Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados
Member | Established: 1974 | Member since 1981
ICAB, established by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (Incorporation) Act 1974, is the professional membership organization in Barbados and is also the accounting and auditing regulator and standard-setter in the jurisdiction. The institute is committed to global best practices and continuously enhancing the reputation of the profession and the profile of Barbados through effective leadership in key areas including regulation, advocacy, member services, and active engagement in matters of national interest.
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 order to fulfill its regulatory responsibility to establish a quality assurance (QA) review system, ICAB has signed a tripartite agreement with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) to formalize a practice monitoring review system that is compliant with SMO 1 requirements. Since 2009, under this arrangement, QA reviews have been conducted by the ACCA on behalf of ICAB. The institute has recently signed a new agreement which is effective from January 2016 until December 2021. As of January 2016, ICAB reports that all practitioners have received their first review, and second reviews completed. A new cycle of reviews commenced in January 2016.
ICAB has established a Practice Monitoring Committee to receive and review reports submitted by the ACCA on the results of the practice monitoring reviews. In the case of unsatisfactory reports, the Committee recommends appropriate actions to address the deficiencies in accordance with the ICAB Disciplinary Regulations. ICAB also provides technical support and guidance to support members and increase the number of satisfactory outcomes. This includes workshops, particularly for Small-and Medium Practitioners, along with developing an action plan that will help members correct the deficiencies during their next review.
Additionally, ICAB indicates that it carries out a public education program through the news media to emphasize the role of practice monitoring in promoting the public interest. ICAB publishes the results of the QA reviews in its Annual Report and disseminates resources for its members about the practice monitoring reviews on its website.
ICAB states that plans for 2017–2018 include engaging in discussions with ICAC to develop a QA review system that is similar to their existing program but for reviews of other assurance and related engagements of financial statements. Moreover, ICAB states that it intends to incorporate its guidelines, administrative directives, and best practice information into a single set of practice monitoring regulations under Section 5 of the ICAB Act. Given the legislative changes this would require, it expects to complete this initiative in mid-2018.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
Although ICAB is legally responsible for establishing initial professional development (IPD) and continuing professional development (CPD) requirements, ICAB relies on foreign institutes for the IPD of its members and sets its own CPD requirements. All of the accepted foreign institutes require their aspiring members to complete a professional accountancy education program, a practical experience requirement, and to pass final examinations, which are reported to be in line with the IES.
In 2014, ICAB adopted new CPD requirements that are in line with the IES. There is a CPD Committee which is responsible for developing an annual training plan of courses and events to ensure its members remain competent and aware of the current standards and developments in the field. Members can view upcoming CPD events on CPD Calendar which the institute maintains on its website. ICAB members are required to file annual CPD returns and the institute maintains a database of its members’ CPD hours, which the institute annually audits using a sample of members’ information to ensure compliance with the requirements.
In order to address the requirement of a local and business legislation examination, in July 2016 ICAB states that it initiated conversations with the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) to develop a curricula for such an exam. The objective is then to include successful completion of the exam as part of the requirement for obtaining a practicing certificate. In the interim, ICAB indicates that it has included a tax update as part of its CPD programming and its Tax Committee has engaged with the Barbados Revenue Authority to provide a tax update seminar for its members on new and proposed tax measures.
Lastly, ICAB indicates that the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC) continues to engage in discussions regarding the appointment of a technical staff member to assist the seven member bodies of ICAC in the Caribbean region with responding to exposure drafts issued by the standard-setting boards. As of 2016, ICAB reports it has only responded to a few exposure drafts issued by the IAESB due to resource constraints.
ICAB is encouraged to review the revised IES requirements, effective in their entirety as of July 2016, and communicate with the foreign institutes to ensure its members continue to fulfill IES requirements.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
In line with its mandate to adopt auditing standards, ICAB has adopted ISA as issued by the IAASB without modifications and including effective dates following the advice of its Accounting and Auditing Standards Committee and now focuses on providing technical assistance to its members to support implementation.
To this end, ICAB holds an annual one-day training seminar in August or September to update its members on developments to ISA, such as new standards issued and changes to existing standards. For example, due to the new auditor reporting standards that were issued in December 2016, ICAB states that it held several presentations on ISA 700 throughout the year. Additionally, the institute indicates it continues to emphasize trainings for Small-and Medium Practitioners on the application of IAASB pronouncements. In 2016, the institute reports that it organized a Practicing Monitoring workshop for SMPs which focused on ISQC 1 and other quality control issues.
Furthermore, the institute maintains an online continuing professional development (CPD) calendar of events which indicates additional courses and workshop for members on ISA. The institute has also published resources, templates, and informational briefs for its members about ISA on its website. In particular, ICAB’s Accounting and Auditing Standards Committee has prepared guidance for members on the application of the new auditor reporting standard. The guidance package includes: Illustrations of Auditors’ Reports; Description of the Auditors’ Responsibilities for the Audit of the Financial Statements; and Limitation Clauses in the Auditor’s Report. The resource has been disseminated to members via email and is available on ICAB’s website.
Moreover, the institute states that it utilizes its resources for standard-setting participation to engage in reviewing and responding to exposure drafts issued by IAASB and informs members of exposure draft publications. When deemed necessary, the institute indicates that its Accounting and Auditing Standards Committee will prepare an impact analysis of the proposed changes within Barbados.
SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
In line with its responsibility to set ethical standards for its members, ICAB completed a comprehensive revision of its By-Laws in 2014 which included directly reference the IESBA Code of Ethics as the applicable ethical requirements for its members. As such, ICAB’s members are required to adhere to the currently effective version of the IESBA Code.
ICAB indicates that it includes an annual seminar within its continuing professional development (CPD) programming on ethics-related topics to support the implementation of the Code and, according to its online CPD calendar, offers additional CPD courses and trainings on ethics topics offered throughout the year. In 2016, ICAB states that its ethics workshops focused on the practical application of the Code of Ethics as participants worked through a series of case studies and identified ways the Code could be applied in order to make ethical decisions. In 2017, the institute reports that CPD programming will include the Non-Compliance with Laws and Regulations (NOCLAR) standard and other changes to the Code.
In addition, it has made the 2015 IESBA Code of Ethics available on its website as a resource for members along with the 2016 IEASBA Code of Ethics and the IESBA Pronouncement on NOCLAR.
Lastly, ICAB indicates that the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC) continues to engage in discussions regarding the appointment of a technical staff member to assist the seven member bodies of ICAC in the Caribbean region with responding to Exposure Drafts issued by the standard-setting boards. As of 2016, ICAB reports it has not responded to exposure drafts issued by the IESBA due to resource constraints although its Ethics Governance and Risk Committee will seek to perform this task moving forward. ICAB reports that, as of 2014, ICAC had appointed a Technical Committee to assist PAOs in the Caribbean region with responding to Exposure Drafts issued by the standard-setting boards until ICAB can secure funding for a full time technical staff. As of 2016, however, it is unclear if ICAB intends to progress with the procurement of a technical staff.
ICAB is encouraged to review the NOCLAR standard, an international ethics standard for auditors and other professional accountants, which will become effective as of July 2017, and consider means to incorporate the standard into its ethical requirements.
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
The Financial Management Act 2007 specifies IPSAS as the applicable public sector accounting standards in Barbados and the Barbados government has subsequently adopted IPSAS as the standards for government and public sector accounting. The government is currently in its second phase of implementing the standards, which includes producing consolidated financial statements for the government.
ICAB states that it has been active in supporting the government in both the adoption and implementation processes by participating on a steering committee that was established to guide the implementation of the IPSAS. ICAB indicates that it continues to serve on the steering committee to assist the government with phase two. To this end, ICAB has been proposing to approach the IPSASB to seek technical assistance for the Ministry of Finance in preparing a public sector accounting manual. In 2016, ICAB contacted the Caribbean Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC)–an entity which is currently involved in providing technical assistance to strengthen the public financial management framework–for support with this project; however, to move forward the government of Barbados must submit a formal request for assistance.
In addition, ICAB established its own Public Sector Committee to improve its strategic focus on public sector accounting issues thereby ensuring that its members who work in the public sector receive technical assistance and guidance. The institute includes IPSAS as part of its continuing professional development programs and collaborates with the Accountant General and Ministry of Finance to create the content for the programs. ICAB also states that the members of its Public Sector Committee are working with the government in order to arrange trainings and other technical assistance to improve financial reporting in the public sector. In this regard, ICAB had planned a seminar on Financial Statement Preparations in 2016 but it has been postponed to 2017.
Furthermore, ICAB also reports that it is working with the government to identify departments that can provide opportunities for its accounting students pursuing a profession in the public sector with practical experience. As the Ministry of Finance coordinates the initial professional development requirements of public sector accounting students by arranging practical experience in its departments for taxation, audit, financial reporting, etc., ICAB has decided to focus more on the “soft skills” needed to transition from student to professional accountant. In November 2016, ICAB hosted its first annual Students’ Conference for accounting students in both the public and private sectors. Topics included career development, IT, international standards, and more.
If deemed feasible, ICAB should consider participating in the international standard-setting process by submitting comments to IPSASB-issued exposure drafts.
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
ICAB is responsible for establishing an investigative and disciplinary (I&D) process for its members in accordance with its founding legislation and in May 2016, its members approved the new Disciplinary Regulations as part of the comprehensive review of its By-Laws.
ICAB reports that the new Disciplinary Regulations bring ICAB’s I&D system in line with the SMO 6 requirements by establishing distinct Investigation and Disciplinary Committees, an Appeals mechanism, and clearly outlining the procedures for filing a complaints against members, the process for investigating those complaints, the range of offences, and the applicable sanctions where the complaint has been proven. Furthermore, ICAB has taken specific steps to ensure that the committees are comprised of accountants and non-accountants while not including any members of the Council on the committees to enhance public confidence in the I&D process.
Now the institute is focused on making the public aware of the I&D processes and steps for filing a complaint by issuing press releases. In 2015, ICAB received only one complaint which, as of 2016, is pending before the Appeals Committee. Beginning in May 2017, ICAB intends to publish an annual report of the disciplinary actions and results taken.
ICAB is encouraged to review the effectiveness of the new revisions made to the I&D system and report on its implementation progress during its 2017 SMO Action Plan update.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
As the entity responsible for the adoption of accounting standards in Barbados under the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (Incorporation) Act 1974, ICAB has adopted IFRS and IFRS for SMEs following the advice of its Accounting and Auditing Standards Committee and now focuses its effort on implementation support.
ICAB indicates that it supports its members’ understanding of the standards by holding annual one-daylong seminars that cover the developments to IFRS over the past year such as new standards, exposure drafts, interpretations, and other IASB pronouncements. This seminar is done in collaboration with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). In addition, ICAB holds similar annual seminars to provide an update on IFRS for SMEs. The institute also maintains continuing professional development calendar on its website which indicates additional available courses on IFRS throughout the year and also provides resources on IFRS for SMEs on its website as well.
ICAB also notes that from 2014–2016 it was an active participant during IASB’s SME implementation process by appointing an ICAB member to be a part of the IASB’s SME Implementation Group and commenting on IFRS for SME exposure drafts. ICAB reports that it continues to participate in the international standard-setting process by responding to exposure drafts issued by the IASB, informing members of exposure drafts and new standards that may have significant impacts on the local profession and entities, and circulating guidance documents on the implementation of revised standards.
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