Institute of Chartered Accountants of Guyana
Member | Established: 1966 | Member since 2000
ICAG is the body responsible for the regulation of the accounting profession in Guyana under the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Guyana Act 1991. It is a public interest body whose objects include increasing the proficiency of its members and students, regulating of the conduct of its members and students and promoting the accountancy profession at national, regional, and global levels.
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, ICAG collaborated 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. ICAG reports in its Action Plan that at the end of 2014, 75% of members in practice had achieved satisfactory outcomes of monitoring visits. The monitoring program has been renewed by ICAG, ICAC, and ACCA for an additional three years beginning on January 1, 2016.
ICAG has established a Regulatory Committee to receive and process reports submitted by the ACCA on the results of the practice monitoring reviews. Subsequently, ICAG coordinates training sessions for its members based on deficiencies discovered in the review process. ICAG also disseminates a summary of the results in its quarterly newsletter and on its website. In 2015, ICAG developed guidelines that outline actions to be taken in the case of unsatisfactory reviews and the Regulatory Committee is responsible for ensuring that members who receive unsatisfactory reviews are taking appropriate steps to address the deficiencies.
To further support its members, ICAG states that it provides resources for small and medium practices and holds quarterly meetings with members to provide guidance and develop its continuing professional development programming based on member input and needs. ICAG also indicates that is engaging with relevant stakeholders to increase awareness of its QA review system.
- SMO 2: International Education Standards
Although ICAG is directly responsible for establishing initial professional development (IPD) and continuing professional development (CPD) requirements, ICAG relies on foreign institutes for the IPD of its members but it has established its own CPD requirements. Additionally, it indicates that it has developed activities to assist its members with understanding the local regulations, although it does not test on local tax and business laws before issuing a practicing certificate.
ICAG’s Technical Committee coordinates seminars and lectures for members to obtain CPD credits. ICAG also has an annual conference where developments in the profession are presented and discussed. In its Action Plan, ICAG indicates that by September 2017 it expected to have implemented a new monitoring and verification mechanism for CPD declaration.
In 2014, ICAG formed a local tax committee to assess the impact of changes in tax administration policies, coordinate technical training and disseminate relevant tax information to members and students. ICAG also provides representation to the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean’s (ICAC) Regional Tax Committee.
ICAG indicates that it has plans in place to consider adopting a process of assessing competencies of members on local tax and business law prior to granting practicing certificates and is in the process of reengaging discussions with ICAC on an ongoing basis in order to pursue a regional approach to localized tax and business assessments.
In its next Action Plan submission, ICAG is encouraged to provide a status update on the implementation of its continuing professional development monitoring mechanism as well as its progress with its approach to include an assessment on local tax and business regulation. Lastly, ICAG is encouraged to establish plans 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, ICAG has adopted ISA as issued by the IAASB without modifications and including effective date since 2003. ICAG now focuses on providing technical assistance to its members to support implementation.
To this end, ICAG established a Technical Committee responsible for the standard-setting process, continuing professional development education, and guiding ICAG members with the implementation.
ICAG provides trainings for its members on an ongoing basis. Throughout 2015–2016, ICAG reports that it hosted workshops on IFRS and ISA in collaboration with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) that covered exposure drafts and future changes, new standards, amendments and interpretations, auditor reporting and disclosures, and auditor responsibilities.
ICAG also disseminates new IAASB pronouncements to its members and solicits member comments on exposure drafts from the IAASB via its newsletter. Comments on draft pronouncements are then collated and submitted to the IAASB.
ICAG is encouraged to ensure that the new auditor reporting standards, effective as of December 2016, have been incorporated into its continuing professional development and training programs with a view to support members’ awareness and implementation of the standards.
- SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
With direct responsibility for setting ethical requirements, ICAG has adopted the IESBA Code of Ethics and is now focused on promoting greater awareness of the Code amongst its members and ensuring its members adhere to the Code.
ICAG holds training workshops for its members and students on the IESBA Code on an ongoing basis and states that it will also include presentations on ethics-related topics during its Annual Accountants Week Conference held in September. For example, in April 2016, ICAG delivered a course on Ethic s and Professional Responsibility for its members.
It regularly disseminates relevant pronouncements and updates from the IESBA in its quarterly newsletter and encourages members to submit comments to exposure drafts and IESBA discussion papers.
ICAG is encouraged to update its Action Plan following the guidance provided by IFAC staff. Specifically, ICAG should clarify if amendments and revisions to the Code are incorporated on an ongoing basis. ICAG is also 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 and support its implementation.
- SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
Although the Ministry of Finance is the entity responsible for the adoption of public sector accounting standards, which are currently cash-basis, ICAG reports that as part of its mandate to advise the government on accounting matters, it continues to promote and advocate for the adoption of IPAS as the reporting framework for government entities.
At a regional level, in 2013, ICAG presented at the Organization of American States’ Anti-Corruption Mechanism and highlighted the importance of adopting IPSAS as well as repeating its recommendation for adoption. In June 2016, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC) formally established a Public Sector Financial Management Committee, which includes a representative from ICAG. As part of this regional Committee, ICAG indicates that it will support ICAC in conducting a series of roundtable events within each territory in order to promote and advance the adoption of IPSAS.
To support its members that work in the public sector, ICAG offers resources and includes IPSAS as part of the presentations during its Annual Accountants Week Conference.
If deemed relevant, the institute should also consider developing a more focused plan to promote the full adoption of IPSAS to the government and indicate the specific activities it undertakes to this effect in its Action Plan.
- SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
ICAG is responsible for the investigation and discipline (I&D) of all professional accountants in Guyana and has established I&D procedures in accordance with its legal mandate. Since 2012, ICAG has been carrying out a review of its I&D system, such as the handling of complaints, and considering comprehensive amendments and revisions to its by-laws. ICAG reports that its Council has consulted with external legal counsel as well as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in order to harmonize I&D procedures given that ICAG’s membership is comprised of professional accountants with foreign qualifications and are therefore subject to the I&D mechanisms of their qualifying institutes.
In December 2015, ICAG reports that it formed a committee, comprised of ICAG members and supported by a member of the legal profession, to draft revised governance documents which take into consideration the previous reviews of the I&D system and SMO 6 requirements. The most recent self-assessment of its I&D procedures that ICAG carried out was in March 2017 and ICAG indicated that the following areas require improvements in order to align with the SMO 6 requirements: (i) establishing a link between the results of the quality assurance reviews; (ii) including non-accountants on the Disciplinary Committee; and (iii) enhancing administrative process and public interest considerations These governance documents are expected to be approved by December 2017.
Based on the results of ICAG’s self-assessment of its I&D system against the SMO 6 requirements, ICAG is encouraged to plan specific actions to address these gaps and include these actions in its SMO Action Plan. In its next Action Plan submission, it is recommended that ICAG provide a status update on its progress to revise its governance documents and I&D procedures which may contribute to further aligning the institute’s I&D system with SMO 6 requirements.
- SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
As the entity responsible for adopting accounting standards in Guyana, ICAG has adopted IFRS and IFRS for SMEs by reference since 1998 and 2010, respectively, and now focuses on supporting its members with the implementation of the standards.
To this end, ICAG supports its members through the design, development and delivery of seminars and courses on IFRS and related topics. In 2015, ICAG reports that, in collaboration with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), it delivered a workshop on IFRS and ISA that covered topics such as proposed changes to the Conceptual Framework, amendments to IFRS for SMEs, amendments to IAS 1, an overview of recent and new interpretations, an update on forthcoming standards/major projects in particular leases and a review of the existing standards.
In addition, ICAG communicates IASB pronouncements in its quarterly newsletter and provides a link to the standards on its website. It also encourages members to submit comments to exposure drafts issued by the IAASB.
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