Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland
Member | Established: 1926 | Member since 1977
The CPA Ireland is a voluntary membership organization for Ireland’s Certified Public Accountants and is a Prescribed Accountancy Body and Recognized Accountancy Body in accordance with the Companies Act of 2003 (as amended) in Ireland. The institute is a member of IFAC and Accountancy Europe.
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 Companies Act of 2014 (as amended 2018) stipulates that the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) is to conduct quality assurance (QA) reviews for public interest entities (PIEs), and the six recognized accountancy bodies (RABs) in Ireland—Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Chartered Accountants Ireland, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), and CPA Ireland—are to carry out QA reviews for non-PIEs. Accordingly, the scope of the QA review program covers all audits and other assurance engagements.
Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 220 2010 (as amended) outlines key features that must be present in each QA system and specifies that QA inspections are to be performed by RABs under the supervision of IAASA.
CPA Ireland reports that it has reviewed its QA Bylaws and guidance to ensure compliance with requirements of SMO 1 and the EU 8th Company Law Directive on Statutory Audit. Furthermore, CPA Ireland carries out annual reviews of its QA system to ensure it meets objectives and reacts appropriately to current economic conditions.
CPA Ireland includes information on quality control and QA processes in its initial professional development and continuing professional development. For example, a series of workshops are regularly offered to assist members in the preparation for a QA visit and the development of quality control policies. Standards, guidance, resources, and annual results of QA reviews are readily accessible via the CPA Ireland website.
- SMO 2: International Education Standards
According to the Companies Act of 2014 (as amended 2018), the nine Prescribed Accountancy Bodies (PABs) in Ireland share responsibility for initial professional development and continuing professional development requirements (IPD and CPD, respectively) for accountants and auditors. The adoption and implementation of educational requirements is overseen by the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA).
As a PAB, CPA Ireland adopts and implements IPD and CPD requirements for its members, which are reported to be in line with the revised (2015) requirements of the IES. The institute updates its syllabus annually (the most recent at the time of the assessment being the 2019 Syllabus) to incorporate revised international standards and information on local taxes, laws, and business practices. From 2017-2020, CPA Ireland reports it is conducting a strategic review of its IPD curriculum to ensure alignment with the requirements. It already completed the strategic review of the IPD curriculum and will launch the first phase of the new syllabus in 2019 for assessment in 2020.
CPA Ireland considers proposed IES requirements annually and makes submissions to the IAESB. CPA Ireland publishes the IES and makes study support material available via its website and journal. It also arranges several conferences and webinars each year to cover core competency areas.
Over the last four years, CPA Ireland has carried out several upgrades to its IT solutions platform for IPD and CPD, including online profiles, book examinations, availability of exam results, as well as CPD courses, monitoring, mentoring, and approval. In December 2018, CPA Ireland launched an online platform for students to log their training and competence development. Mentors are able to interact with students through the platform, and monitor, review, and approve their mentee competence records.
- SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
The Companies Act of 2014 (as amended 2018) specifies the applicable auditing standards—International Standards on Auditing (Ireland) as issued by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). The Irish Auditing & Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) adopts auditing standards for use in Ireland under license from the FRC in the United Kingdom. The standards incorporate the requirements of 2016 ISA issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) with specific additions.
As a Professional Accountancy Body (PAB), CPA Ireland plays an important, participative role in promoting and supporting the adoption of ISA. It does this largely through its contributions to consultation papers and other submissions to the FRC on maintaining the applicable auditing standards aligned with the latest ISA.
CPA Ireland annually updates its initial professional development and continuing professional development requirements to reflect updates in ISA. The institute provides guidance and technical support to its members, and has dedicated web pages to providing technical resources to its members. CPA Ireland responds to all relevant IAASB proposals, making members aware of the proposals via e-bulletins.
- SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
In accordance with the Companies Act of 2014 (as amended 2018), the nine prescribed accountancy bodies (PABs) in Ireland share responsibility for establishing ethical requirements for their members, including applicable standards. The Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) in accordance with the Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 220 2010 (as amended), supervises the PABs’ adoption of ethical standards in Ireland. Furthermore, it issued the IAASA Ethical Standard for Auditors (Ireland) 2017 which is based on the 2016 IESBA Code of Ethics.
CPA Ireland reports to have an ongoing process to consider and incorporate new and amended requirements issued by the IESBA. It annually updates its initial professional development and continuing professional development requirements and resources to include new and revised ethical pronouncements. The institute also provides ethics resources for its members via its website, and includes articles on ethics within its Accountancy Plus journal. As part of the CPA Ireland technical query service, members are encouraged to call in confidence and discuss ethical concerns or dilemmas that might arise.
CPA Ireland provides a link to the IESBA Handbook of the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants 2018 Edition on its website, in addition to an online course module to support members with understanding new and revised standards. Members will be required to adhere to the 2018 edition in June 2019.
In 2018, CPA Ireland participated in an ethics research study conducted by the Chartered Accountants Ireland Educational Trust (CAIET); the report is available online for public access.
Lastly, CPA Ireland solicits views from its members and responds to IESBA exposure drafts of standards and other statements.
CPA Ireland is encouraged to provide an update on efforts to adopt the 2018 IESBA Code which has been revised and restructured extensively.
- SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
The Irish Government is responsible for the adoption and implementation of public sector accounting standards. IPSAS have not been adopted in Ireland, and there are no known plans to adopt or converge to IPSAS at this time.
A significant number of CPA Ireland’s members work at senior public service levels. CPA Ireland provides policy and technical advice to members on public sector accounting, financial management, performance measurement, and related topics via its Members e-bulletin and Students e-bulletin. It also publishes details on IPSASB pronouncements through Accountancy Plus.
CPA Ireland offers an IPSAS certificate.
Lastly, CPA Ireland solicits views from its members and responds to IPSASB exposure drafts of standards and other statements.
- SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
In accordance with the Companies Act of 2014 (as amended 2018), the nine prescribed accountancy bodies (PABs) and the Irish Auditing and Supervisory Authority (IAASA) share responsibility for the system of investigation and discipline (I&D) in Ireland. Whereas each PAB is responsible for the design and implementation of an I&D system for its members, the IAASA is responsible for I&D for public interest entities (PIEs).
As a PAB, CPA Ireland is responsible for maintaining an I&D system for its members and has confirmed that its system complies with the requirements of SMO 6 (revised 2012). The institute recently updated its I&D Bylaws in June 2017 and reports to be in the process of discussing further updates with the IAASA. At present, the institute’s Investigation Committee investigates complaints against members of CPA Ireland and establishes whether or not there is evidence of a prima facie case of misconduct. The Disciplinary Committee appoints disciplinary tribunals to hear cases referred by the Investigation Committee. Both the Investigation and Disciplinary Committee consist of a majority of non-members of the Institute. A booklet is available on the CPA Ireland website which sets out details of the CPA Complaints Process. The booklet contains (i) a complaints form; (ii) a scheme of mediation; (iii) sanctions guidance; and (iv) information in relation to the publication of disciplinary decisions, notice of public hearings, and resignations during the disciplinary process.
- SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
The Companies Act of 2014 (as amended 2018), stipulates the requirements for preparation of financial statements, including applicable accounting standards and financial reporting thresholds. In accordance with the law, companies with debt or equity listed on a regulated capital market must prepare consolidated financial statements in accordance with EU-endorsed IFRS. All other companies may choose to prepare their financial statements in accordance with financial reporting standards issued by (i) the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in the United Kingdom (UK), (ii) EU-endorsed IFRS, or (iii) in some limited cases, in accordance with another approved accounting framework, for example US GAAP. Since 2015, Financial Reporting Standards (FRS) 102 as issued by the FRC—which is based on IFRS for small- and medium-sized entities (SMEs) but with significant modifications—can be applied by other companies.
CPA Ireland supports its members with standards’ implementation by providing guidance, technical assistance and advice, continuing professional development courses, as well as a variety of financial reporting-related certificates such as an online certificate on IFRS (70 CPD hours) and FRS 102. CPA Ireland also offers online diplomas in US GAAP.
CPA Ireland solicits views from its members when responding to IASB exposure drafts of standards and other statements and will publish IASB pronouncements on its website.
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