Chamber of Auditors of the Czech Republic
Member | Established: 1992 | Member since 1994
CACR was founded in 1993 for the purpose of governing the audit profession in the Czech Republic. Its authority is stipulated in the Act on Auditors of 2009 as amended in 2016. Statutory auditors are required to be licensed members of CACR by law. CACR is responsible for (i) issuing licenses to practice auditing; (ii) maintaining registries of auditors and registries of revoked licenses; (iii) organizing and conducting examinations for auditors; (iv) developing and delivering continuing professional development (CPD) activities; (v) enforcing compliance with applicable auditing and ethical standards as well as CPD requirements; (vi) initiating investigation and disciplinary procedures for members; (vii) carrying out quality assurance reviews of its members; and (viii) undertaking any other activities that promote high professional standards and improve the quality of auditing services.
In addition to being a member of IFAC, CACR is a member of the National Accounting Board and Accountancy Europe.
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
In accordance with the Act on Auditors of 2009 as amended in 2016 the Public Audit Oversight Board (PAOB) will be carrying out quality assurance (QA) reviews of audits of public interest entities (PIEs) while CACR will maintain responsibility for QA reviews of non-PIEs. Presently, CACR seems to be conducting QA reviews of all audits.
CACR established its QA review system in 1992 and reports that it is in line with the requirements of SMO 1 and the European Union 8th Company Law Directive on Statutory Audit. The CACR’s Supervisory Committee conducts meetings on a monthly basis to ensure that the QA review system is operating effectively. For instance, in collaboration with the PAOB, the CACR organizes internal seminars for its inspectors to share best practices.
The World Bank reports in its 2013 Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes on Accounting and Auditing (ROSC) that CACR made significant efforts in order to enhance its quality assurance system by expanding its staff and adopting updated methodologies for implementation of the quality aspects contained within the Act on Auditors. The findings from the first reviews indicated that the bigger firms carry out higher quality audits whereas sole practitioners and small firms face greater challenges.
The institute states it conducts ongoing activities to support its members in the process of QA reviews by providing updates, templates, and tools to create and maintain an effective quality control system and offers continuing professional development programs and seminars based on review findings. CACR publishes annual reports on QA reviews and subsequently strives to publish 2-3 articles per year pertaining to the main issues identified during reviews of auditors and audit firms and provides training modules based on the findings. CACR has also organized regional seminars in Prague, Brno, and Ostrava pertaining to sharing knowledge and professional experience gained from inspections. For additional details and other examples, please refer to CACR’s SMO Action Plan.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
The initial professional and continuing professional development (IPD and CPD respectively) requirements are established for auditors in the Act on Auditors of 2009 as amended in 2016 and are implemented by the Chamber of Auditors of the Czech Republic (CACR) under the oversight of the Public Audit Oversight Board along with local universities that set the tertiary accountancy curricula.
The World Bank reports in its 2013 Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes on Accounting and Auditing (ROSC) that auditors must fulfill education requirements that are in line with a pre-2015 version of International Education Standards (IES). CACR reports that it maintains an ongoing process to monitor new and revised standards to incorporate them into its own education and examination requirements. For example, in 2016, CACR reports that it compared the requirements of the revised 2015 IES requirements with its own requirements to incorporate amendments.
The World Bank also reports that professional education and training has greatly improved over the last few years. It indicates that CACR’s certification program is in line with both the Statutory Audit Directive and IES, including CPD requirements. To ensure that members are able to meet their CPD obligations, CACR offers a CPD calendar of available trainings. Where an auditor has not met the minimum of 40 hours of annual CPD, the missing number of hours is added to the 40 hours required for the following year. If an auditor has not met the CPD requirement for two successive years, CACR reports it to the Disciplinary Committee for further action. CPD results, which include those who failed to meet the requirements, are published annually in the Auditor magazine published by CACR. CACR's Supervisory Committee monitors the participation of auditors in CPD programs, as well as their compliance with the CPD regulations of CACR.
CACR conducted a comparison of its internal guidelines with IES requirements (version 2015) in early 2016 and identified a discrepancy. CACR proactively eliminated the difference by allowing auditors, effective 2017, to complete up to five (5) hours of soft skills training annually as part of the CPD requirements.
Lastly, CACR will participate in the international standard-setting process by providing comments on exposure drafts and other pronouncements issued by the IAESB to share its perspective on how revisions might impact the Czech profession.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
The Act on Auditors of 2009 as amended in 2016 delegates audit standard-setting authority to the Chamber of Auditors of the Czech Republic (CACR) under the supervision of the Public Audit Oversight Board (PAOB) which approves final auditing standards.
CACR adopted and published the 2018 Handbook of International Quality Control, Auditing Review, Other Assurance and Related Services Pronouncements on its website in English. CACR reports that it maintains an ongoing process to ensure that new and revised ISA are adopted and translated when issued.
CACR reports that it organizes and delivers annual training on ISA and other relevant topics to enhance members’ understanding and implementation of the standards. In 2017, CACR indicates that it organized training focused on revised ISA with particular emphasis on audit documentation and the auditor’s report to keep members up to date on developments and application. It also has provided its members with tools and manuals such as a translated version of the Guide to Quality Control for Small and Medium Practices.
SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
Auditors are subject to ethical requirements as per the Act on Auditors of 2009 as amended in 2016 that are set by the Chamber of Auditors of the Czech Republic’s (CACR) under the supervision of the Public Audit Oversight Board which has the final approval of the ethical requirements.
As of the date of the assessment, CACR reportedly issued and translated the 2018 version of the IESBA Code of Ethics available on the website. CACR reports that it maintains an ongoing process to ensure that approved changes to the IESBA Code of Ethics are translated into Czech in a timely manner.
CACR notes that any amendments to the Code are regularly communicated to members and implementation is supported through a series of publications and training courses.
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
The Ministry of Finance is responsible for accounting standard-setting for public sector entities and the CACR has no legal authority in this area. Nevertheless, the Chamber reports that it focuses on providing technical advice to its members through its Public Sector Committee, and publishes implementation guidance material since a significant number of members provide services to public sector entities.
CACR states that it promotes IPSAS through its participation in Supreme Audit Office meetings. Two of CACR’s Public Sector Committee members are employees of the Ministry of Finance and work to promote IPSAS directly to relevant authorities in the ministry as well as provide comments and proposals to draft legislation.
CACR also provides the public with information on the latest developments pertaining to IPSAS via its website and magazine.
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
Under the Act on Auditors of 2009 as amended in 2016, investigation and discipline (I&D) of auditors is performed by the Chamber of Auditors of the Czech Republic (CACR), under the oversight of the Public Audit Oversight Board (PAOB). The PAOB conducts its own proceedings for auditors of public interest entities.
In line with CACR's internal regulations, the Supervisory Committee conducts investigations while the Disciplinary Committee conducts disciplinary hearings and may issue sanctions. The Supervisory Committee has nine members responsible for monitoring the quality of auditors’ work, compliance with relevant legislation, and CACR’s internal regulations. Upon referrals from the Supervisory Committee, the Disciplinary Committee will hear cases and issue any decisions no later than 30 days from the commencement of the proceeding, and may add up to 30 additional days if local inquiries are needed or a case is particularly complex. The PAOB acts as the appeals body when an auditor disagrees with a decision.
The I&D system has been operational since 2009; and in 2015, 40 cases were heard and resolved.
CACR completed a self-assessment of its I&D system against SMO 6 requirements as a means to share further information on its procedures. CACR reports that its processes would be fully in line with SMO 6 requirements except that all the members of the Disciplinary Committee are auditors.
In the next update, CACR is encouraged to indicate specific actions taken to address the identified gap in the I&D system to ensure that the overall system is aligned with the requirements of SMO 6.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
The Ministry of Finance is responsible for the adoption and promulgation of accounting standards in the Czech Republic in accordance with the Accounting Act of 1991 as amended in 2016. EU-endorsed IFRS are required for the preparation of separate and consolidated financial statements of all companies whose securities trade in a regulated market. Companies are also required to keep accounting records in accordance with Czech GAAP for tax purposes or reconcile their IFRS financial statements to Czech GAAP.
CACR’s activities are predominantly focused on supporting ongoing adoption and implementation of the standards as it has no legal standard-setting authority in this area. Historically CACR participated in meetings of the National Accountancy Council (NAC) and provided comments on proposed changes in the accounting legislation. With the passage of the abovementioned laws, NAC no longer exists however CACR indicates that it will continue to cooperate with the Ministry of Finance to support endorsement of IFRS in Czech accounting legislation.
CACR reports that it also supports implementation by providing in-person and e-training on IFRS, information on the latest developments related to IFRS through its website and magazine, and guidance publications for its members on how to conduct audits of financial statements in accordance with IFRS. For example, in 2017, CACR organized training on new IFRS 9, 15, and 16. The institute also offers training on the relationship between IFRS and Czech legislation and to familiarize members with most major differences between IFRS and Czech accounting standards.
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