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Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados

Member | Established: 1974 | Member since 1981

Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB) ICAB was established by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (Incorporation) Act 1974. Membership of the institute is mandatory to offer accountancy services to the public. ICAB represents Chartered Accountants along with students pursuing professional accounting qualifications. According to the legislation, ICAB has the responsibility to: (i) promote, foster and maintain the highest standards of accounting in public practice, the public service and commercial and industrial spheres; (ii) safeguard and enhance the professional standing, interest and reputation of accountants who are members thereof and are employed in the spheres specified above; (iii) maintain the highest standards of professional etiquette and ethics amongst its members and encourage the observance of such standards among non-members; and (iv) express its views to the Government, public authorities, commissions of enquiry and similar bodies regarding matters affecting its members and the profession. In addition to being a member of IFAC, ICAB is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean.

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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.

Last updated: 05/2024
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SMO Action Plan

Status of Fulfillment by SMO

  • SMO 1: Quality Assurance

    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. New contracts were signed in 2016 and 2022 whereby all practicing members who perform audit services are covered by the reviews. The QA review cycle is six years with audits of non-public interest entities (PIEs) and three years with audits of PIES. Auditors with unsatisfactory reports may be reviewed on a shorter cycle.

    ICAB appointed a Practice Monitoring Committee to receive and review all reports from the ACCA team of Practice Reviewers. In the case of unsatisfactory reports, the Committee will recommend further action in accordance with the ICAB Disciplinary Regulations. The results of the practice monitoring program are published each year in ICAB’s Annual Report. ICAB reports that a new officer was hired in March 2024 to update the records pertaining to practice reviews and will assist with reviews for both non-PIEs and PIEs.

    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. For example, ICAB hosted a practice monitoring workshop in March 2024 where ACCA presented general findings from 2023 reviews and provided updates and guidance to members pertaining to the findings. ICAB has also organized training and updated guiance on quality management standards that are now relevant to the QA review process.

    To increase awareness of the processes, ICAB (i) incorporates practice monitoring in its education program; (ii) publishes articles via news media; and (iii) discusses various aspects of the system in ICAB’s weekly radio programme. ICAB also purchases ad space in the local news annually to refer the public to the list of members in good standing on its website as well as to remind the public about practice monitoring and the link to its investigations, disciplinary, and appeals processes.

    As of the date of this assessment, ICAB reports that the Practice Monitoring Committee has recommended to ICAB Council the introduction of mandatory professional indemnity insurance for all practising members. ICAB Council is working on the timeline for introduction as well as workshops to provide guidance to members.ICAB continues to consider the development of a QA review system for reviews of other assurance and related engagements of financial statements.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • SMO 2: International Education Standards

    As of the date of this assessment, ICAB reports that its Admissions Committee plans to conduct a holistic review of the categories of membership with consideration of the introduction of an Accounting Technician category of membership.

    The accountancy profession in Barbados has grown through the inclusion of professional accountants qualified overseas. ICAB has determined a list of overseas institutes that are recognized for ICAB membership purposes—and consequently the initial professional development requirements for professional accountants in the jurisdiction. All the recognized 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 latest IES.

    ICAB also sets continuing professional development (CPD) requirements for its members. ICAB adopted CPD Regulations to align with the revised IES 7. These regulations were subsequently updated in 2018 to allow for the sharing of information on member compliance upon request by an approved professional body. The CPD Committee will be reviewing the CPD regulations in 2024 to consider the inclusion of annual mandatory ethics and anti-money laundering and corruption training. The requirements of IES 8 are also reflected in ICAB’s Public Practice Regulations.

    ICAB Secretariat with the oversight of the CPD Committee 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. The institute does annual audits using a sample of members’ information to ensure compliance with the requirements. Non-compliance can result in disciplinary actions.

    ICAB indicates that it has included an annual tax update as part of its CPD programming and offers periodic legislative updates. ICAB is also currently in discussions with the Barbados Revenue Authority and the IBFD to develop a curriculum of tax learning for Barbados.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • 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. The Accounting & Auditing Standards Committee will review the new ISA for Less Complex Entities (LCEs) in Q2 2024 to submit a recommendation to ICAB Council for adoption in Barbados.

    ICAB focuses on providing technical assistance to its members to support implementation. To this end, ICAB holds has training seminars at least once a year to update its members on developments to ISA, such as new standards issued and changes to existing standards. For example, in October 2023 ICAB arranged an awareness webinar for its members on ISAE 3000 and other standards related to sustainability assurance. In March 2024, ISA updates were included as a component of the Practice Monitoring webinar.

    Additionally, the institute indicates it continues to emphasize trainings for Small-and Medium Practitioners on the application of IAASB pronouncements and has made IFAC’s Guide to Practice Management for SMPs available.

    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.

    ICAB also engages 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.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • 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 direct reference to 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’s Ethics, Governance & Risk (EG&R) Committee notifies members of changes to the IESBA Code, responds to IESBA exposure drafts and pronouncements, and issues guidance documents with advice on implementing the requirements. Meetings with regulators (Financial Services Commission and the Central Bank of Barbados) were started in 2023 to gather feedback on the proposed revision by IESBA on the definition of PIEs. Meetings will continue into 2024 to allow ICAB to finalize pronouncements on the PIE definition before the effective date of December 15, 2024.

    Information about the revised and updated International Code of Ethics is provided to members and non-members on a regular basis. ICAB 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.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards

    The Barbados government, specifically, the Comptroller General, is responsible for setting public sector accounting standards.

    In 2019, the Public Finance Management Act (PFM Act) was passed and specified IPSAS as issued by the IPSASB as the accounting standards to be applied by public sector entities. As of the date of this assessment, government entities are still transitioning from cash-basis IPSAS to accrual-basis IPSAS, and Commercial State Owned Entities that also have debt from commercial banks are allowed to use IFRS. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB) reports that the Government continues with two types of financial reporting—the first is under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Programme using special basis reporting (the Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation Programme) to be completed within 7-10 days after each month end; and the second is accrual based IPSAS financial statements under the PFM Act that are audited by the Auditor General.

    ICAB states that it has been active in supporting the government since 2007 regarding the adoption and implementation of IPSAS. After the passage of the new Public Finance Management Act in 2019, ICAB re-approached the Ministry of Finance to discuss cooperation and collaboration with ICAB. ICAB submitted a proposal on ways that it might assist in the areas of corporate governance, financial accountability, reform of SOEs, training and certification for public finance officers, and institutional strengthening of finance departments. ICAB continues to be in discussion with the Barbados government regarding the various areas outlined in the proposal. Under the PFM Act, the government created a central Internal Audit Department, with oversight from an Audit Committee. ICAB has been given a standing seat on the Committee and in 2023, the ICAB representative was made the Deputy Chair.

    For its part, ICAB has 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 Public Sector Committee organizes several workshops and seminars for public sector accountants, which cover the IPSAS. It also collaborates with the Accountant General and Ministry of Finance and the Caribbean Technical Assistance Centre (CARTAC)–a regional entity which is currently involved in providing technical assistance to strengthen the public financial management framework–to create the content for the programs. ICAB has focused more on ‘soft skills’ as the Ministry of Finance leads on the technical components. ICAB also reports that it is engaging with CARTAC to possibly draft an IPSAS Manual. In April 2024, the Public Sector Committee hosted an audit readiness webinar in conjunction with the Barbados Audit Office (Auditor General) which was attended by over 170 public sector accounting and finance staff, to provide guidance for the 2024 audit cycle.

    ICAB continues strong technical and advocacy support to the Ministry of Finance as part of enhancing public financial management tn the jurisdiction. For example, in 2023, a member of ICAB’s Public Sector Committee hosted a session with the Comptroller General, Accountant General, IFAC leadership and IPSASB to provide the government with advice on its accounting policies and aims to conduct follow-up with the new Comptroller General assigned to the role in 2024.

    The ICAB is encouraged to continue its strong technical and advocacy support to the Ministry of Finance as part of enhancing public financial management in the jurisdiction. It may find IFAC’s Train the Trainers: Introduction to IPSAS resource helpful in this regard. ICAB should provide updates as the government advances with an implementation schedule. If deemed feasible, ICAB should consider participating in the international standard-setting process by submitting comments to IPSASB-issued exposure drafts.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • 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 Disciplinary Regulations as part of the comprehensive review of its By-Laws.

    ICAB reports that the 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 complaint 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. As of the date of this assessment, two complaints have been put before the Investigations Committee in 2023.

    In 2020, ICAB began holding an orientation session for the members of its Investigations, Disciplinary and Appeals Committees. The session comprised a review of ICAB’s Disciplinary Regulations and By-Laws related to Investigations and Discipline as well as SMO 6.

    Lastly, the institute is focused on making the public aware of the I&D processes and steps for filing a complaint by issuing press releases. ICAB’s Annual Report also includes information on complaints and actions taken.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • 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 as issued by the IASB 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) and ICAC. Likewise, ICAB holds similar annual seminars to provide an update on IFRS for SMEs. The institute also provides resources on IFRS for SMEs on its website as well.

    ICAB reports that it participates 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.

    Additionally, while there is no SMO regarding sustainability reporting standards yet, the Accounting & Auditing Standards Committee and Secretariat have held stakeholder meetings in 2023 to understand the extent of regulators and other stakeholders’ plans regarding sustainable reporting requirements of their registrants. An awareness webinar in October 2023 and a deep dive into IFRS S1 & S2 in September 2023 were held. ICAB intendsd to release a policy statement on IFRS S1 and S2 by end of 2024.

    Current Status: Sustain


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