Accountants Association in Poland
Member | Established: 1907 | Member since 1989
The AAP is a self-regulatory PAO with voluntary membership. Although not legally recognized, the association is the older and larger professional body in Poland. It is actively involved in developing and providing a broad range of courses for the entire accountancy profession, and most members of National Chamber of Statutory Auditors are also members of AAP. In accordance with AAP Statutes, the objectives of the association are to deliver training activities and continuing professional development courses to enhance the performance of its members; defending the rights, dignity and interests of its members; ensuring that professional and ethical standards are observed by its members as well as creating adequate conditions for upgrading these standards; further developing and improving accounting practices; and organizing the profession according to the European and global standards.
The AAP has developed its own certification programs and confers the titles of Certified Accountant, Chief Accountant, Accounting Specialist, and Accountant based on passing the relevant examinations.
Statements of Membership Obligation (SMO)
The Statements of Membership Obligations form the basis of the IFAC Member Compliance Program. They serve as a framework for credible and high-quality professional accountancy organizations focused on serving the public interest by adopting, or otherwise incorporating, and supporting implementation of international standards and maintaining adequate enforcement mechanisms to ensure the professional behavior of their individual members.
SMO 1: Quality Assurance
The AAP is not responsible for establishing a quality assurance (QA) review system. Nevertheless, it supports the work of the National Chamber of Statutory Auditors (NCSA), which is the entity carrying out QA reviews of audits in Poland.
The AAP indicates that it collaborates with the NCSA to ensure the QA review system meets best practices. It has provided the NCSA with Polish translations of SMO 1, ISA, and other relevant publications related to best practices for audits of financial statements. The association also notes that it shares information with the NCSA regarding complaints about auditors that are members of both professional accountancy organizations.
The AAP has also developed specific activities to assist its members that are also members of the NCSA, and therefore, subject to QA reviews, in improving the quality of the audit services they deliver. Examples of such activities include the delivery of continuing professional development courses and seminars for statutory auditors, cooperating with the NCSA on the ongoing training of joint members and recommending pertinent training topics, and the development of publications on statutory audit activities.
The AAP is encouraged to continue supporting its members who provide audit services in enhancing the quality of the audit services they deliver and to incorporate in its SMO Action Plan specific examples of activities it has planned in this respect. The association is also encouraged to consider reviewing the existing QA review system against the revised SMO 1 requirements and work with the NCSA to develop actions to address any areas that may require improvement.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
The AAP is recognized by general consensus and is responsible for establishing education and training requirements for its members and has set initial professional development (IPD) and continuing professional development (CPD) requirements for its various categories of members.
While AAP has developed membership requirements for Certified Accountants that are in line with the IES requirements, the education requirements for other categories of members (e.g., Accountants and Specialist Accountants) do not meet the IES. In addition, specific categories of membership are exempted from following CPD courses. However, the AAP does offer a wide range of CPD courses and trainings to its members.
Additionally, the AAP reports to be active in promoting the IES to various accountancy education institutions in Poland through articles, meetings, and conferences. It has also shared its experience in creating a certification with other PAOs during the Accountancy Profession Strategic Forum in Athens and Tbilisi and liaises with international institutes to learn more about providing CPD programming.
The AAP is also cognizant of the market demand for qualified accountants and as such, has established the Employers’ Council to serve as an advisory body. For training matters, opinions of the Scientific Council are taken into consideration. The association has conducted analyses regarding its education program, the revised IES, and the expectations of the labor market. It subsequently modified its program based on these results to include a more holistic approach.
While the AAP is proactive in ensuring its Certified Accountant members achieve the IPD and CPD requirements, it is encouraged to also consider setting IPD and CPD requirements in line with IES for all categories of professional accountants and to use its SMO Action Plan to plan specific projects in this respect. The association is also encouraged to participate in the standard-setting activities of the International Accounting Education Standards Board by providing comments on Exposure Drafts and other discussion papers released by the international standard-setter.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
The Audit Oversight Commission has approved the adoption of the Clarified ISA by the National Chamber of Statutory Auditors (NCSA), and although the AAP had no direct responsibility in this area, the association plays an active role in supporting the implementation of the Clarified ISA.
The AAP has been translating the ISA into Polish since 1996. In 2009, it launched a joint initiative with the NCSA to maintain an ongoing process to provide ISA translations in the jurisdiction. The AAP indicates that the translation of the Clarified ISA was performed in accordance with the IFAC Translations Policy. As a result, the Polish versions of 36 ISA and ISQC 1 have been submitted to the European Commission.
AAP has also developed activities to raise its members’ awareness of the activities of the IAASB by disseminating new pronouncements and organizing conferences and seminars on ISA as needed. The AAP has also been a participant at World Bank trainings on ISA.
AAP is encouraged to review the new auditor reporting standards, effective as of December 2016, and to promote the incorporation of these standards. The PAO is also encouraged to provide details on any activities it has planned to assist its members who deliver statutory audits with the implementation of the national standards on auditing.
SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
The AAP has adopted ethical requirements for its members that appear to be based on the 2005 version of the IESBA Code of Ethics and states it has developed an ongoing process to eliminate differences between its ethical standards and the IESBA requirements.
The association has developed a wide range of activities to raise the public’s awareness of its code of ethics and to assist its members with the implementation of the standards. For example, the AAP has created a Bank of Ethical Dilemmas to facilitate the teaching of ethical principles, promotes the use of the IESBA Ethics Education Toolkit Study Guide to trainers and delivers courses, conferences, and seminars on the ethical requirements it has adopted. Moreover, the association has established the title of the Ambassador of Professional Ethics in Accounting in order to encourage individuals and firms to comply with and share its ethical standards.
In addition, the association issues a newsletter on ethics and participates in regional and international conferences to promote its ethical requirements. The association also monitors IESBA activities and pronouncements in order to share developments with its members and other stakeholders.
The AAP has also provided translations of the IESBA Code to the NCSA to promote the ethical requirements amongst statutory auditors and has translated its own Code of Ethics into English, French, German, and Russian to share with other PAOs.
The AAP is encouraged to review the new auditor reporting standards, effective as of December 2016, and include actions in its SMO Action Plan to adopt the new standard as well as activities to support its members with implementation. The association is also encouraged to clearly indicate whether its Code is as stringent as the IESBA Code. The AAP is also encouraged to further participate in the activities of the IESBA by providing comments on Exposure Drafts released by the international standard-setter.
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
The AAP has no responsibility for the adoption of public sector accounting standards and uses its best endeavors to promote the adoption of IPSAS, which have not been adopted for application in Poland.
The AAP reports that it has developed activities to monitor the activities of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board and promotes the international standards via the IPSAS Commission and its participation in the Public Finance Forum. In addition, the PAO indicates it is developing a new certificate for professionals working in public finance entities and is analyzing the need to translate and publish IPSAS. The AAP reports that the decision to translate IPSAS has been delayed due to its focus on translating ISA and IFRS.
AAP is encouraged to provide information about the nature of the public sector accounting standards currently in use in the country in its SMO Action Plan and a possible timeline for the translation of IPSAS. Additionally, the AAP should consider incorporating in its SMO Action Plan additional examples of specific actions planned to promote the adoption of IPSAS in Poland.
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
AAP has adopted self-regulatory rules for investigating and disciplining (I&D) its members for misconduct and breach of the statute and ethical rules.
The association reports that it revised its disciplinary regulations in 2011 and the I&D mechanisms it has incorporated the main requirements of SMO 6. However, a clear indication of the complete adoption of SMO 6 requirements (revised 2012) is needed.
The AAP is encouraged to carry out an assessment of the I&D system it operates in order to clearly indicate the level of compliance with SMO 6 requirements. It is then encouraged to include plans to address any gaps in compliance in its SMO Action Plan. The AAP is also encouraged to further complete its SMO Action Plan and describe the structure and functioning of the I&D mechanisms. It should also include specific planned actions or initiatives to support the implementation of the I&D mechanisms and disseminate information on I&D procedures to its members and the public.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
The AAP has no responsibility for setting accounting standards in Poland but it plays an active role in supporting the Accounting Standards Committee, which issues national accounting standards, and supporting the implementation of IFRS. It is the only body in Poland translating and publishing the IFRS under a license agreement with the IFRS Foundation since 2001. It reports that it is beginning the translation of the 2016 version of IFRS under a new agreement signed in March 2016.
It also promotes the adoption of the international standards by co-organizing conferences and seminars on this topic and participating in outreach activities jointly with the Ministry of Finance and the National Chamber of Statutory Auditors upon the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group’s invitation as well as trainings organized by the World Bank. In addition, the PAO has developed activities to assist its members with the implementation of the standards by organizing workshops for academic lecturers and conducting initial professional development courses on IFRS. It also monitors IASB publications regarding the latest developments in IFRS and disseminates them to its members via its website and other printed materials.
The AAP is encouraged provide specific examples in its SMO Action Plan of activities it has planned to support the implementation of IFRS amongst its members in the upcoming year. The AAP is also encouraged to promote the adoption of IFRS for SMEs in the jurisdiction and to indicate in its SMO Action Plan any activities it has undertaken in this regard.
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