Chamber of Auditors of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Member | Established: 1993 | Member since 2000
The CoA RK, which was established in 1993, is one of the two accredited professional auditing organizations in Kazakhstan. It received accreditation as a professional organization of auditors in 2008. The Chamber is a not-for-profit organization comprised of audit firms (associate members) and auditors (full members). Membership in the chamber is mandatory to practice auditing. The CoA RK’s mandate includes protecting the interest of the auditing profession, managing the education and training of auditors, strengthening audit quality through the operation of a quality assurance review system, instituting a Code of Ethics for its members, and establishing an investigative and disciplinary system. It is a Member of IFAC and a member of the Eurasian Council of Certified Accountants and Auditors.
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 CoA RK, with shared responsibility for quality assurance (QA) reviews of statutory audits in the Republic Kazakhstan, maintains a QA review system for its member audit firms. According to the self-assessment conducted by CoA RK in 2017, the system complies with most of the requirements of SMO 1 (revised 2012).
The CoA RK’s QA review system was established in 2007 with the assistance of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), taking into consideration the ICAS regulations, International Standard on Quality Control 1 (ISQC 1), and SMO 1. The system operates under the External Quality Control Rules and the Regulations for Supervisors, which are publicly available on CoA RK’s website. As of March 2017, out of 80 audit firms that are members of CoA RK, 77 have been subject to QA reviews.
The chamber prepared guidance material for firm reviews in 2010 and reports to be organizing annual trainings for inspectors. It also supports its members by providing updates and instructions on creating and maintaining an effective quality control system and prepares recommendations on how firms can improve their performance based on weaknesses identified during reviews. The CoA RK also indicates that it raises awareness and educates members on quality control standards through online and in-person learning events. During 2015–2016, CoA RK reports to have conducted six trainings annually.
In 2013, the chamber piloted a program aimed at assisting small- and medium-sized practices (SMPs) with the use of Clarified ISA and implementation of up-to-date audit practices and planned to introduce an ISA Plus Model as well as other initiatives. Implementation of some of the initiatives, however, has been on hold following the adoption of the new Law on Self-Regulation, which envisions a transition to self-regulation of the audit profession in the Republic of Kazakhstan. The CoA RK reports to be actively participating in the related discussions with other stakeholders.
The CoA RK is encouraged to analyze the gaps identified as part of the self-assessment against SMO 1 and develop plans to adopt the missing requirements. In light of the review of the existing arrangements for QA review, the chamber should consider actively working with other stakeholders that are involved in QA reviews to ensure that the resulting system is fully in line with SMO 1 requirements as revised in 2012 and to ensure a uniform approach to the requirements of QA reviews and qualifications of the reviewers.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
The CoA RK is tasked with the implementation of the initial professional development (IPD) and continuing professional development (CPD) requirements for auditors established in law and overseen by the Ministry of Finance. With respect to its members, the CoA RK is responsible for monitoring compliance with CPD and experience requirements. Additionally, in accordance with the Law, the independent Qualification Commission of the CoA RK has developed and conducts the professional examination of candidates for certification of auditors.
The chamber provides a wide range of trainings to its members, delivering seminars, webinars, conferences, other learning events, and accrediting and working with education centers on IPD programs. It also reports that it actively participates in regional and national fora on auditing and related matters.
As far as the incorporation of the IES requirements in the jurisdiction is concerned, the CoA RK indicates that overall it supports the alignment of IPD and CPD requirements in the jurisdiction with those of IES. Nevertheless, apart from raising universities’ awareness of the importance of adhering to IES and promoting the incorporation of IFRS, IFRS for SMEs, and ISA into university curriculum, no other activities have been reported.
Although activities in the area of education of professional accountants seem to be undertaken and CoA RK reports that it uses its best endeavors to incorporate the revised IES, the CoA RK is encouraged during the next round of update of its SMO Action Plan to initiate a review of the existing educational requirements for professional accountants in the jurisdiction against the revised IES to determine areas of less than full compliance and to develop specific actions with a defined timeframe aimed at bringing the requirements in line with those of the revised IES. To this effect it is recommended that the CoA RK, possibly in cooperation with other stakeholders involved in the education of professional accountants in the jurisdiction, translate the revised IES and promote their adoption at the jurisdiction level. The chamber should consider collaborating with other stakeholders to jointly participate in the international standard-setting process by providing comments on exposure drafts and other pronouncements issued by the IAESB.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
The Law on Audit Activity of 1998 as subsequently amended requires application of ISA as issued by the IAASB and published in the Russian and Kazak languages. The Ministry of Finance is responsible for translation of ISA into Kazak language, while CoA RK ensures availability of the Russian translation. As of 2017, CoA RK reports that the 2015 IAASB Handbook as translated in Russian is being applied.
The Chamber indicates that it focuses its activities on supporting implementation of ISA. It reports that it prepares implementation guidance materials for its members; however, it is not clear whether the guidance as well as the training materials are being updated to incorporate changes to the international standards. In addition, it states that it raises awareness of changes to the standards through seminars and on its website. The chamber also notes that it operates an online forum, which facilitates online discussion of application of ISA. With the adoption of the 2015 Handbook, the CoA RK plans to develop a schedule of trainings aimed at assisting its members with application of ISA.
Lastly, the CoA RK indicates in the 2016 SMO Action Plan that it provides comments on the exposure drafts issued by the IAASB.
The chamber is encouraged to update its SMO Action Plan to indicate specific recent and planned activities aimed at achieving compliance with SMO 3, especially regarding measures it takes to support its members with the application of the standards. The CoA RK should also work with educational providers to ensure that initial professional development syllabi and courses, as well as education and exam materials, include up-to-date ISA-related topics. The chamber is also encouraged to establish ongoing processes to ensure that the new and revised ISA are applicable in the Republic of Kazakhstan as they become available. In particular, plans need to be developed to adopt the 2016 IAASB Handbook, which contains the revised Auditor Reporting standards.
SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
As an accredited organization for auditors, the CoA RK is required by law to adopt a Code of Ethics for its members and has adopted the 2010 IESBA Code for application by its members. In its 2017 SMO Action Plan the chamber reports that it is in the process of adopting the 2015 version of the IESBA Code.
To support its members with the application of the Code, the chamber delivers related seminars and monitors compliance with the Code in order to conduct investigations and take disciplinary actions when necessary. No other activities have been reported.
The chamber is encouraged to indicate in its SMO Action Plan the legal and regulatory framework underlying ethical requirements for professional accountings in the jurisdiction as well as activities it undertakes to assist its members with the implementation of the code of ethics (e.g., CPD courses, trainings and development of implementation guidance). In addition, the chamber is encouraged to consider working with other professional accounting and auditing organizations to promote the adoption of the IESBA Code of Ethics at the national level and to jointly participate in the international standard-setting process through the provision of comments on exposure Drafts and other pronouncements issued by IESBA.
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
The CoA RK, with no direct responsibility for the adoption of public sector accounting standards, reports that it supported the adoption of IPSAS by participating in the consultative process and, now that IPSAS have been adopted, plans to facilitate the implementation of the international standards in Kazakhstan by participating in seminars and contributing to the dialogue on implementation with the Ministry of Finance. No specific activities have been indicated, however.
The Chamber is encouraged to indicate in its SMO Action Plan the legal and regulatory framework for public sector accounting in the jurisdiction and to consider, if deemed pertinent and relevant, developing plans with a timeframe that outline how it can support implementation of IPSAS in the Republic of Kazakhstan.
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
The CoA RK is responsible for maintaining an I&D system for its members under the Law on Audit Activity. In its 2017 SMO Action Pan, the CoA RK indicates that it has established a Disputes Committee, which reviews requests and complaints by third parties on the actions of its members. According to the self-assessment of the I&D system against the requirements of SMO 6 conducted by the chamber in 2017, its I&D system fully complies with SMO 6. No further information on the functioning on the system or activities undertaken in this area have been provided.
In its SMO Action Plan, CoA RK indicates that there is a need to create a public oversight system, which, in addition to other functions, would administer an efficient system of investigation and adoption of sanctions for detecting, correcting and prevention of inadequate performance of mandatory audit checks. However, no specific activities aimed at promoting the establishment of such a system have been indicated.
During the next round of updates of its SMO Action Plan, the chamber is encouraged to provide information on the legal and regulatory framework underlying investigation and discipline of all professional accountants in the jurisdiction, clarify the role of other stakeholders in the process, and provide information on its I&D system in support of its statement on full compliance with SMO 6. Moreover, in light of the review of the existing arrangements for the regulation of the profession, the chamber should consider promoting establishing an SMO 6-compliant I&D system at the jurisdiction level and to this effect should consider its role in the process.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
The Chamber, with no responsibility for corporate sector accounting standard-setting, reports that it supports the overall adoption and implementation of IFRS and IFRS for SMEs in the Kazakhstan. It states that it participated in the public consultation process on adoption of accounting standards, and promoted and raised awareness of the standards through the seminars and other learning events that it hosted. Now that the international standards have been adopted for application in Kazakhstan, the chamber reports that it assists its members to better understand IFRS and IFRS for SMEs by organizing seminars and working with universities to include the standards in the curriculum. No specific activities have been indicated, however.
The chamber is encouraged to provide an update in its SMO Action Plan on the execution of its proposed actions to comply with SMO 7 by providing specific examples of the activities it is undertaking or planning to undertake.
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