Colegio de Contadores, Economistas y Administradores del Uruguay
Member | Established: 1893 | Member since 1977
The CCEAU is a voluntary association comprised of accountants, economists, and business administration professionals in Uruguay. There are also state and provincial level professional associations affiliated with the CCEAU.
The CCEAU, the oldest accounting association in South America, provides training on accounting and auditing standards, sets ethical requirements for its members, represents and promotes the accounting profession and is recognized as a technical resource and a contributor to accounting and auditing standard-setting in Uruguay. In addition, the CCEAU investigates and disciplines its members in cases of misconduct.
In addition to being an IFAC Member, the CCEAU is a member of the Inter-American Accounting Association and the Group of Latin American Accounting Standard Setters.
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 CCEAU has no legal authority or responsibility to establish a mandatory quality assurance (QA) review system for all audits and states it has experienced challenges in establishing its own system due this lack of legal authority and resistance from firms to participate in a voluntary system. In light of this, the CCEAU has reported plans to promote the establishment of a national QA review system to the Central Bank of the Republic, which regulates the financial sector, and reports to be seeking external assistance to develop and implement a QA review system.
In the interim, the CCEAU states that it plans to create an Internal Quality Committee that would be responsible for issuing guidelines and regulation to implement a QA review system, providing training activities, and disseminating information on relevant standards. Furthermore, the CCEAU report it is coordinating its activities with the Inter-American Accounting Association to support the process. The CCEAU has adopted ISA 220 and ISQC 1 for application by its members through the Pronouncement No. 18 in 2010 as one way to enhance the quality of work by its members.
The CCEAU is encouraged to establish specific plans in its SMO Action Plan to promote and support the development of a mandatory QA review system that is aligned with the SMO 1 requirements at the jurisdiction level for all audits. These actions may include working with the regulators and other relevant organizations to introduce a QA system.
During the next round of its Action Plan update, the CCEAU is encouraged to provide specific examples of training activates on quality control standards, and indication on meetings with the Central Bank of the Republic to promote the adoption and implementation of a mandatory QA review system.
- SMO 2: International Education Standards
In Uruguay, the Ministry of Education (MoE), universities and the Central Bank of the Republic (BCU) have roles in implementing initial professional development requirements for professional accountants, which are established in Decree No. 103 of 1991 and include a university degree in accounting and registering with the MoE. Given the CCEAU’s lack of authority to adopt IES requirements into the national educational programs or its membership requirements, its activities primarily include actions to promote the adoption and implementation of IES requirements to the regulators.
The CCEAU states that it collaborates with the universities to assess the current accounting curricula against the IES requirements with the objective of developing a curricula model for students in the jurisdiction. For this purpose, the CCEAU created a University Matters Committee, which has signed agreements with several national universities to provide academic support to courses taught at CCEAU. Furthermore, the CCEAU reports that it has sought assistance from international organizations to promote the IES to universities, specifically around curriculum content.
The CCEAU notes it is well-aware of the need to establish continuing professional development (CPD) requirements as part of best practices for the profession. The CCEAU does note that many of its members already do participate in trainings and courses to receive updated information on professional practices and standards. However, it has not been able to establish mandatory CPD obligations for its members due to the voluntary nature of its membership as well as the cost of such a system. Nevertheless, the CCEAU offer voluntary CPD for its members.
The CCEAU is encouraged to establish plans in its SMO Action Plan that explain how it intends to promote and support the adoption of the IES requirements to the regulators and government with defined timelines. Along these lines, the CCEAU could consider reviewing and identifying the gaps, and developing a roadmap for bringing national educational requirements for all professional accountants in line with IES—especially in light of the revised IES. The CCEAU could also consider promoting and sharing the IES requirements to the Central Bank of the Republic, which has registration requirements for external auditors.
Lastly, the CCEAU is encouraged to establish dissemination mechanisms to distribute information regarding recent developments and revisions issued by the IAESB to relevant stakeholders.
- SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
Auditing standards are not specified in law and although the CCEAU is not legally responsible for the adoption of auditing standards in Uruguay, it has become the de facto audit standard-setter for all audits aside from audits of entities supervised by the Central Bank of the Republic (BCU). In 2010, the CCEAU adopted ISA by reference as a self-regulatory requirement for members; however, its resolution lack legal backing and ISA are mainly viewed as guidelines by practicing auditors.
The CCEAU reports that it monitors new and amended standards issued by the IAASB, has ongoing processes in place to disseminate information on new and modified IAASB pronouncements, and provides training activities.
The CCEAU is encouraged to develop plans to promote to the government the need for the legally binding, mandatory application of the ISA for all audit of financial statements in Uruguay. The CCEAU should update the SMO Action Plan following staff guidance and indicate specific ways it is working and collaborating with regulators to facilitate the ISA implementation.
The CCEAU is also encouraged to develop technical guidance to support its members with the implementation of ISA. In addition, the CCEAU is encouraged to review the new auditor reporting standards, effective as of December 2016, and consider promoting their adoption to the BCU and incorporate the standards into the CCEAU’s resolution. Additionally, it would be beneficial for CCEAU members to receive training and technical guidance on the new standards.
Lastly, if deemed feasible, it would be beneficial for the CCEAU to participate in the international standard-setting process by providing comments on exposure drafts and other IAASB pronouncements.
- SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
The CCEAU is responsible for setting ethical requirements for its members and has established an Ethics Commission which adopted the 2009 IESBA Code of Ethics.
The CCEAU indicates that it has processes in place to disseminate information about the Code and has also included the IESBA Code of Ethics in its training programs.
The CCEAU is encouraged to include specific actions in its SMO Action Plan about processes it has in place to consider and incorporate amendments issued by the IESBA to its adopted Code of Ethics and could also consider including specific examples of ethics-related training it offers. The CCEAU is also encouraged to review the 2016 IESBA Code and the new NOCLAR standard—a significant, international ethics standard for auditors and other professional accountants that became effective in July 2017—in order to incorporate the new standard into its ethical requirements, promote the adoption by the Central Bank of the Republic and establish implementation support activities around NOCLAR.
The CCEAU is also encouraged to develop plans to promote to the government the need for the legally binding, mandatory application of the IESBA Code of Ethics for all public accountants in Uruguay. In addition, if deemed feasible and relevant, it would be beneficial for the CCEAU to participate in the international standard-setting process by providing comments on exposure drafts and other IESBA pronouncements.
- SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
The CCEAU is not responsible for setting public sector accounting standards and reports that it has limited influence on the decisions concerning the adoption and implementation of public accounting standards with the Court of Accounts (TCR)—the governmental organization responsible for adopting the standards. The TCR has adopted the 2003 version of IPSAS.
To raise awareness about the benefits of IPSAS and the need for adoption of updated versions, the CCEAU notes that it has organized a committee to maintain a relationship with the relevant regulators.
Additionally, the CCEAU indicates that it has established dissemination mechanisms to distribute information regarding IPSAS amongst its members and public sector institutions and is considering further opportunities to assist in the implementation of IPSAS.
However, as of the date of the assessment, no specific actions or achievements in regards to the abovementioned activities were reported by the CCEAU and require more updated information.
The CCEAU is encouraged to provide further clarification about the scope of application, and translation of the IPSAS being applied. If a translated version of IPSAS is being utilized, the CCEAU is encouraged to ensure the Court of Accounts has the proper policy agreements in place with IFAC to reproduce the IPSAS. Please see the policies here.
In addition, the CCEAU is encouraged to outline the specific activities it is carrying out to promote the adoption of an updated version of IPSAS and support the implementation of the standards in Uruguay. For example, the CCEAU could indicate if it provides trainings on IPSAS for its members that work in the public sector and if it has engaged with universities to incorporate the standards into accounting education curriculum.
- SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
The CCEAU is responsible for establishing and operating an investigative and disciplinary (I&D) system for its members and has established and implemented I&D procedures accordingly.
The CCEAU‘s Ethics Commission is elected by the General Assembly and is responsible for both the investigative and disciplinary processes of the institute after receiving complaints about misconduct. In 2013, the Commission processed eight cases. As part of the assessment process, updated statistics on the number of cases heard by the Commission have been requested. The Ethics Commission reportedly develops an annual guide of applicable sanctions in efforts to dissuade non-compliance with standards and provide recommendations on how sanctions can be made more effective.
The CCEAU conducted an assessment of its I&D policies and processes against the requirements of SMO 6 and has identified the main gaps, such as members of the I&D committee do not include non-accountants, and limited disciplinary availability, to impose penalties like loss of professional designation or restriction and removal of practicing rights, among others.
In addition, CCEAU states that it has established dissemination mechanisms to inform the public about the I&D system.
During the next submission of its Action Plan, it is recommended that the CCEAU develop and include a plan to address the existing gaps of its I&D policies based on the comparison against the requirements of SMO 6.
Additionally, given that some professional accountants are subject to the I&D mechanisms carried out by the Central Bank of the Republic (BCU), the CCEAU could also consider creating plans to promote and support the adoption of a national I&D system that is line with the best practices of SMO 6.
- SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
Although the Permanent Commission of Adequate Accounting Standards (CPNCA) within the Ministry of Economy and Finance is responsible for the adoption of corporate accounting standards, the CCEAU actively participates and contributes to the standard-setting process as the primary technical resource for the CPNCA. The association nominates members to sit on the Commission and played a key role in driving the legislative reform that adopted IFRS for application by public interest entities in 2010 and IFRS for Small- and Medium-sized Entities (SMEs) in 2014 within the country.
The CCEAU indicates that it supports its members’ implementation of the standards by providing training activities on both IFRS and IFRS for SMEs, monitoring and disseminating information on the international developments in this area, and offering the Inter-American Accounting Association IFRS for SMEs certification. In addition, the CCEAU details that it organizes forums and dialogues with relevant stakeholders, such as Business Chambers, the Central Bank of the Republic, and universities to discuss the implementation of IFRS.
Lastly, the CCEAU is a member of Latin American Accounting Standard Setters Group (GLENIF) and participates in the international standard-setting process by providing comments to exposure drafts which are collated through GLENIF at a regional level.
The CCEAU is encouraged to develop technical guidance to support its members with the implementation of IFRS and IFRS for SMEs.
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.