations to achieve the relevant qualification that have been approved by the Board in consultation with the corresponding PAO. For the tax qualification that is the Institute of Certified Tax Accountants of Zimbabwe and for the general accountant qualification the bodies are the Institute of Administration and Commerce of Zimbabwe or the South African Association of Accountants. All three are locally incorporated companies.

    Public accountants must be members in good standing of any PAO with the status of principal in accordance with the act. These include: the Zimbabwe branch of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, incorporated by Royal Charter in the United Kingdom; the Zimbabwe branch of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, incorporated by Royal Charter in the United Kingdom; the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ), established by the Chartered Accountants Act [Chapter 27:02]; the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Zimbabwe (ICSAZ), established by the Chartered Secretaries (Private) Act [Chapter 27:03]; and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICPAZ), a locally incorporated company.

    Finally, public auditors are eligible to offer auditing services and public accountancy services to any persons or company. In order to register with the PAAB as a public auditor, individuals must be members in good standing of one of the following PAOs: (i) ICAZ; (ii) the Zimbabwe branch of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) while holding an auditing practicing certificate issued in the United Kingdom and recognized by the PAAB and having passed examinations approved by the Board in consultation with the Zimbabwe branch of the ACCA; or (iii) the ICPAZ.

    ICAZ is the only IFAC Member within Zimbabwe and it is responsible for (i) establishing and maintaining a register of its members; (ii) establishing and implementing initial and continuing professional development (IPD and CPD) requirements for individuals seeking to obtain and maintain its Chartered Accountant designation; (iii) setting ethical requirements for its members; and (iv) establishing and implementing an investigation and discipline system for its members.

    The ICSAZ and ICPAZ have similar authority for their members, who join voluntarily to pursue the Chartered Institute of Secretaries (CIS) qualification or the ICPA (Z) designation, respectively.

    There is limited information regarding the responsibilities and regulatory authority of the associate PAOs in the jurisdiction.

  • Audit Oversight Arrangements

    There are no independent audit public oversight arrangements in Zimbabwe. The Public Accountants and Auditors Act 1996 (as amended in 2015) authorizes the Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB) to be the regulatory and standard-setting body for all auditors and professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) that regulate auditors. Its functions under the Act include: (i) prescribing auditing standards; (ii) considering and determining applications for registration of all professional accountants; (iii) maintaining the Registers of Public Auditors; (iv) prescribing the minimum qualifications, competency standards and requirements for registration of all accountancy professionals; (v) recommending to the Minister of Finance the recognition of any organization as a principal or associate PAO; (vi) defining and enforcing ethical practice and discipline among registered persons; (vii) evaluating and monitoring the standards of qualifying examinations, courses, and training set or offered by the PAOs; (viii) evaluating and monitoring training courses of foreign institutions with a view to making recommendations to its constituent bodies; and (ix) promoting the standardization of qualifying examinations on common subjects.

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

    In addition, public auditors must be a member of good standing of one of the following PAOs: (i) the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe; (ii) the Zimbabwe branch of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) while holding an auditing practicing certificate issued in the United Kingdom and recognized by the PAAB and having passed examinations approved by the Board in consultation with the Zimbabwe branch of the ACCA; or (iii) the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Zimbabwe.

    The PAOs’ responsibilities include: (i) establishing and maintaining a register; (ii) establishing and implementing initial and continuing professional development requirements for individuals seeking to obtain and maintain respective qualifications; (iii) setting ethical requirements for their members; and (iv) establishing and implementing an investigation and discipline system for their members.

  • Professional Accountancy Organizations

    Zimbabwe has eight recognized professional accountancy organizations—referred to as principal and associate bodies in legislation:

    Principal PAOs

    Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Zimbabwe (ICPAZ)

    ICPAZ is a locally incorporated company, limited by guarantee, and successor to a body that used to specialize in public sector finance and accounting. ICPAZ coordinates the examination of its members, the majority of whom work in the public sector, with CPA Ireland. ICPAZ is authorized to serve as a representative body to (i) promote the interest of its members, particularly as it relates to the public sector; (ii) administer the examinations for candidates for admission; (iii) ensure its members’ adherence to professional and ethical standards in the provision of services; (iv) investigate complaints and impose disciplinary sanctions; and (v) offer training and professional education. It is a member of Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA) but not IFAC.

    Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ)

    ICAZ is a statutory body incorporated under the Chartered Accountants Act (Chapter 27:02). It is the largest body and its members are the main providers of audit services. ICAZ membership is mandatory for offering public accountancy and auditing services in Zimbabwe. ICAZ’s membership consists of Chartered Accountants (Zimbabwe) (CA(Z)) and Articled Accountants (AAZ) (pre-professionals). In accordance with Section 4 of the Chartered Accountants Act, ICAZ’s responsibilities include: (i) establishing and maintaining a register of its members; (ii) establishing and implementing initial and continuing professional development requirements seeking to obtain and maintain its CA designation; (iii) setting ethical requirements for its members; and (iv) establishing and implementing an investigation and discipline system for its members. In addition to being a Member of IFAC, ICAZ is a member of PAFA.

    Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Zimbabwe (ICSAZ)

    ICSAZ is a division of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in the United Kingdom established by the Chartered Secretaries (Private) Act (Chapter 27:03). ICSAZ is authorized to administer examinations, register members and firms, administer continuing professional development, enforce compliance with the code of professional conduct, conduct investigations of members, and take appropriate disciplinary actions as required. Overall, according to the World Bank’s Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes—Accounting and Auditing: Zimbabwe (2011) the institute is in the process of transition from an administration and secretarial institute and most of its members are employed in accounting or management positions.

    The Zimbabwe branch of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, incorporated by Royal Charter in the United Kingdom along with the Zimbabwe branch of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, incorporated by Royal Charter in the United Kingdom are also considered principal PAOs.

    Associate PAOs

    There is limited information on the three associate PAOs in Zimbabwe. These are: the Institute of Certified Tax Accountants of Zimbabwe, the Institute of Administration and Commerce of Zimbabwe, and the South African Association of Accountants. All three are locally incorporated companies limited by guarantee.

  • Projects or Other Information

    In 2010, following a request by the Government of Zimbabwe, the World Bank conducted a review of the accounting and auditing environment in the country and reported on the conclusions of the review in a Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC)Accounting and Auditing: Zimbabwe, published in 2011. It was noted in the ROSC that there was a need to update the legal framework and the tertiary education programs in Zimbabwe to support the implementation of accounting and auditing standards, strengthening the capacity of the Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB) and some professional accountancy bodies, and for enforcing the application of accounting and auditing standards.

    Accordingly, the Public Accountants and Auditors Act has been revised and was passed into law in 2015. The law now provides immediate legal backing to the standards adopted by the PAAB, empowers the PAAB to accredit any institution that is providing accountancy qualifications and education, and authorizes the PAAB to regulate three additional boards.

    In addition, the PAAB and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe are beneficiaries of a capacity building project managed by IFAC’s PAO Capacity Building Program and funded by the U.K. Department for International Development. In 2016, the institutes partnered with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. The partnership has two main components: establishing a project stakeholder advisory group for the adoption of IPSAS and developing a comprehensive roadmap to strengthen accountancy capacity in the public sector through a public sector qualification.

Adoption of International Standards

  • Quality Assurance

    Under the Public Accountants and Auditors Act 1996 (Chapter 27:12), as amended in 2015, the Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB) is authorized to carry out practice reviews and inspections to monitor audit quality and adopt quality control standards. The PAAB has adopted ISQC 1 and all audits are subject to mandatory quality assurance (QA) reviews.

    Since August 2012, QA reviews have been conducted by the PAAB. The PAAB is now in the third year of the second cycle—which ends in 2018—and has covered over 75% of scheduled reviews, both firm-wide and file engagements

    Prior to 2012, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe had carried out QA reviews for its members but has since discontinued conducting its practice reviews as it states the QA review system introduced by the PAAB meets the requirements of SMO 1.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • International Education Standards

    In Zimbabwe, the Public Accountants and Auditors Board is responsible for prescribing the minimum qualifications, competency standards and requirements for registration of all accountancy professionals; evaluating and monitoring the standards of qualifying examinations, courses, and training set or offered by principal and associate professional accountancy organizations (PAOs); evaluating and monitoring training courses of foreign institutions with a view to making recommendations to its principal and associate PAOs; and promoting the standardization of qualifying examinations on common subjects. Its authority to carry out these activities comes from the Public Accountants and Auditors Act 1996 (Chapter 27:12), as amended in 2015.

    Universities in Zimbabwe provide professional education for professional accountants, while the PAOs establish initial and continuing professional development (IPD and CPD) requirements for obtaining and maintaining the respective qualifications that they offer. Details of the IPD and CPD requirements of PAOs are presented below; however, overall it seems that national educational requirements do not fully incorporate the revised 2015 IES requirements as of the date of the assessment.

    There are five principal PAOs in Zimbabwe offering educational programming.

    Under the Chartered Accountants Act (Chapter 27:02), the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ) has the authority to administer examinations for its Chartered Accountant designation, register members and firms, and set CPD. The ICAZ reports that its education program is fully aligned with that of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), which, in turn, has reported that it incorporated the revised (2015) IES into its IPD requirements. ICAZ’s qualifying examinations are fully outsourced from SAICA and are the same as SAICA’s qualifying examinations except for a modification of certain tax aspects to suit the local environment. According to Karreman et al. (2013), ICAZ’s CPD requirements (IES 7 and 8) demonstrate a high level of alignment with 2010 IES. ICAZ requires its members to complete cumulative 120 hours of CPD over a three year period.

    The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Zimbabwe (ICSAZ) is authorized to determine IPD requirements for obtaining its Chartered Institute of Secretaries (CIS) qualification, administer examinations and require CPD for its members. ICSAZ members must have a university degree, complete the CIS educational programming and examination, and complete six to eight years’ of qualifying practical experience depending on the tier of qualification. The institute requires member to complete 20 hours of CPD per year. Overall, according to the World Bank’s Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes—Accounting and Auditing: Zimbabwe (2011) the institute is transforming from an administration and secretarial institute to an accounting institute for which IES alignment is still required.

    The Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Zimbabwe (ICPAZ) requires its members to obtain a university degree, complete CPA Ireland’s accountancy syllabus and final examinations, obtain three years’ of supervised practical experience, and subsequently fulfill CPD requirements to obtain and maintain its ICPA(Z) designation. Given that ICPAZ’s IPD requirements are the same as those of CPA Ireland, these are aligned with revised (2015) IES. However, ICPAZ’s CPD requirements are cumulative 90 hours over a three year period which is not aligned with IES requirements.

    The Zimbabwe branch of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) along with the Zimbabwe branch of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) are also considered principal PAOs. Both branches requires members to meet the membership requirements as adopted at the global level by the UK-based headquarters. The ACCA and CIMA’s IPD and CPD requirements are in line with the 2010 IES.

    There is limited information on the educational requirements set by the three associate PAOs for their respective members.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Standards on Auditing

    The Companies Act (Chapter 24:03) requires all public interest entities to be audited. Private companies are not required to be audited if they are not required under the Act to appoint an auditor.

    Under the Public Accountants and Auditors Act 1996, as amended in 2015, the auditing standards adopted by the Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB) receive legal backing. The PAAB has adopted all ISA and other pronouncements issued by the IAASB as issued, without any amendments or modifications.

    ISA are not translated as English is the official business language in Zimbabwe.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants

    Under the Public Accountants and Auditors Act, the Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB) is responsible for defining and enforcing ethical practice and discipline among all professional accountants. The Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Zimbabwe reports that the PAAB, and therefore all principal and associate professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) recognized under the PAAB, adopt the IESBA Code of Ethics. The PAAB has adopted the IEBSA Code of Ethics as issued by the IESBA including effective date. This was circulated in the government gazette. PAAB explains that if more stringent requirements arise, the PAAB will issue a regulation.

    The Act also states that each principal and associate PAO may make rules governing the professional conduct of its members who are registered persons provided the standards are consistent with those established by the PAAB.

    Under the Chartered Accountants Act (Chapter 27:02), the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ) has the authority to set ethical requirements and enforce compliance with the code of professional conduct of members. ICAZ reports that, in 2010, it adopted the IESBA Code of Ethics with no amendments. Subsequently, all revisions to the IESBA Code have been adopted as and when published by the IESBA.

    Individual information on the ethical requirements of the other principal and associate PAOs in the jurisdiction is not available; however, the PAAB states that all PAOs must apply the most current IESBA Code of Ethics as the minimum benchmark.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • International Public Sector Accounting Standards

    Public sector accounting in Zimbabwe is regulated by the Public Finance Management Act (Chapter 22:19), which requires the financial statements of public entities, other than those that apply IFRS by virtue of them being companies, to be prepared on a customized cash-accounting basis. In 2012, the Government of Zimbabwe, through the Ministry of Finance (Office of the Accountant General), has decided to adopt IPSAS, starting with the adoption and implementation of cash-basis IPSAS.

    According to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe, some public sector entities, such as local government authorities, have started using IPSAS through a phased implementation process. However, full implementation of accrual-basis IPSAS is not expected until 2023. The IMF has been working with the Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB) and the government in a bid to expedite IPSAS implementation in the country and the PAAB has been proactive in campaigning for accrual-basis IPSAS to be incorporated into a new legal framework for public sector entities.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • Investigation and Discipline

    The Public Accountants and Auditors Act (Chapter 27:12), states that each principal and associate professional accountancy organization (PAO) is responsible, in the first instance, for the professional conduct of its members who are registered persons and, for that purpose, each PAO may undertake disciplinary proceedings against such members and punish them for breaches of the rules. In accordance with the Act, the Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB) is responsible for reviewing decisions made by the PAOs and hearing any appeals.

    There are five principal PAOs in Zimbabwe that are authorized to investigate and discipline their members.

    Under the Chartered Accountants Act (Chapter 27:02), the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe (ICAZ) has the authority to investigate members and to take appropriate disciplinary actions as required. ICAZ has established an Investigations Committee tasked with investigating allegations and referring cases to its Disciplinary Committee. In February 2018, ICAZ conducted a self-assessment of its I&D system against the SMO 6 requirements and noted that since its last assessment in 2016 it had made adjustments to include two non-accountants to the Disciplinary Committee in order to better align its I&D procedures with SMO 6 requirements. The institute still noted that gaps remained in administrative processes and public interest considerations such as a timeframe for disposal of cases, raising public awareness about the system, and publishing results of the proceedings. As noted above, ICAZ members who wish to appeal a Disciplinary Committee decision can do so through the PAAB. The PAAB’s QA review system is also linked to ICAZ’s I&D system when review findings relate to ICAZ members.

    The Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Zimbabwe (ICPAZ) reports that it has established a process for handling complaints made by the public. It has an independent team responsible for investigating received complaints and a disciplinary committee which includes as a lawyer as the chairperson. The Chairperson of the Disciplinary Committee must report to the ICPAZ Council which in turn reports to the PAAB. While ICPAZ’s I&D system apparently meets some of the SMO 6 requirements, more information is needed to assess the full extent of the system’s alignment.

    The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators in Zimbabwe (ICSAZ) has also established I&D procedures which outline means to file a complaint, the investigation and disciplinary process—which are carried out by two separate committees—and means for appealing a disciplinary decision. The I&D system of the ICSAZ similarly appears to meet some of the SMO 6 requirements, however, further information is necessary to confirm the full extent of alignment.

    The Zimbabwe branch of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) along with the Zimbabwe branch of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) are also considered principal PAOs. Members may be subject to the same I&D procedures as adopted at the global level by the UK-based headquarters. The ACCA and CIMA’s I&D mechanisms are reported to be in line with SMO 6 requirements.

    There is limited information on the I&D procedures, if any, established and implemented by the three associate PAOs for their respective members.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Financial Reporting Standards

    The Companies Act (Chapter 24:03) defines basic requirements for accounting, auditing, and financial reporting for companies registered under the Act. The Act requires that all companies apply the international accounting standards as adopted by the Public Accountants and Auditors Board (PAAB).

    The PAAB has adopted all IFRS and other pronouncements as issued by the IASB as the financial reporting framework applicable in the country through Statutory Instrument 62 of 1996. Under the Public Accountants and Auditors Act 1996 (as amended in 2015), the standards adopted by the PAAB received legal backing. The PAAB also adopted IFRS for SMEs in January 2010, effective for periods commencing on or after January 1, 2011.

    Public interest entities (PIEs) such as listed companies, banks, and insurance companies are regulated by the Securities Commission, the Central Bank, and the Insurance Commission in accordance with their respective Acts. In accordance with the Public Accountants and Auditors Act 1996 (as amended in 2015), PIEs must apply IFRS.

    Current Status: Adopted

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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: 04/2018
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