Colegio de Auditores de Bolivia
Member | Established: 1989 | Member since 1993
The CAUB, established in 1989 and ratified by Supreme Resolution Nº 209343 in 1991, unites auditors and accountants and is composed of nine departmental Colegios in the country. Membership in CAUB is required only for statutory auditors providing services for the public sector and regulated entities. The CAUB promotes the adoption and implementation of international standards, develops training activities, establishes ethical standards, investigates, and disciplines its members, and promotes improvements to professional practices.
In addition to being an IFAC Member, the CAUB is a member of the Inter-American Accounting Association (AIC), the Group of Latin American Accounting Standard Setters, and the Committee of Integration for Latin Europe and America.
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
Although the CAUB has no legal authority to establish a mandatory quality assurance (QA) review system, the CAUB has been working to operationalize a voluntary QA review system for its members and proactively adopted ISA by reference as issued by the IAASB, including the ISQC 1 and ISA 220 through the Resolution 001/2015 and in 2020, through Resolution No. 02/2020 confirmed that the new suite of IAASB Quality Management standards would become effective in December 2022.
In 2012, the CAUB established a voluntary QA system for its members, executed numerous steps to promote the QA review system and communicate with stakeholders and members, and created a CAUB’s Quality Control Review Committee. Subsequently, it launched a pilot review with four firms participating on a voluntary basis in 2013 that has increased to five firms as of 2022. The CAUB states that a lack of support and coordination from the regulators and resistance by its members and firms to participate in the QA review system are significant challenges that the institute is facing to progress further with the implementation of its QA review system.
Nonetheless, since 2016, the CAUB has pursued and held multiple meetings with regulators—the Authority for Fiscal and Social Control of Businesses, the Authority of the Financial System Supervision (ASFI) and the General Comptroller of the State—to raise awareness about the need for a QA system and relevant standards. As a result of these activities, the ASFI did adopt ISA and ISQC 1 as the mandatory standards that audit firms authorized to audit companies under its control must apply.
To overcome challenges and support its members’ understanding of the value of QA reviews, the CAUB has developed Train the Trainers workshops in each of the country’s provinces where it has branch offices to better disseminate information about the system nationwide; issued a Quality Control Manual; and collaborated with the Inter-American Accounting Association to develop training activities on Quality Control for Small- and Medium-Sized Practices. In addition, the CAUB shares information on quality control standards to its members and stakeholders on an ongoing basis.
As of 2022, the CAUB reports it is focusing its efforts on providing training activities and preparing members for the new IAASB Quality Management standards.
The CAUB has undertaken several commendable actions to drive the adoption and implementation of a QA system for all auditors that aligns with the SMO 1 requirements. During the next round of its Action Plan update, the CAUB should include specific actions and plans it has to increase the number of firms participating in the voluntary QA system, ensuring audit quality in the jurisdiction. To advance adoption at the jurisdiction level, the CAUB is also encouraged to continue its engagement with other stakeholders that regulate auditors to develop a unified, mandatory QA review system in line with SMO 1 requirements.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
In accordance with the Law 3911 of 1957 professional accountants are required to have a university degree in accounting to practice the profession. The Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance, universities, and regulators all have a role in implementing initial professional development requirements for professional accountants. However, only a minimal portion of the IES requirements appear to be adopted into national requirements, such as some initial educational and practical experience requirements for auditors of certain entities.
The CAUB indicates that its activities primarily include actions to promote the adoption and implementation of IES requirements to the regulators. Accordingly, the CAUB has signed an inter-institutional cooperation agreement with several universities and is working with the Executive Committee of the Bolivian University to promote the incorporation of updated IES requirements into the professional curricula.
As part of a Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN) project, the CAUB hired a consultant in 2012 to assess the accounting curricula against the IES requirements to develop a curricula model for students in the jurisdiction. The consultancy culminated in a document that outlined a curricula model and was shared with the universities. Since 2013, CAUB has been monitoring the progress of the universities in updating the professional curricula by conducting meetings with each of the universities and developing seminars and conferences to inform university instructors about the latest IES. To date, 12 public universities and 15 private universities have included IFRS and ISA in their curricula. Despite CAUB’s best efforts, the universities’ autonomy over the accounting curricula means that it is ultimately their decision to progress with the initiative in a timely manner.
Under the FOMIN project, the consultant was also responsible for designing a voluntary certification program that included a final assessment, practical experience requirements, and continuing professional development (CPD) obligations for CAUB members. However, aside from a general statement, no specific activities have been indicated, although CAUB notes it has been promoting voluntarily professional certifications in IFRS and ISA as means to offer CPD.
In the first instance, the CAUB is encouraged to adopt specific CPD requirements for its members – especially auditors that must join the association and audit specific entities. Secondly, the CAUB is encouraged to continue collaborating with regulators and universities, specifically with the Supervisory Authority of the Financial System and the Supervisory Authority of Pensions and Insurance that have practical experience requirements for external auditors, to promote and support the adoption and implementation of all IES requirements, which would include a final assessment and CPD requirements. The CAUB can refer to examples in the region for best practices and learnings on how to adopt the IES with limited legal authority; for example, a voluntary certification aligned with the IES and a university accreditation system.
The latest IES standards reflect the need for competency-based approaches as well as the increasing demand for accountants skilled in information and communications technologies and place further emphasis on professional skepticism skills and behaviors. These apply to both aspiring and professional accountants. The Accountancy Education E-Tool and the IES Checklist developed by IFAC & available in Spanish may be useful and the CAUB should review these available tools as part of its work plan to advocate for IES adoption.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
The CAUB is not legally responsible for the final adoption of auditing standards in Bolivia, but it does play an important role in the standard-setting process through its National Technical Board of Auditors and Accountants (CTNAC). The CTNAC is a technical board of the CAUB, which was delegated the responsibility as the auditing standard-setter by the Authority for Fiscal and Social Control of Businesses (AEMP). However, the AEMP must ultimately approve and issue the standards through an official Administrative Resolution. In addition, the Supervisory Authority of the Financial System (ASFI) and the Supervisory Authority of Pensions and Insurance (APS) have authority to set auditing standards for audits of the regulated entities under its purview.
The CAUB, through CTNAC, has been engaged in a series of convergence projects since 2008. In 2008, the AEMP approved Bolivian Auditing Standards issued by CTNAC which were based on the 2008 ISA as translated by the Instituto Mexicano de Contadores Públicos. Subsequently, in 2015, CTNAC issued Resolution 001/2015 adopting by reference ISA as issued by the IAASB for application in the jurisdiction in the absence of any other national technical pronouncements in the area even though these were legally only viewed as guidelines. In 2021, the AEMP approved the CTNAC standards by the Administrative Resolution AEMP No. 009/2021, aligning Bolivia with international best practices. The CAUB dedicated over 13 years of steadfast advocacy, education, and outreach efforts amongst multiple stakeholders to have the AEMP to endorse the updated standards.
Additionally, since 2016, the CAUB has held meetings with relevant regulators—the Authority for Fiscal and Social Control of Businesses (AEMP) and the Authority of the Financial System Supervision (ASFI)—to raise awareness about the ISA. As a result of these activities, the ASFI has included ISA as applicable standards audits of companies under its control since 2019.
The CAUB supports early understanding of ISA by disseminating ISA-related materials to the universities to encourage its incorporation in the accountancy curricula. Additionally, to support its members, the CAUB provides trainings on ISA on an ongoing basis through conferences and seminars; offers a voluntary ISA certification program; and disseminates information on the standards and international developments in this area through printed materials and its website. In addition, the CAUB has stated plans to develop and disseminate guidelines on ISA implementation.
Finally, the CAUB participates in the international standard-setting process by coordinating with other member organizations in the region to send comments to exposure drafts to the IAASB through the Inter-American Accounting Association (AIC) and contributes to regional initiatives that aim to produce a single, unified, high-quality Spanish translation.
SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
In Bolivia, professional accountants are subject to ethical requirements set in Law 3911 of 1957 and may become subject to additional ethical requirements by voluntarily joining a professional accountancy organization (PAO). The CAUB, as one of the Bolivian PAOs, has established an Ethics Council that is responsible for setting and updating the ethical requirements and ensuring compliance with the among its members—which include auditors on a mandatory basis and other professionals that join on a voluntary basis. Having previously adopted the 2009 IESBA Code then 2014 Code, in 2021, the CAUB adopted the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants by reference and as issued by the IESBA for application in the jurisdiction.
The CAUB provides trainings on the IESBA Code on an ongoing basis through conferences and seminars; disseminates information on the standards and international developments in this area through printed materials and its website; and contributes to regional initiatives that aim to produce a single, unified, high-quality Spanish translation.
Additionally, the CAUB reports that since 2013 it has been encouraging universities to incorporate the Code of Ethics into accounting curricula. Its engagements with universities on this topic have been well-received.
The CAUB is encouraged to support the effective implementation of the 2021 version of the International Code of Ethics, which differs from the 2018 & 2020 Handbook by including revisions to Part 4B and Parts 1 & 2 on the role and mindset of professional accountants that became effective December 2021. The 2021 Handbook also includes approved revisions that will become effective in December 2022, such as: revisions to non-assurance services, fees, and objectivity of an engagement quality reviewer. In addition, the CAUB is encouraged to include actions to promote the need to adopt the IESBA Code of Ethics for all professional accountants to relevant authorities and stakeholders
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
The Controller General is the entity legally responsible for public sector accounting standards. The Controller General has developed national standards that are on a partial accrual-basis. According to the IFAC/CIPFA International Public Sector Financial Accountability Index 2020, by 2025 national standards will be on an accrual basis with reference to the IPSAS.
The CAUB reports that this is the SMO area with the least progress in its compliance in Bolivia due to the lack of political will of the authorities and government regulators. However, the CAUB continues to use its best endeavors to promote the adoption of IPSAS by contributing to the Controller General’s activities in this area.
Since 2012, the CAUB has facilitated Controller General representatives’ participation in the Conference Accounting and Accountability for Regional Economic Growth (CReCER) to increase their knowledge and awareness of IPSAS. While this has improved relationships and communication channels, the Controller General has not indicated plans to adopt IPSAS. The CAUB reports that during these events, it has proposed a signed agreement between the two organizations to adopt IPSAS, but no agreement was reached during this time.
Subsequently, in 2014–2015, the CAUB reports that it delegated a technical staff person responsible for coordinating education and training on IPSAS with the Controller. In 2017, because of several years of engagement, the CAUB was able to sign a cooperation agreement with the Controller General to raise awareness of international developments, promote IPSAS, coordinate institutional activities, and develop strategies to strengthen the audit services of auditors for regulated companies.
The institute also states that it electronically distributes recent developments and revised standards issued by the IPSASB. The current IPSAS Handbook, published in Spanish on the IPSASB website, is shared with all professional accountants in Bolivia.
Given the nature of its mandate, membership composition, and the legal and regulatory environment, CAUB has demonstrated it is using its best endeavors to fulfill the SMO 5 requirements
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
The CAUB is responsible for establishing and operating an investigative and disciplinary (I&D) system for its members, including auditors on a mandatory basis and other professionals who join on a voluntary basis. The CAUB indicates that it has an Ethics Council authorized to investigate and discipline CAUB members. In addition, the CAUB has nine departmental colegios within each of the nine provinces of Bolivia. Each branch has an Ethic Tribunal responsible for the I&D of members of their respective branch. The CAUB reports that its I&D system and its branches’ I&D systems have been fully aligned with the SMO 6 requirements since 2020.
In 2014, the CAUB assessed its I&D policies and processes against the requirements of SMO 6 and acknowledged there were gaps in compliance. Based on this assessment, the CAUB developed a project to reform its bylaws and regulations in order establish and I&D system in line with the requirements of SMO 6. The project was approved by the Council in 2017. In 2020, the CAUB achieved the significant milestone of the approval and legal recognition of its organic statute and updated internal regulations through Ministerial Resolution No. 161/20, issued by the Ministry of the Presidency of Bolivia, allowing CAUB to address gaps and bring its enforcement system in line with international best practices.
The CAUB has carried out a series of training activities with its members to promote the new requirements, including I&D and Ethics dedicated sections.
I&D procedures that meet the SMO 6 benchmark are foundational to maintaining public trust and confidence in the profession. The CAUB achieved this milestone in 2020. It is essential for CAUB to continue the socialization of the changes amongst members, and communication with regulators, specifically with the Supervisory Authority of the Financial System and the Supervisory Authority of Pensions and Insurance. Giving visibility to the changes on its website would also be helpful for members and the public. Given its experience in gap analysis and actioning improvements to its I&D system, the CAUB is also encouraged to consider collaborating with the Colegio de Contadores Públicos de Bolivia to ensure that its I&D system is aligned with best practices as part of progressing the jurisdiction’s adoption of SMO 6.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
Although the Authority for Fiscal and Social Control of Businesses (AEMP) is legally responsible for the final approval and issuance of accounting standards, the CAUB actively participates and contributes to the standard-setting process through its National Technical Board of Auditors and Accountants (CTNAC) which was delegated standard drafting and setting responsibilities from the AEMP. In 2012, the CTNAC issued Resolution 002/2012 adopting IFRS as issued by the IASB for application in the jurisdiction. In 2021, the AEMP approved the CTNAC standards by the Administrative Resolution AEMP No. 009/2021. The CAUB dedicated over 13 years of steadfast advocacy, education, and outreach efforts amongst multiple stakeholders to have the AEMP to adopt the updated standards.
In the meantime, CAUB has been supporting implementation of the standards as well. It has trained its members on the application of the standards and distributes the IFRS and IFRS for SMEs digitally. Additionally, the CAUB promotes the application and understanding of the standards by disseminating IFRS and IFRS for SMEs-related materials to the universities to encourage its incorporation in the accounting curricula and offers the Inter-American Accounting Association’s IFRS for SMEs certification. The certification has been well-received by professionals with more than 600 CAUB members have been certified since 2013.
Furthermore, the CAUB is a member of the Latin American Accounting Standard Setters Group and participates in the international standard-setting process by providing comments to exposure drafts on a regional level. In addition, the CAUB actively participates in the IFRS Foundation Spanish translation review committee.
The CAUB is encouraged engage regulators and stakeholders to promote the adoption and implementation of IFRS for SMEs.
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