Association of Accounting Technicians of Sri Lanka
Member | Established: 1987 | Associate since 1989; Member since 2017
AAT Sri Lanka is registered under the Companies Act No. 17 of 1987 and re-registered under the Companies Act No. 7 of 2007, as a company limited by guarantee. AAT Sri Lanka provides education and training to students to become accounting technicians, and promotes the interests, welfare, rights and privileges of the profession of accounting technicians. AAT Sri Lanka was admitted as an IFAC Associate in 1989, and is also a member of the Confederation of Asian Pacific Accountants.
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
Only members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) are authorized to conduct statutory audits in Sri Lanka. Although members of AAT Sri Lanka do not have practicing firms, some members are employees of practicing firms of Chartered Accountants who are involved in audit and assurance services. These members are required to adhere to quality control requirements implemented by these audit firms, and therefore are subject to the supervision of CA Sri Lanka. There are members who hold both membership with AAT Sri Lanka and CA Sri Lanka and who are allowed to conduct audits.
With the adoption of a voluntary quality assurance review system by CA Sri Lanka that covers both institutions’ members, AAT Sri Lanka’s activities have centered around supporting and collaborating with CA Sri Lanka to host seminars focused on training its members on the requirements of ISA 220 and ISQC 1. The association reports that workshops on quality control standards were held in September 2016 and in 2017, and given the changes in auditor reporting requirements that have become effective in 2017, an additional seminar is being planned in 2018. AAT Sri Lanka also conducts seminars for its members on quality control and other related subjects. The association has also collaborated with CA Sri Lanka to incorporate ISQC 1 into the AAT Sri Lanka curriculum.
In the next update of its SMO Action Plan, AAT Sri Lanka is encouraged to consider how it can support CA Sri Lanka to incorporate the requirements of SMO 1.
- SMO 2: International Education Standards
AAT Sri Lanka establishes initial professional development (IPD) and continuing professional development (CPD) requirements for its students and members.
In 2016, AAT Sri Lanka conducted a review of its educational program, which identified gaps around the association’s entry requirements into its Accounting Technician program, practical training requirements, and CPD requirements. Subsequently, AAT Sri Lanka indicates that it undertook actions to address gaps and, as of November 2017, the association reports that its programming is now in line with the requirements of the 2015 IES. AAT Sri Lanka reports that it has been organizing and hosting seminars to be held for students, lecturers, and owners of Accredited Education Centres (AEC) on the changes.
To ensure that members complete mandatory CPD requirements, AAT Sri Lanka has an established CPD secretariat to monitor the fulfillment of CPD and to promote CPD opportunities. In addition, following a recommendation in the 2015 World Bank ROSC, the association has established a framework to accredit and monitor learning providers. The association reports that there are currently 95 AECs in operation throughout Sri Lanka for the Accounting Technician program, and to monitor the quality of learning providers, AAT Sri Lanka conducts visits the AECs twice a year, conducts various forms of surveys with students on the quality of the programs offered, and adopts an evaluation and grading structure to recognize high performing AECs.
AAT Sri Lanka is encouraged to consider establishing plans to collaborate with the other PAOs in the jurisdiction to bring IPD and CPD requirements in line with the revised IES for all professional accountants. In addition, the association is encouraged to consider developing mechanisms to disseminate regular updates by the IAESB to stakeholders to promote and raise awareness of IES requirements. Lastly, the association is encouraged to consider participating in the international standard-setting process by reviewing and responding to exposure drafts as issued by the IAESB.
- SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
Under the Sri Lanka Accounting and Auditing Standards Act No. 15 of 1995, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) is responsible for setting auditing standards to be applied in Sri Lanka. CA Sri Lanka has adopted the 2013 version of the ISA as the Sri Lankan Auditing Standards (SLAuS) with modifications due to national requirements. AAT Sri Lanka reports that it uses its best endeavors to encourage and support CA Sri Lanka’s efforts to adopt the ISA and assists CA Sri Lanka in the translation process.
While AAT Sri Lanka members are not eligible to undertake audit and assurance services of specified business enterprises’, there is a large number of Accounting Technicians who provide support services to practicing auditors.
Therefore, to support its members, AAT Sri Lanka states that it provides updates and training in the form of continuing professional development (CPD) on ISA. Examples of CPD offered include seminars and workshops, and CPD credits are granted to members who attend related events hosted by CA Sri Lanka. The association reports that a workshop was held in September 2016, and a seminar is being planned to cover the changes in auditor reporting requirements effective in 2017. In addition, AAT Sri Lanka also includes content from applicable auditing standards in its initial professional development program.
Furthermore, AAT Sri Lanka notes that it disseminates information to its members on the proposed SLAuS and encourages its members to comment both on the CA Sri Lanka’s and IAASB’s exposure drafts.
In the next update of its SMO Action Plan, AAT Sri Lanka is encouraged to consider developing additional training and CPD around the 2016 ISA for the benefit of its members that provide support services to practicing auditors.
- SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
AAT Sri Lanka is responsible for establishing ethical requirements for its members. As of November 2017, AAT Sri Lanka reports that its Code of Ethics has been updated and aligned with the 2016 version of the IESBA Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.
The association reports that it is developing seminars and training programs on the updated ethical requirements to support its members’ understanding of the requirements. The association indicates that it hosted a session on the updated Code of Ethics for its members in June 2017. The association has also uploaded the new Code to its website.
As there are Accounting Technicians who work in audit teams in firms of auditors, AAT Sri Lanka requires these members to participate in continuing professional development (CPD) courses that emphasize ethics applicable to professionals in public practice.
The association reports that it has plans to participate in the international standard-setting process and will seek out members’ comments to relevant exposure drafts as they are issued by the IESBA. In addition, the association has established an Audit, Compliance, Professional Ethics and Risk Management Committee to ensure there is an ongoing process to incorporate future updates to the Code.
AAT Sri Lanka is encouraged to continue developing actions to ensure that all members participate in CPD related to ethics. In addition, the association is encouraged to ensure that updated ethical requirements are included in IPD for those who are in public practice.
- SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
AAT Sri Lanka has no responsibility in adopting public sector accounting standards in Sri Lanka, which are jointly adopted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) and the Ministry of Finance and Planning and notes it does not participate in the standard-setting function for this area. Due to this reason, the association reports that its influence on the adoption of public sector accounting standards is limited.
AAT Sri Lanka indicates that its efforts are aimed at supporting the implementation of public sector accounting standards by developing a curriculum and modules on public sector accounting standards for its students. To that effect, the association has integrated a public-sector module into its curriculum since December 2016.
AAT Sri Lanka states that it has arranged for its members who are employed in the public sector to attend seminars and workshops on relevant public sector accounting matters conducted by CA Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Finance of Sri Lanka. In addition, the association reports that it has also organized a two-day seminar in June 2017 on public sector accounting standards for its members and the public.
In the next update of its SMO Action Plan, AAT Sri Lanka is encouraged to consider methods of dissemination of pronouncements by IPSAS to its members.
- SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
AAT Sri Lanka is responsible for establishing an investigative and disciplinary (I&D) mechanism for its members.
AAT Sri Lanka conducted a review of its overall system to identify gaps in compliance and the areas identified by the association that required improvements included: (i) non-accountants were not represented on any of the committees that comprised the I&D system, (ii) an appeals body did not exist, and (iii) elements of public interest considerations, including a process for an independent review of complaints where there was no follow-up and I&D results being made public. As of November 2017, the association reports that it has completed its revisions and concluded that its I&D procedures are now in line with the requirements of SMO 6. AAT Sri Lanka reports that it has planned an awareness campaign consisting of seminars and workshops for its members and students to be held throughout 2017 on the changes.
In the next update of its SMO Action Plan, AAT Sri Lanka is encouraged to establish an ongoing review process to ensure its I&D system remains in line with the requirements of SMO 6. In addition, AAT Sri Lanka is encouraged to ensure that all students and members are aware of the revised system.
- SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) is legally responsible for setting accounting standards in Sri Lanka, which are the Sri Lankan Financial Reporting Standards (SLFRS) that reflect the 2013 International Financial Reporting Standards with modifications.
Accordingly, AAT Sri Lanka focuses its efforts on supporting its students’ and members’ understanding and knowledge of the standards by incorporating SLFRS into its curriculum. In addition, it raises members’ awareness around SLFRS and SLFRS for SMEs by hosting a series of seminars and workshops on the standards and disseminates standard updates via its website and journal. To support CA Sri Lanka’s standard-setting efforts, AAT Sri Lanka indicates that it participates in the local standard-setting process by providing comments to relevant exposure drafts as issued by CA Sri Lanka.
Of note is a recent amendment to the Inland Revenue Act No. 9 of 2015, which, AAT Sri Lanka reports, includes a provision that will allow Fellow Members of the association to prepare financial statements for SMEs whose turnover is less than LKR 100 million per year. AAT Sri Lanka indicates that memberssystem, the association indicates that plans are in place to educate new members on the who undertake this work are required to register with the association as a Member in Public Practice and are required to comply with rules and regulations set by the association. To support members conducting this work, AAT Sri Lanka is in progress to develop a Quality Assurance Manual, which is estimated to be completed by March 2018.
In the next update of its SMO Action Plan, AAT Sri Lanka is encouraged to review and update its SMO Action Plan to reflect recent developments. AAT Sri Lanka is also encouraged to consider how it can support CA Sri Lanka with the translation process for ISA.
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.