Association of Accountants and Auditors of Armenia
Associate | Established: 1997 | Associate since 2005
The Association of Accountants and Auditors of Armenia (AAAA) is a non-government voluntary public organization established in October 1997 as a Union of Certified Accountants and subsequently reestablished in 1999 as the AAAA by a decision of its General Meeting. Membership comprises individual practitioners, both accountants and auditors. The association is formally recognized by the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Armenia as a professional accountancy organization. Since 2002, the AAAA has been offering certification for accountants and auditors, and is also involved in the certification of auditors under the authority delegated by the Ministry of Finance through Government Decision No. 748-n of 2013.
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
With no direct responsibility for the adoption of a quality assurance (QA) review system, the AAAA promotes the need for establishing a mandatory QA review system for auditors to the regulator, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) of the Republic of Armenia. In 2013, with the support of international firms operating in Armenia, the AAAA launched a voluntary Audit Quality Review and Monitoring (AQM) program for its members. It created procedures, review questionnaires, an assessment methodology, and agreed on other terms for the AQM process. The AAAA requires application of ISQC 1 (2009) and ISA 220 by its members. Since 2013, however, only one review has been conducted. The AAAA reports that, in general, the system is based on SMO 1 requirements; however, the extent of its compliance with SMO 1 needs to be clarified.
The AAAA, through a yet to be fully clarified arrangement, is expected to share responsibility with the future Public Oversight Board (POB) for the QA reviews.
The AAAA should continue its efforts to promote the adoption of the mandatory QA system that is aligned with SMO 1 requirements to the MoF’s inspection unit and to the POB once it has been established. The AAAA is encouraged to review the requirements of the existing QA system against those of SMO 1 as revised in 2012 and include the results of the review in its SMO Action Plan. The association is also encouraged to share the reasons why only one review was conducted.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
The AAAA’s membership comprises both accountants and auditors who join the association on a voluntary basis. The AAAA reports that its membership requirements are mostly compliant with IES. The AAAA was successful in lobbying in 2013 for the recognition of its certification for auditors as the national certification. According to the AAAA, this certification is compliant with IES. The association has introduced a continuing professional development (CPD) requirement for its members and, in January 2014, introduced a system to enforce members’ compliance with mandatory CPD. The AAAA reports that it is in the process of fully aligning the practical experience and final assessment requirements with IES. In addition, the AAAA is involved in efforts to incorporate IES into university accounting curricula. The association, the Yerevan State University, and the Armenian State Economic University together participate in the World Bank “Strengthening Auditing and Reporting in the Countries of the Eastern Partnership (STAREP)” project, aimed at bringing university accounting programs to international levels. The association is actively supporting universities in this issue and will host STAREP’s Education Committee meeting in Yerevan, Armenia in June 2016.
The AAAA is encouraged to review the existing educational requirements for professional accountants in Armenia against those of revised IES and include the results of the review in its SMO Action Plan. For areas of less than full compliance, it needs to describe, in its SMO Action Plan, how it aims to close the gaps. The AAAA is also encouraged to proactively liaise with all relevant stakeholders in the jurisdiction to promote and facilitate the adoption and implementation of the IES requirements for all professional accountants in Armenia.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
The AAAA reports that it played an active role in promoting the adoption of ISA for application in Armenia and subsequently in translating the standards into Armenian. With ISA finally adopted effective 2011, the AAAA has focused its efforts on supporting its members with the implementation of the standards by issuing implementation guidance, developing training activities, and disseminating information on developments in the international standard-setting area. The AAAA monitors ISA developments and updates its Certification Syllabus accordingly. The 2014 version of ISA has been incorporated into the syllabus as of 2016.
The AAAA is encouraged to clarify in its SMO Action Plan the due process for ISA adoption and translation, as well as its role in the process, to further indicate specific actions it undertakes to support its members with the implementation of ISA, and to consider participating in the international standard-setting process by providing comments on Exposure Drafts and Discussion Papers issued by the IAASB.
SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
Having no direct responsibility for the adoption of the IESBA Code of Ethics by all professional accountants in the jurisdiction, the AAAA has nevertheless established a requirement for its members to adhere to the Code and has established ongoing processes to translate the IESBA Code for application by its members. The 2014 version of the IESBA Code is being applied as of 2016.
In addition to the translation activities, the AAAA works to ensure that the requirements of the IESBA Code are incorporated into education and training programs and that the system to monitor compliance with the Code is further developed. The AAAA organizes seminars, publishes implementation materials, and raises the awareness of its members and the general public about ethics through its publications and website.
The AAAA is encouraged to work with other stakeholders in Armenia to ensure that all professional accountants are subject to ethical requirements as established by the IESBA Code of Ethics.
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
With no direct responsibility for adoption of IPSAS, the AAAA reports that, since 2012, it has participated in discussions with government officials on the adoption of IPSAS and continues to use its best endeavors to identify opportunities to assist the Ministry of Finance with IPSAS implementation. The AAAA has not, however, reported any specific actions. The plans to introduce a certification scheme for accountants in public sector, as well as for internal auditors, have been suspended.
The AAAA is encouraged to indicate whether it has considered the need to participate more actively in the issues related to public sector accounting. If so, the SMO 5 section of the Action Plan needs to be updated accordingly.
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
The AAAA has taken steps to establish a formal investigative and disciplinary (I&D) system for its members that is based on SMO 6 requirements. It established the Committee on Membership and Professional Ethics, which, along with other objectives, is mandated to investigate the violations of professional ethics and norms of its members. The association notes in its 2016 SMO Action Plan that the committee periodically monitors members’ compliance with continuing professional development and professional conduct. In 2009, the AAAA planned to conduct a review of the I&D system with a view to developing an Action Plan addressing the existing shortcomings. Due to lack of funding, however, the project was suspended. In 2013, the AAAA revised its disciplinary procedures although the nature of the revisions is not clear.
The AAAA is encouraged to assess the existing I&D system in Armenia against the requirements of the revised SMO 6 and include the results of the review in the SMO Action Plan. For areas of less than full compliance, it needs to describe in its SMO Action Plan what actions it aims to take to close the gaps and align the system with the requirements of SMO 6. In addition, the AAAA is strongly encouraged to provide an update on the I&D system established by the MoF.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
The AAAA has no direct responsibility for the adoption of IFRS and IFRS for SMEs in the jurisdiction. The Ministry of Finance has, however, entrusted it with the process of translating IFRS, which must be translated into Armenian to become applicable. In addition, the AAAA uses its best endeavors to support its membership with the implementation of the standards by providing training, certification, and workshops on the standards, as well as publications.
The AAAA is encouraged to consider the experiences of other jurisdictions and to establish ongoing processes for translating IFRS to ensure that the most recent IASB pronouncements are being applied in Armenia. The AAAA is also encouraged to consider participating in international standard setting and initiating a program for responding to IASB exposure drafts.
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