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Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales

Member | Established: 1880 | Member since 1977

ICAEW is a global professional membership body with over 153,000 members (ICAEW Chartered Accountants) in 148 countries. Established by Royal Charter in 1880, our objectives are to: advance the theory and practice of accountancy, finance, business and commerce; recruit, educate and train a body of members skilled in accountancy and finance; preserve at all times the professional independence of accountants; maintain high standards of practice and professional conduct by all members; and, advance the profession of accountancy. ICAEW is: - a RQB and a RSB under the UK Companies Act 2006; - a PAB and RAB under the Companies Act 2014 in Ireland; - a DPB under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000; - a supervisory body recognised by HM Treasury for the Money Laundering Regulations 2017; and - an approved regulator and licensing authority for probate under the Legal Services Act 2007. As well as being a member of IFAC, ICAEW is a member of the Global Accounting Alliance Accountancy Europe, ASEAN Federation of Accountants, Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies, Confederation of Asia Pacific Accountants, Pan African Federation of Accountants and Chartered Accountants Worldwide.

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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: 09/2019
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SMO Action Plan

Status of Fulfillment by SMO

  • SMO 1: Quality Assurance

    The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and the four Recognised Supervisory Bodies (RSBs) in the UK (ACCA, CAI, ICAEW, and ICAS) share responsibility for the quality assurance (QA) review system governing audits and assurance engagements in accordance with the Companies Act of 2006 and the Statutory Auditors and Third Party Auditors Regulations 2016 (SI 2016/649). All have indicated that they have a fully operational QA review system in place, and that the QA review systems are compliant with SMO 1 requirements.

    ICAEW has long-standing policies and procedures that guide its QA review process, and annually reviews the system to ensure compliance with SMO 1 requirements. It conducts regular training for staff who undertake QA activities to keep them abreast of relevant technical, legal, and ethical requirements as well as new and revised accounting and auditing standards.

    ICAEW disseminates guidance on good practice to support its members’ compliance with applicable rules and guidelines and with the requirements of other non-audit regulatory bodies, such as Anti-Money Laundering regulations issued by the UK Treasury.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • SMO 2: International Education Standards

    The six Recognised Qualifying Bodies (RQBs) deliver the initial and continuing professional education (IPD and CPD) for statutory auditors in the UK. The FRC has an agreement with the six chartered bodies (ACCA, the Association—CIMA, CIPFA, ICAEW, CAI, and ICAS) and the AIA to oversee IPD and CPD for accountants.

    Five RQBs (ACCA, CAI, ICAEW, ICAS, and CIPFA) as well as AAT, the Association—CIMA and IFA confirm that their professional accountancy qualifications meet the IAESB’s requirements set out in the revised 2015 IES.

    ICAEW supports the implementation of 2015 IES by ensuring that its syllabus and training programs are aligned and comply with the requirements. The institute also regularly monitors, reviews, and takes necessary actions to continue to strengthen the IPD and CPD arrangements for its members.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing

    The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is the authorized body for setting auditing standards in the UK in accordance with the Companies Act of 2006 and Statutory Instrument on Statutory Auditors (Amendment of Companies Act 2006 and Delegation of Functions etc.) Order 2012 (SI 2012/1741). All financial statement audits must be conducted in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (UK) issued by the FRC. ISAs (UK) are based on ISAs issued by the IAASB, with specific changes to account for UK Company law.

    ICAEW has no direct responsibility for audit standard setting in the UK, but continues to support the adoption of all pronouncements issued by the IAASB by liaising with the FRC on an ongoing basis. It provides periodic input to FRC staff who are members of IAASB or their technical advisors. ICAEW reports to be aligning its own guidance on related matters with ISAE 3000, ISRE 2400, ISRE 4400 and ISRE 4410.

    ICAEW extensively supports the implementation of ISA through the: (i) preparation and distribution of comprehensive implementation guidance via its website, bulletins, articles, other publications, road shows and conferences; (ii) provision of updates on new and revised standard related information; (iii) collaboration and support on the implementation of ISA in the UK to training providers, software developers, and methodology providers; and (iv) engagement in international standard-setting activities through the provision of comments on Exposure Drafts issued by the IAASB, encouraging engagement though webinars and in some cases via representation on relevant national and regional committees, panels, and boards.

    Notably, ICAEW established a 12 month ISA online learning and assessment program for anyone who seeks to better understand the principles of ISA, including finance professionals, audit staff, university students and academics, and audit committee members.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants

    In accordance with their charters and by-laws, professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) in the UK are authorized to establish ethical requirements for their members. All PAOs in the UK indicate that they have adopted the requirements of the IESBA Code of Ethics (2018 version). Furthermore, all PAOs indicate that they have an ongoing process to consider and incorporate new and amended requirements issued by the IESBA where they are not in conflict with national laws and regulations.

    Having developed and adopted a Code based on the 2018 IESBA Code of Ethics (effective January 1, 2020), it supports compliance with the Code through a variety of mechanisms. ICAEW raises awareness and strengthens the knowledge of its members and students through publication of articles, case studies for auditors and accountants in business, and providing responses to frequently asked questions. Members are provided with a framework as well as a flowchart for assistance in resolving ethical issues as they arise.

    ICAEW also monitors changes to the IESBA’s Code of Ethics and informs members about relevant updates via its website, newsletters, and journals. To strengthen compliance with the Code, ICAEW includes a review of compliance with the Code of Ethics during QA review visits and as part of the complaints investigative process.

    All ICAEW students are required to complete and pass an Ethics Learning Programme. In addition, ICAEW conducts periodic reviews of continuing professional development and student training material to include new and revised changes issued by IESBA.

    ICAEW participates in the international standard-setting process by disseminating updates to the IESBA Code of Ethics and exposure drafts to members and submitting responses to the IESBA.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards

    The UK Treasury is responsible for developing standards and policies for Central Government financial statements. The Chartered Institute of Public Accountancy (CIPFA) and the Local Authority Scotland Accounts Advisory Committee (LASAAC) work together on the Local Authority Code Board, a standing committee of CIPFA and LASAAC, to set accounting standards for local governments in the UK. The Code of Practice is based on EU-adopted IFRS and draws on IPSAS and Financial Reporting Standards issued by the Financial Reporting Council.

    While ICAEW has no direct responsibility for adoption or implementation of IPSAS, it continues to devote resources to support and promote the standards by (i) recruiting staff with relevant expertise; (ii) providing a technical advisor to an IPSASB board member; (iii) producing relevant educational material; and (iv) holding and speaking at relevant events.

    In 2016, ICAEW and PwC partnered to launch a new public sector accounting learning program for accountants who want to enhance their skills, strengthen understanding of current developments in public sector accounting and explain key accounting and operational implications of IPSAS adoption.

    ICAEW reports to be in regular contact with Her Majesty’s Treasury, National Audit Office and other stakeholders to debate the latest developments of IPSAS in order to comment on IPSASB consultations. Furthermore, ICAEW raises awareness of the pronouncements issued by the IPSASB by posting relevant material on its website and encourages its members and others to provide comments.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline

    In accordance with their charters and by-laws, professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) are authorized to establish systems of investigation and discipline (I&D) for their members for failure to comply with applicable standards of professional conduct. The PAOs (both RSBs and others: AAT, the Association—CIMA, CIPFA, and IFA) have reported that they have I&D systems in place that fulfill the requirements of SMO 6 requirements.

    With shared responsibility for I&D, ICAEW periodically monitors and reviews its own system to ensure that it is working effectively and liaises with other bodies as necessary. The processes are also subject to regular review by oversight regulators. ICAEW indicates that it has established a complaints-based system, and proactively monitors other sources of information to identify possible misconduct by members.

    ICAEW supports members’ compliance with the system through the provision of regular online updates, responses to frequently asked questions, and guidance to increase awareness and understanding.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards

    The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has the authority to adopt accounting standards in the UK in accordance with the Companies Act of 2006 and Statutory Instrument on Statutory Auditors (Amendment of Companies Act 2006 and Delegation of Functions etc.) Order 2012 (SI 2012/1741). 

    EU-endorsed IFRS are required to be applied in consolidated financial statements of parent companies with securities that are traded on a regulated market. Other entities apply ‘reduced disclosure’ EU adopted IFRS, or simpler Financial Reporting Standards (FRS) developed by the FRC, depending on the size, type of company, and the nature of activities that is conducted. FRS is based on the IFRS for SMEs, with significant modifications.

    ICAEW, with no direct responsibility for the adoption of accounting standards in the UK, supports the adoption and implementation of IFRS. ICAEW’s accounting training program is primarily based on IFRS, and it has a dedicated Financial Reporting Faculty to keep faculty up to date with changing regulations and standards. Faculty are provided with exclusive access to online resources that range from technical briefings and factsheets, to webcasts, blogs, and eIFRS.

    ICAEW provides relevant training programs, educational material, and technical and practical help to strengthen the knowledge and implementation practices of members and non-members alike. For example, ICAEW offers a IFRS online learning and assessment program for anyone who works in the private sector. It also distributes monthly alerts to members to raise awareness of new and revised standards.

    ICAEW raises awareness of the pronouncements issued by the IASB by posting relevant material on its website and encourages its members and others to provide comments.

    Current Status: Sustain


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.


Chartered Accountants' Hall
Moorgate Place
LondonEC2P 2BJ
United Kingdom