Colegio de Contadores Públicos de Nicaragua
Member | Established: 1959 | Member since 1998
The CCPN, established by the Law on the Practice of Public Accounting, Law No. 6 of April 14, 1959, is the only institution legally recognized as the representative body of the accounting profession in Nicaragua. Its membership is comprised of public accountants and authorized public accountants (CPAs) It is authorized to carry out certain regulatory responsibilities such as: (i) establishing initial professional development and continuing professional development requirements for CPAs; (ii) setting accounting, auditing, ethical, and other professional standards for its members; (iii) monitoring its members’ compliance with the ethical requirements; (iv) carrying out investigative and disciplinary procedures; (v) maintaining a registry of accountancy professionals; (vi) providing training programs for its members; and (vii) promoting improvements to the profession.
In addition to being an IFAC Member, the CCPN is a member of the Inter-American Accounting Association.
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 the absence of a legally required and operational quality assurance (QA) review system, the CCPN indicates it is pursuing plans to support the establishment and implementation of a mandatory QA review system.
To achieve this, the CCPN has first and foremost adopted ISQC 1 and ISA 220 for application by its members. To support implementation of the standards, the CCPN has developed training activities and guidelines for its members. It has subsequently signed an agreement of cooperation with the Conseil Supérieur de l'Ordre des Experts Comptables (CNCC-CSOEC) which would support the design and implementation of a QA review system in line with the SMO 1 requirements for all audit firms registered with and authorized by the CCPN. However, in 2018 the CCPN reported that due its own internal restructuring it had to suspend the agreement. The CCPN also indicates it meets with other professional accountancy organizations in the region that have successfully established QA review systems in order to learn lessons and experiences that can support the future Nicaraguan assurance mechanism.
Additionally, the CCPN reports that it engages with the Superintendence of Banks and Other Financial Institutions (SIBOIF) to promote and support the establishment of a mandatory QA system at the jurisdiction level, and has invited the SIBOIF to participate in its SMO Compliance Committee.
The CCPN is strongly encouraged to provide an update on its own initiative to establish and implement a mandatory QA review system for its members. The CCPN is encouraged to include in its SMO Action Plan the timeline and strategic plan with the actions it will undertake to fulfill its mandate. In addition, the CCPN should provide an update on its activities with the Superintendence of Banks and Other Financial Institutions (SIBOIF) to promote and support the establishment of a mandatory QA system at the jurisdiction level.
- SMO 2: International Education Standards
In Nicaragua, the Ministry of Education (MoE), universities, and the CCPN have a role in setting initial professional development (IPD) and continuing professional development (CPD) requirements for professional accountants; however, CCPN indicates that it has limited authority to incorporate the requirements of IES into national requirements and is only legally capable and responsible for establishing requirements for its members.
In order to practice as an auditor, the MoE has recognized the CCPN membership classification and designation of authorized public accountant (CPA) for which the CCPN has established IPD requirements. To qualify as a CPA, individuals need to have a university degree in accountancy, five years’ practical experience, to pass an entry competence exam, and receive a registration approval from the MoE. The CCPN has also issues another certification of public accountant (PA). The PA designation only requires a university accounting degree. However, the CCPN has established mandatory CPD requirements for all members.
Given that the CCPN is only legally capable and responsible for regulations related to its membership requirements, its activities outside its membership primarily include raising the government’s awareness about IES requirements and collaborating with universities to incorporate the IES into accountancy curriculum.
The CCPN indicates that it has proposed a new Law on the Accounting Profession and submitted the draft to the National Assembly of Nicaragua. The law seeks to further align national educational requirements with the IES requirements for all professional accountants; however, the CCPN’s envisioned timeline for the law’s approval from the National Assembly is unclear. In the meantime, the CCPN reports it is working with the Curriculum Commission of the Technical Secretary of the National Board of Universities and the Associations of Private Universities, as well as with other relevant stakeholders, in order to promote the incorporation of revised IES requirements into the professional curricula. For example, the CCPN states that it has established an annual National Teachers' Congress to promote the IES and is undertaking an assessment of current accounting curricula against the IES requirements with the objective of developing a common accounting curricula for the jurisdiction that aligns with the IES requirements. The final report is expected by end of 2019 and would include a proposal for enhancing the curriculum.
Additionally, the CCPN engages with other professional accountancy organizations in the region (i.e. Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and Chile) regarding educational requirements, to learn about their experiences in developing and implementing professional examinations and certifications. From these dialogues, in 2018 the CCPN plans to sign cooperation agreements with the Mexican PAO and the Specialized University of the Authorized Public Accountant of Panama to further strengthen the educational programming offered to candidates.
The CCPN is encouraged to clarify the version of IES requirements that are currently implemented for authorized public accountant (CPA) and if it is an older version (pre-2015), the CCPN is encouraged to report on initiatives it might be undertaking to incorporate the revised IES requirements, which emphasize a learning-outcomes approach. In addition, the CCPN is encouraged to monitor international developments and disseminate them to its membership and key stakeholders such as universities.
In addition, the CCPN is also encouraged to provide a status update on the proposed new Law on the Accounting Profession to further align national educational requirements with the revised IES requirements for all professional accountants.
- SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
The CCPN is responsible for the adoption of auditing standards for its members—which include all auditors in the jurisdiction—and it has adopted the Spanish translations of ISA since 2004, and the Superintendence of Banks and Other Financial Institutions (SIBOIF) is responsible for setting auditing standards for regulated entities, which include listed companies, banks, and insurance companies, and has required the application of currently effective ISA as issued by the IAASB.
The CCPN has established a Standards Committee that is responsible for monitoring new and amended standards issued by the IAASB, and disseminating new information on the standards and international developments in the area through printed materials and its website.
To facilitate its members’ implementation of the standards, the CCPN provides training activities and it anticipates offering more than 120 hours of trainings on ISA from 2016–2018, including on the new auditor’s report, not only in Managua but also in different regions of the country through its traveling delegation of trainers. In addition, CCPN states that it maintains a dialogue and will host forums with relevant stakeholder representatives, such as the business community, the Superintendence of Banks and Other Financial Institutions (SIBOIF), universities and the Tax Authority, when proposing the official recognition of CCPN’s role as technical body responsible for setting auditing standards for all mandatory audits.
If deemed feasible and relevant, it would be beneficial for the CCPN, 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 CCPN is responsible for setting ethical requirements for its members and has adopted a Code of Ethics based on the 2009 IESBA Code of Ethics. The CCPN has established a Standards Committee that is responsible for monitoring new and amended standards issued by the IESBA, and disseminating new information on the standards and related international developments in the area through printed materials and its website. The CCPN reports, that in 2017 it has updated its Code of Ethics, which included a public consultation with the government and regulators; however, it remains unclear if its updated Code of Ethics is aligned with the most recent version of the IESBA Code of Ethics. The CCPN indicates it monitors new and amended standards issued by the IESBA, and plans to incorporate the new standard into ethical requirements as part of its convergence procedures.
To support members’ implementation of the Code, the CCPN indicates it carries out various activities such as training forums and seminars.
During the next update, the CCPN is encouraged to report its progress in aligning its ethical requirements with the latest version of the IESBA Code of Ethics, especially given the significant changes within the 2016 and 2018 IESBA Code of Ethics. In addition, the CCPN is encouraged to include details in its SMO Action Plan about plans it may have in place to promote the importance of adopting the IESBA Code of Ethics for all professional accountants in the jurisdiction to relevant authorities and stakeholders.
- SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
In Nicaragua, the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (MoF)—the governmental agency responsible for adopting public sector accounting standards—has adopted Nicaraguan Generally Accepted Accounting Principles that are not based on IPSAS. The CCPN reports that, while it has no direct responsibility in this standard-setting area, it uses its best endeavors to promote the adoption of IPSAS to the government.
Since 2016, the CCPN indicates that it has been disseminating information regarding recent developments and standards issued by the IPSASB. Furthermore, the institute reports it has developed a training plan on IPSAS and provided seminars on IPSAS for its members and MoF officials. The CCPN, also indicates it has participated in meetings with World Bank representatives to contribute to a project that aims to foster financial management reform in Nicaragua.
In addition, the CCPN has stated plans to research IPSAS adoption in the region with the objective of reporting these experiences back to the MoF to further raise awareness on the subject.
The CCPN is encouraged to further consider how it may be able to proactively provide technical, advocacy, and other forms of support to the MoF to enhance public financial management in the jurisdiction.
- SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
In accordance with its founding legislation, the CCPN is responsible for establishing and operating an investigative and disciplinary (I&D) system for its members. The institute has established an Honor Tribunal that is responsible for carrying out the I&D procedures of the CCPN.
While some components of the SMO 6 requirements seem to have been incorporated into the I&D system—for example, means of initiating an investigation, applicable sanctions, and separated investigation and disciplinary committees—the full extent of fulfillment with the SMO 6 requirements requires further clarification. In 2018, the CCPN has self-assessed its I&D system and the requirements of the SMO 6 and plans to address any identified gaps by 2019.
During the next update, the CCPN is encouraged to report on its progress in aligning its I&D policies and processes against the requirements of SMO 6. The CCPN is encouraged to consider how it may promote the need to establish and implement an I&D system for all professional accountants in the jurisdiction to relevant authorities and stakeholders. Any actions it is undertaking around this initiative should be added to its SMO Action Plan.
- SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
Nicaragua does not have legally binding corporate financial reporting standards. However, in practice the CCPN, is empowered by the Law on the Practice of Public Accounting, Law No. 6 of April 14, 1959 to set corporate accounting standards for its members and the Superintendence of Banks and Other Financial Institutions requires the application of IFRS for all regulated companies, effective as of January 1, 2019.
The CCPN has adopted the Spanish translations of IFRS and IFRS for Small- and Medium-sized Entities (SMEs) as issued by the IFRS Foundation since 2011.
As part of its activities to promote the legal, uniform adoption of IFRS and IFRS for SMEs for all companies, the CCPN reports that it maintains a dialogue with key stakeholder representatives such as those from the business community, the SIBOFI, universities, and the tax authority.
In this regard, a World Bank-funded project is being implemented by the Government of Nicaragua to develop a new Commercial Code. In October 2014, the CCPN proposed the application of the IFRS as national standards and that the role of CCPN as a technical body responsible for regulating all the accountancy profession be formalized in the law. In 2015, the proposed Commercial Code was submitted by the Government of Nicaragua to the National Assembly for approval, however, as of 2018, the Commercial Code has not been approved by the National Assembly.
Finally, as part of overseeing the implementation of the standards by its members, the CCPN has established an Accounting Standards Committee that is responsible for monitoring new and amended standards issued by the IASB, and disseminating information on updates to the standards and international developments in the area through printed materials and its website. In addition, the CCPN has offered seminars and trainings to support its members with standards’ implementation.
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