Member | Established: 1919 | Member since 1977
The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the Association) combines the strengths of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). It represents 657,000 members and students in public and management accounting and advocates for the public interest and business sustainability on current and emerging issues. With broad reach, rigor and resources, the Association advances the reputation, employability and quality of CPAs, CGMA designation holders and accounting and finance professionals globally. As part of IFAC membership obligations, the Association fulfills SMOs in U.S. through AICPA and in UK through CIMA.
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 Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and the four Recognised Supervisory Bodies (RSBs) in the UK (ACCA, CAI, ICAEW, and ICAS) share responsibility for the quality assurance (QA) review system governing audits and assurance engagements in accordance with the Companies Act of 2006 and the Statutory Auditors and Third Party Auditors Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/649). All have indicated that they have a fully operational QA review system in place, and that the QA review systems are compliant with SMO 1 requirements.
The Association—CIMA has no responsibility for the quality assurance review system in the UK, but it has established a QA scheme for its members.
The Association—CIMA has been engaged in the process of updating the QA scheme that it introduced in 2012 with respect to its members’ compliance with professional standards established for management accountants which is reporetedly in line with SMO 1 requirements. It conducts a review of members’ compliance with licensing requirements via its online licensing platform and amended its practice rules and guidelines, as well as the Membership Handbook. CIMA disseminates updated material online to support its members’ compliance with applicable rules and guidelines and with the requirements of other non-audit regulatory bodies, such as Anti-Money Laundering regulations issued by the UK Treasury. CIMA also provides relevant continuing professional development courses for its members.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
The six Recognised Qualifying Bodies (RQBs) deliver the initial and continuing professional education (IPD and CPD) for statutory auditors in the UK. The FRC has an agreement with the six chartered bodies (ACCA, the Association—CIMA, CIPFA, ICAEW, CAI, and ICAS) and the AIA to oversee IPD and CPD for accountants.
Five RQBs (ACCA, CAI, ICAEW, ICAS, and CIPFA) as well as AAT, the Association—CIMA and IFA are members of IFAC and all confirm that their professional accountancy qualifications meet the IAESB’s requirements set out in the revised 2015 IES.
To fulfill its obligations under SMO 2, the Association—CIMA focuses on the syllabus for various courses, the examination process, and continuing professional development. A new competency framework was developed that led to a comprehensive syllabus revision in 2015, and is updated on an ongoing basis.
The Association—CIMA provides an array of CPD resources to support member’s compliance with the CIMA Professional Development Cycle and disseminates information to raise members’ awareness of CPD requirements via email, website, magazine articles, social media, and workshops/presentations (both online and in-person). Students are provided with access to online support, including regular blog posts from students and staff, and discussion groups on papers added to CIMAsphere.
CPD requirements are monitored annually from October-September by a CPD Panel and Professional Standards Committee. Effective September 2018, the Association—CIMA implemented an online monitoring process to improve the way in which it monitors CPD records. In preparation for the change, the Association—CIMA provided members with newsletters and announcements (example) regarding the changes nearly one year in advance.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is the authorized body for setting auditing standards in the UK in accordance with the Companies Act of 2006 and Statutory Instrument on Statutory Auditors (Amendment of Companies Act 2006 and Delegation of Functions etc.) Order 2012 (SI 2012/1741). All financial statement audits must be conducted in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (UK) issued by the FRC. ISAs (UK) are based on ISAs issued by the IAASB, with specific changes to account for UK Company Law.
The Association—CIMA has no direct responsibility for the adoption and implementation of ISA in the UK, and its members do not provide audit services. Nevertheless, the institute supports the implementation of ISA through the provision of information on standard-related topics and news. It prepares a monthly summary for members in which it presents highlights of key pronouncements issued by the IAASB. It also disseminates occasional articles on audit-related topics in its online journal and in its magazine. In addition, the Association—CIMA provides opportunities for discussion of audit issues that are relevant to its members in its online community.
The Association—CIMA participates in the international standard-setting process by disseminating IAASB updates and exposure drafts to members and submitting responses to the IAASB.
SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
In accordance with their charters and by-laws, professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) in the UK are authorized to establish ethical requirements for their members.
All PAOs in the UK indicate that they have adopted the requirements of the IESBA Code of Ethics (2018 version). Furthermore, all PAOs indicate that they have an ongoing process to consider and incorporate new and amended requirements issued by the IESBA where they are not in conflict with national laws and regulations.
Having developed and adopted a Code based on the 2018 IESBA Code of Ethics, it supports compliance with the Code through a variety of mechanisms. The Association—CIMA publicizes the Code extensively to members and students in the Association—CIMA publications. It also publishes guidance such as the CIMA Ethics Support Guide to assist members and regularly updates resources, which it makes available online. The body has an Ethics initial professional development (CPD) e-learning tool to guide members through a series of scenarios when faced with ethical predicaments. In addition, the Association—CIMA has an Ethics helpline, Ethics Checklist, and an Ethical Lens e-newsletter to further assist members.
The Association—CIMA collaborates with other organizations to participate in research and to produce ethics knowledge products. For example, the Association—CIMA produced publications, Webcasts and Videos including global research on ethics and management accountants. CGMA guidance includes: Business and Human Rights: Evolution and Acceptance, Internal Trust: Building Alliances from Within, Ethical Due Diligence in Hiring and Assessing Professional Accountants, Keeping Business Clean: A CGMA guide to countering fraud and corruption, and the Anti-Corruption Landscape 2017. The Association—CIMA participates in the international standard-setting process by disseminating IESBA Code of Ethics updates and exposure drafts to members and submitting responses to the IESBA.
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
The UK Treasury is responsible for developing standards and policies for Central Government financial statements. The Chartered Institute of Public Accountancy (CIPFA) and the Local Authority Scotland Accounts Advisory Committee (LASAAC) work together on the Local Authority Code Board, a standing committee of CIPFA and LASAAC, to set accounting standards for local governments in the UK. The Code of Practice is based on EU-adopted IFRS, and draws on IPSAS and Financial Reporting Standards issued by the Financial Reporting Council.
The Association—CIMA, with no direct responsibility for the adoption of accounting standards in the public sector, supports the implementations of applicable standards through the dissemination of information about public sector accounting standards to its members online and in the the Association—CIMA magazine, online newsletter CGMA Advantage (members), CGMA Connect (students), and CMGA.org. It maintains an online forum for reporting on and promoting discussion on, new public sector reporting issues. The Association—CIMA reports that it carries out extensive work with the UK public sector to embed performance management and finance professionalism.The Association—CIMA participates in the international standard-setting process by disseminating IPSASB updates and exposure drafts to members and submitting responses to the IPSASB.
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
In accordance with their charters and by-laws, professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) are authorized to establish systems of investigation and discipline (I&D) for their members for failure to comply with applicable standards of professional conduct. The PAOs (both RSBs and others: AAT, the Association—CIMA, CIPFA, and IFA) have reported that they have I&D systems in place that fulfill the requirements of SMO 6 requirements. The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has an agreement with The Association—CIMA to oversee its I&D system for accountants.
The Association—CIMA conducts an ongoing process to review and modify by-laws and regulation in accordance with recommendations from the FRC and the requirements of SMO 6.
The Association—CIMA raises awareness of its members and registered students about the professional conduct and ethics requirements through the provision of applicable regulations, including revisions and updates. It also cooperates with the FRC on issues related to public interest entities.
The Association—CIMA members are provided with resources via the website on the conduct process, appeals process and form, and published decisions. Members may also access Indicative Sanctions Guidance; Investigation Committee Guidance Notes, and Disciplinary Committee Rules.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has the authority to adopt accounting standards in the UK in accordance with the Companies Act of 2006 and Statutory Instrument on Statutory Auditors (Amendment of Companies Act 2006 and Delegation of Functions etc.) Order 2012 (SI 2012/1741).
EU-endorsed IFRS are required to be applied in consolidated financial statements of parent companies with securities that are traded on a regulated market. Other entities apply ‘reduced disclosure’ EU adopted IFRS, or simpler Financial Reporting Standards (FRS) developed by the FRC, depending on the size, type of company, and the nature of activities that is conducted. FRS is based on the IFRS for SMEs, with significant modifications.
The Association—CIMA, having no direct responsibility for the adoption of IFRS in the UK, supports the implementation of the standards through publication of the IFRS on its website, and training. It also disseminates information on IFRS via articles published in the Institutes’ online journal and the the Association—CIMA magazine ‘Financial Management’.
The Association—CIMA participates in the international standard-setting process by disseminating IASB updates and exposure drafts to members and submitting responses to the IASB.
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.
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