Colegio Hondureño de Profesionales Universitarios en Contaduría Pública
Associate | Established: 1966 | Associate since 2019
The COHPUCP was founded in accordance with Decree No. 19 of 1993 and is the professional body for public accountants. The COHPUCP is responsible for representing public accountants to the government, regulators, and universities; setting ethical standards and I&D procedures for its members; and organizing continuing professional development activities for its members. In addition, COHPUCP also participates in the standard-setting process through its representation in the Accounting and Auditing Standards Technical Board.
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 Honduras, there is no legal requirement for a mandatory quality assurance (QA) review system; however, the COHPUCP, as the professional accountancy organization for public accountants, has developed regulations establishing a voluntary QA review system for its members with support from the Inter-American Development Bank. COHPUCP continues to collaborate with key stakeholders in the profession such as Accounting and Auditing Standards Technical Board (JUNTEC), the Colegio de Peritos Mercantiles y Contadores Públicos de Honduras (CPMCPH), and the Association of Audit Firms of Honduras (AFAH)—an organization composed solely of audit firms. For example, beginning in 2017, in collaboration with CPMCPH, the organization has advocated that the JUNTEC adopt a concrete plan to create a mandatory QA review system and adopt ISQC 1. The association has an ongoing collaboration with JUNTEC as COHPUCP is represented on the JUNTEC board and regularly participates in providing technical inputs.
Moreover, in 2010, COHPUCP developed regulation and materials to establish a voluntary QA system for its members, executed numerous steps to promote the QA review system and communicate with stakeholders and members. Under the FOMIN project, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Puerto Rico provided training activities on quality control standards. Subsequently, COHPUCP launched a pilot review with firms participating voluntarily. At the time, COHPUCP notes that a lack of legal requirements and resistance by its members and firms to participate in the QA review system were significant challenges that the institute faced to progress further with the implementation of its QA review system.
Nonetheless, from 2013–2014, COHPUCP tried to relaunch the voluntary QA system in association with AFAH. The organizations provided training activities to raise awareness and support implementation. COHPUCP reports that unfortunately, the firms continued to resist the initiative, and the institutes were not able to continue with the QA reviews.
COHPUCP has undertaken several actions to drive the adoption and implementation of a QA system for all auditors in the jurisdiction. COHPUCP is encouraged to provide an update on its activities to promote and support the development of a mandatory QA review system in line with the SMO 1 requirements at the jurisdiction level for all audits. As part of its efforts, the COHPUCP is encouraged to conduct a self- assessment of its planned QA system to evaluate the degree of its alignment with SMO 1 requirements. If gaps are identified, COHPUCP is encouraged to establish specific plans to ensure alignment with the international best practice.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
Since COHPUCP does not have the authority to adopt IES requirements, its activities are focused primarily on promoting the adoption and implementation of the requirements to the Ministry of Education and universities which are responsible for establishing accountancy education curricula.
In terms of initial professional development (IPD) requirements, COHPUCP’s Education Committee, in coordination with the Department of Public Accounting and Finance of the Faculty of Economic Sciences of UNAH, and the National Pedagogical University Francisco Morazan (UPNFM) have been working to harmonize the accountancy curricula in accordance with the revised IES.
COHPUCP also reports that it considering running a pilot voluntary certification program for its members, which will be aligned with the revised IES requirements. It has developed a partnership with UNAH to review the requirements as well as to review other certification programs in Latin America and the Caribbean to identify best practices.
Lastly, COHPUCP has also taken steps to explore the possibility of establishing an internship program to offer practical experience to students and to partner with UNAH to provide internship credit.
As plans are being implemented to develop both a certification program and an internship program for university students, COHPUCP is encouraged to provide IFAC with updates on the status of these initiatives. COHPUCP efforts should include the revised IES requirements, which emphasize demonstrating competencies with a learning outcomes approach. This will include continuously reviewing timelines and proposed plans in place to ensure the feasibility of implementation. Staff also recommend COHPUCP to clarify whether the timelines it has indicated in its SMO Action Plan are feasible to ensure the successful implementation of its planned initiatives.
In addition, COHPUCP is encouraged to continue collaborating with other stakeholders involved in the education of professional accountants in the jurisdiction, such as other professional organizations, universities, and regulators, to develop a roadmap for bringing national educational requirements for all professional accountants in line with the revised IES. Their support and engagement will be valuable in ensuring proper alignment of requirements on the jurisdictional level.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
While it has no direct responsibility for auditing standards’ adoption, COHPUCP is an active participant in the national standard-setting process through its representation on the board of the audit standard-setter, the Accounting and Auditing Standards Technical Board (JUNTEC). COHPUCP has developed an ongoing process of reviewing new standards and pronouncements.
COHPUCP has been raising awareness of new and revised ISA amongst its members and AFAH’s members through its website, forums, conferences, technical sessions, and training programs.
COHPUCP reports that it is working with the Government of Honduras, JUNTEC, and international organizations to identify opportunities for financing activities to promote effective implementation of the ISA in the jurisdiction.
COHPUCP is encouraged to provide an update on its efforts to promote ongoing adoption of ISA in the jurisdiction, making sure the standards are up-to-date with the latest version of the standards, given that the 2018 Handbook is now effective, which includes revised standards ISA 250 and 540.
SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
COHPUCP is legally empowered to set ethical requirements for its members. As reported in their SMO Actions Plans, COHPUCP has adopted the 2011 IESBA Code of Ethics.
To support implementation, COHPUCP has a Court of Honor which is responsible for incorporating the various aspects of the IESBA Code of Ethics in its organizational procedures. COHPUCP also provides training and education for its members on the implementation of the Code. It has noted in its SMO Action Plan that it is identifying opportunities for additional support and funding to support the Code’s implementation.
As mentioned above, COHPUCP is executing plans to adopt the latest available version of the IESBA Code translated into Spanish in 2019 and amend Decree No. 19 of 1993 to adopt IESBA Code of Ethics by legal reference. As part of that initiative, in 2019 it established a technical commission to verify the feasibility of adoption and implementation of the code in the jurisdiction.
COHPUCP is encouraged to provide additional information regarding its efforts to adopt the latest version of the IESBA Code of Ethics. In addition, COHPUCP is encouraged to collaborate with other key stakeholders to work toward the adoption of the latest Code of Ethics for all professional accountants in the jurisdiction.
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
The General Accounting Office (CGRH), within the Financial Secretary of Honduras (SEFIN), sets public sector accounting standards in accordance the Budget Organic Decree No. 83 of 2004. In 2012, SEFIN collaborated with the Accounting and Auditing Standards Technical Board (JUNTEC)—as part of the legal provision in the Accounting and Auditing Law No. 189 of 2004—to adopt IPSAS. In 2014, JUNTEC formally adopted IPSAS, as published in the Official Gazette through the Resolution No. 60 of 2014. In 2015, SEFIN reaffirmed the adoption of the IPSAS by JUNTEC under Resolution No. 223 of 2015. According to the CGRH, the most recent version of IPSAS will be adopted as of January 1, 2018, with an effective date of January 1, 2019.
COHPUCP supports the adoption process by participating in consultation activities with the CGRH and the JUNTEC, especially as a representative in the board of JUNTEC. Overall, the association indicates it is actively engaged in supporting the efforts of the government in assessing, adopting, and implementing the IPSAS in Honduras. The organization reports functioning as a technical resource to the CGRH in IPSAS-related matters and hosts the CGRH for training in its institute.
COHPUCP is encouraged to provide specific examples of activities, such as training activities and disseminating information on IPSAS to support its members with the implementation of IPSAS.
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
COHPUCP, empowered by the Decree No 19 of 1993, has established an investigation and disciplinary (I&D) system for its members. According to its bylaws, COHPUCP’s Honor Court is the body responsible for investigating the professional conduct of its members in accordance with the IESBA Code of Ethics, professional standards, and laws. COHPUCP investigates complaints, serves as a mediator in disputes between members and third parties, and recommends sanctions to its Board of Directors for violations of ethical laws and standards.
COHPUCP has outlined a strategic plan to address the identified gaps of its I&D policies and ensure an effective system, by the end of 2019.
COHPUCP is encouraged to report its progress in aligning its I&D policies with the requirements of SMO 6. As several gaps have been identified, COHPUCP is encouraged to identify what is realistic and feasible to be achieved based on relevant timelines and available resources. COPHPUCP is also encouraged to consider collaborating with the Colegio de Peritos Mercantiles y Contadores Públicos de Honduras to ensure that both I&D systems are aligned with best practices.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
Although it does not have direct responsibility in the adoption of corporate accounting standards, COHPUCP actively engages with the Accounting and Auditing Standards Technical Board (JUNTEC) as part of its board representation.
COHPUCP has developed an ongoing process to review new and revised standards and pronouncements issued by the IAASB. COHPUCP enhances knowledge of IFRS amongst its members through continuing education seminars, training events, and disseminating information via its website.
COHPUCP reports it collaborate with the National Banking and Insurance Commission (CNBS) regarding opportunities to further the adoption and implementation of the IFRS within the country.
Furthermore, COHPUCP supports JUNTEC participation in the Latin American Accounting Standard Setters Group to participate in the international standard-setting process by providing comments to exposure drafts on a regional level
COHPUCP is encouraged to continue efforts to advance the adoption and implementation of IFRS as the standards adopted by the CNBS. In addition, COHPUCP is encouraged to highlight whether it has also developed implementation tools to facilitate the application of the standards.
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