Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya
Member | Established: 1978 | Member since 1980
The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK) is the professional organization that regulates the activities of all Certified Public Accountants (the CPA (K)s) in Kenya. It was established in 1978 by the laws of Kenya under CAP 531. Since then, ICPAK has been dedicated to development and regulation of the accountancy profession in Kenya that upholds the public interest and enhances its contribution and that of its members to national economic growth and development.
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
ICPAK has direct responsibility for the establishment and implementation of a quality assurance (QA) review system and has been officially conducting QA reviews since January 2006. The institute reports that it plans on conducting reviews of 200 firms in 2016–2017. Therefore, it now focuses on supporting members in understanding the QA review process and reviewing the QA framework to continuously be in line with SMO 1 requirements.
The institute developed an audit manual and a model audit file to assist members’ compliance with international standards. The model audit file provides an illustrated example of an audit file should look. Additionally, in 2015, the Institute has developed a self-review tool and manual to assist small- and medium-sized practices. ICPAK reports that it intends to analyze the first round of feedback on the tool in late 2016.
In addition to supporting materials, ICPAK organizes continuous sensitization workshops and trainings on the QA system for firms and members, prepares and publishes an annual report on QA findings, and provides members with updates on the QA system via journals and online platforms.
With support from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, ICPAK benchmarked its QA system against SMO 1 requirements in 2013 and again in 2016, reaffirming that its system is maintained in line with the SMO 1 requirements. The institute reports that it plans on enhancing the QA system in 2017 based on recommendations from the 2010 World Bank Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes by developing a policy document to enhance the audit and assurance oversight of audits of public-interest entities (PIEs).
In its 2018 Action Plan submission, ICPAK is encouraged to provide an update on the status of the policy document intended to enhance the oversight of audits for PIEs.
- SMO 2: International Education Standards
ICPAK shares responsibility for the education and training of professional accountants with the Kenya Accountants and Secretaries National Examinations Board (KASNEB) and therefore, focuses on collaborating with KASNEB to strengthen initial professional development and, independently, establishes and monitors continuing professional development (CPD) requirements.
ICPAK reports that every three years it conducts a joint review with KASNEB of the professional education program and the IES to maintain alignment, with the last major review of the KASNEB’s syllabus undertaken in January–June 2015. ICPAK indicates it is planning a mid-term review in 2017–2018.
In 2013, ICPAK strengthened its practical experience requirements to be line with IES 5 and subsequently developed the Trainee Accountant Practical Experience Framework (TAPEF) through the World Bank Institutional Development Fund. In January 2016, ICPAK began a small pilot phase of the TAPEF and it intends to evaluate the pilot phase of the program in June 2016 before making it a prerequisite for membership admission.
In addition, ICPAK has worked on strengthening its CPD requirements which are now in line with revised IES. To support members’ compliance, ICPAK shares information on CPD requirements with members via its journal and website and recognizes high CPD achievements on an annual basis. Throughout 2016 and 2017, ICPAK plans on developing e-learning courses and implementing a facilitator’s portal on the Institute’s website for CPD events and an accreditation system of CPD facilitators. As of September 2016, the development of the courses is almost completed and the institute intends to roll-out the programs in January of 2017.
ICPAK encouraged to review the revised IES (effective in its entirety as of July 2016) to ensure that its educational requirements remain aligned with the standards. This may require providing more detail in its Action Plan on its efforts to incorporate the concept of assessing “competence.” ICPAK should also share the revised IES with the relevant stakeholders in Kenya, such as the KASNEB, to raise awareness of the international requirements. Additionally, ICPAK is also encouraged to consider participating in the international standard-setting process by submitting comments to Exposure Drafts issued by the IAESB.
- SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
ICPAK has adopted ISA as issued by the IAASB without modifications and including effective dates in accordance with its mandate under the Accountants Act of 1978 as amended in 2008. Accordingly, ICPAK now focuses on implementation of the standards.
ICPAK continuously works to raise member awareness and knowledge of the standards. As part of these efforts, ICPAK is undertaking a number of initiatives including: (i) notifying members of new and revised standards and related guidance materials through emails, newsletters, and its journal; (ii) reviewing IAASB Exposure Drafts and discussion papers in order to incorporate them in to continuing professional development (CPD) programs, (iii) providing individual feedback on compliance with standards on auditors’ reporting and responding to queries on the application of the standards, and (iv) holding forums, workshops, and trainings on the standards.
Moreover, ICPAK has indicated a specific focus on assisting small- and medium-sized practices and small- and medium-sized entities apply ISA and ISQC 1 standards. The institute has developed an audit manual, a model audit file, and self-review tool for these purposes.
Lastly, ICPAK circulates IAASB Exposure Drafts to members for comments which are then submitted to the IAASB.
ICPAK is encouraged to include specific plans within its SMO Action Plan to review the new audit reporting standards, effective as of December 2016, in order to incorporate the standards. ICPAK should also include plans to incorporate the new standards into its CPD and training programs with a view to support members’ awareness and implementation.
- SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
ICPAK has direct responsibility for establishing ethical requirements and has adopted the 2009 IESBA Code of Ethics as the ICPAK Code of Ethics and continuously updates it to incorporate IESBA amendments. Accordingly, ICPAK reports that its members adhere to the latest version of the IESBA Code. In 2008, amendments to the Accountants Act provided a more stringent interpretation of ‘professional misconduct.’ Consequently, ICPAK has enhanced the provisions on ‘professional misconduct’ in its Code to comply with the amendments.
ICPAK also works to ensure the effective implementation of the Code of Ethics and has highlighted that its overall implementation approach encompasses not only responding to breaches of the code but also educating the business community and key stakeholders on the requirements of the Code of Ethics for Accountants. To this end, ICPAK prepares an annual schedule of lectures on the Code of Ethics that it gives in different regions of the country throughout February and March.
To support members, ICPAK includes ethics topics and content in its continuing professional development programming. The institute reports to annually review its programming in order to take into account any pronouncements issued by the IESBA on topics such as addressing conflict of interest, fraud, and responding to non-compliance with laws and regulations. Furthermore, since 2012, ICPAK reports that it conducts a biennial survey of their members’ knowledge of the Code of Ethics and its impact. Additionally, the institute prepares technical releases on a continuous basis in order to provide guidance on areas of the Code that may require more instruction and discussion.
ICPAK is encouraged to include plans within its SMO Action Plan to review the NOCLAR standard, which will become effective as of July 2017, and consider means to incorporate the standard into its ethical requirements and support its implementation amongst members and raise awareness.
- SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
The Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (PSASB) is responsible for adopting public sector accounting standards in Kenya and ICPAK uses its best endeavors to support its activities in the adoption and implementation of IPSAS.
Members of the PSASB must be members of ICPAK and through this representation, ICPAK was able to promote the adoption of IPSAS and provide technical assistance throughout the subsequent implementation process.
ICPAK now continues to work with the PSASB to strengthen IPSAS compliance. ICPAK has helped the PSASB develop financial reporting templates that are in line with IPSAS for public sector entities. Additionally, the institute has developed a work program to build the technical capacity of finance staff in the public sector, many of whom are ICPAK members, by providing training materials and synthesis reports on the gaps in compliance with the financial reporting templates.
In 2015, the institute introduced an IPSAS compliance category in its Financial Reporting Awards (FiRe) ceremony to encourage and monitor levels of compliance with the implementation of IPSAS. In 2016, ICPAK plans to include the IPSAS compliance category again and work on establishing a Compliance Review Program in coordination with PSASB.
ICPAK reports that it informs both its members and key stakeholders in the public sector about developments to IPSAS and activities of the IPSASB through its e-newsletter. ICPAK also trains members on IPSAS by including IPSAS content in its continuing professional development programs and ICPAK states that it collaborates with the PSASB to develop the content of these training programs. Additionally, the institute has established a mechanism to consult members on Exposure Drafts issued by the IPSASB and then submit comments.
- SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
In line with its mandate under the Accountants Act of 1978 and the 2008 amendments, ICPAK has established an independent Disciplinary Committee to sanction members while its Registration and Quality Assurance Committee undertakes investigations of complaints. ICPAK is now focused on addressing all requirements set in the revised SMO 6 requirements.
In particular, ICPAK working to establish an Appeals Committee to hear appeals from the Disciplinary Committee as per amendments to the Accountants Act 2008 and establish a separate Investigations Committee. At this time, appeals are made to the Disciplinary Committee through ICPAK’s Council or by seeking judicial action through the high court. However, in order to implement these initiatives, further revisions to the Accountants Act are required and ICPAK indicates it has already submitted such proposals to the Parliament.
To support its members, ICPAK organizes annual workshops on ethical requirements and the I&D process. Additionally, through its annual reviews of the I&D system, ICPAK has identified that greater follow-up is needed on suspended members to ensure re-training and re-admission upon successful completion of the disciplinary action and that there is low awareness on the I&D process for accountants amongst the public. ICPAK reports that it plans to address these respective issues by developing an additional training and compliance program for implementation in 2017 and carrying out public awareness campaigns.
In its 2018 Action Plan submission, ICPAK should provide an update on its progress with establishing an Appeals Committee and a separate Investigations Committee in order to address the gaps it has identified after its review of the I&D procedures. Additionally, ICPAK should indicate if it has successfully implemented its training and compliance program to support members’ re-admission and its public awareness campaigns.
- SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
ICPAK has direct responsibility for adopting accounting standards and has adopted IFRS and IFRS for small- and medium-sized entities (SMEs) for application in Kenya. In 2010, the World Bank’s Report on Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) noted that there was a lack of legal framework for the adoption of IFRS and low uptake of IFRS for SMEs. Subsequently, ICPAK has been working to address the recommendations made by the ROSC in regards to these areas. The Companies Act 2015 now includes a legal framework for the adoption of IFRS and a regime for SMEs. ICPAK reports that it will continue to push the implementation of IFRS for SMEs for these type of companies.
In addition to its standard-setting responsibilities, the institute is also focused on supporting members’ implementation and compliance with IFRS. ICPAK conducts workshops for its members on an annual basis on IFRS and IFRS for SMEs to ensure compliance with the international standards. In addition, ICPAK has introduced surveys for each training it conducts on IFRS and IFRS for SMEs to understand the challenges its members are facing in the implementation of the standards. It then prepares guidance material to address these challenges. Furthermore, the institute reviews annual reports for compliance with standards and provides feedback for the participating entities. ICPAK also encourages compliance with the standards with its annual Excellence in Financial Reporting Award (FiRe).
Lastly, ICPAK participates in the international standard-setting process by circulating IASB Exposure Drafts to its members and other stakeholders for their input and submitting comments. In cases where Exposure Drafts propose significant changes to existing IFRS, ICPAK states it holds fora to receive members’ comments.
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.