Institute of Chartered Accountants of Namibia
Member | Established: 1990 | Member since 1997
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Namibia (ICAN) was formally established on 20 October, 1990, constituted by the members of the South West African Chapter of the Cape Society of Chartered Accountants in operation since 1955, to regulate the accounting profession. Membership of the institute is mandatory in order to use the Chartered Accountant (Namibia) designation. The Institute endeavours to promote the common interest of persons carrying on the accounting profession throughout Namibia; advance the theory and practice of accountancy in all its aspects; preserve the professional independence of members of the accounting profession; strive for a high standard of professional conduct and to preserve and maintain the integrity and status of the accounting profession in Namibia; and encourage growth in the accounting profession in Namibia.
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
Since 2014, ICAN is no longer responsible for the implementation of quality assurance (QA) reviews in Namibia and it focuses its efforts on supporting the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Board (PAAB), which is now the entity responsible for conducting QA reviews, and its members with the implementation of quality control standards. According to ICAN, the PAAB’s QA review system, originally established by ICAN, is line with the SMO 1 requirements.
Prior to 2014, ICAN collaborated with the South African Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors and contracted firms to establish and carry out QA reviews for its members offering audit services. Subsequently, it facilitated the transition of QA reviews to the PAAB by providing the PAAB with its methodology and records of completed and planned reviews. ICAN is now actively involved in the PAAB’s QA Committee to ensure that QA reviews continue to be carried out.
Moreover, ICAN supports its members who offer audit services by providing implementation guidance on ISQC 1 and including QA-related topics in its continuing professional development programming. ICAN also established a Technical Committee that monitors changes to SMO 1 and determines if ICAN’s QA methodology needs updating. In the event its methodology needs to be updated, the Committee submits a proposal to the PAAB to approve and implement.
- SMO 2: International Education Standards
ICAN is responsible for implementing initial professional development (IPD) and establishing continuing professional development (CPD) requirements for its members and partners with both the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Board (PAAB) and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) to ensure its requirements are in line with the revised IES.
Prior to 2014, when the PAAB assumed responsibility for determining IPD requirements for trainee accountants, ICAN established a Training and Education Committee (TRECO) to oversee and monitor compliance with its training regulations and membership requirements. With the PAAB now operational, four of ICAN’s members and the current Chair of the TRECO are a part of the PAAB’s Education and Training Committee to assist with the transition process and ensure that the PAAB monitors changes to SAICA’s regulations and pronouncements by the IAESB. ICAN is also monitoring changes to the IES and IAESB pronouncements and communicates them to SAICA and the PAAB as necessary.
ICAN also monitors IAESB pronouncements to ensure that its practical experience requirements remain aligned with the standards. It reports that the PAAB has accredited reviewers conduct inspections visits of its training offices every three years to ensure compliance with IES and has an accredited trainer provide an annual competency-based training course and an annual update course on training regulation changes.
Additionally, ICAN members must annually submit a CPD declaration to confirm compliance with the CPD requirements. ICAN states that it advertises the CPD events in local media and via email and provides its members with a copy of the CPD policy and declaration statement to reinforce members’ knowledge of their obligations.
As of 2016, ICAN indicates that it is working on developing its capacity execute three initiatives: i) to conduct accreditations of Namibian tertiary education institutions; ii) to review SAICA’s education and training policies and procedures to amend them as necessary before the TRECO formally adopts them; and iii) to launch an audit professional program and final assessment that contextualizes SAICA’s examinations to Namibian tax and commercial legislation by 2018.
- SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
Although the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Board (PAAB) is the statutory auditing standard-setter, in 2014 PAAB officially delegated its responsibility to ICAN as the entity legally responsible for adopting of auditing standards. Prior to this, ICAN had been the de facto standard-setter when it adopted all ISA in 2005 as issued by the IAASB without modifications and including effective date.
ICAN has established a Technical Committee which is responsible for monitoring changes to the standards and pronouncements issued by the IAASB. As part of its collaboration with other stakeholders, ICAN has invited a member of the PAAB, the Bank of Namibia, and the Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority to sit on its Technical Committee.
ICAN’s Technical Committee supports its members by receiving queries and requests from members regarding technical matters on ISA. When the Technical Committee, after consultation with relevant stakeholders, determines that certain queries require guidance for its members it will subsequently issue a Circular to inform its entire membership. Circulars are binding on members of the institute. ICAN then uploads the Circulars to its website to inform its members and uses an instant messaging software to alert its members of pronouncements, legislative changes, and other pertinent issues.
In addition, ICAN provides implementation guidance for audits of small- and medium-sized entities and offers annual continuing professional development training seminars on IAASB pronouncements and has included an extra continuing professional development (CPD) course for the end of 2016 on the new audit report. ICAN indicates that at least eight CPD seminars are offered annually to provide a minimum of 40 hours of ICAN CPD which are taught by external experts contracted by ICAN especially for the seminar.
Moreover, ICAN also participates in the international standard-setting process by submitting comments to Exposure Drafts published by the IAASB through its Technical Committee.
ICAN is encouraged to continue to raise its members’ and the PAAB’s awareness of the new audit reporting standards, effective as of December 2016, and consider steps to assist with members’ implementation of the standards.
- SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
ICAN is responsible for establishing ethical requirements for its members and its Council has adopted the 2015 IESBA Code of Ethics in August 2016 which its members are required to adhere to. As such, the Council monitors revisions and pronouncements issued by the IESBA in order to update the Code and also monitors enquiries from its members regarding the Code in order to issue updates and additional training as necessary.
In addition, ICAN has successfully encouraged the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Board (PAAB) to adopt the 2015 IESBA Code of Ethics for registered auditors through its representatives on the Board.
To support its members, ICAN reports that it presented an ethics workshop in July 2016 and is planning another workshop on ethics for 2017. Additionally, it states that it plans to engage with the Ethics Institute of South Africa in 2017 to host a continuing professional development (CPD) event on ethics in business.
In 2014, ICAN participated in a review of the King III Code on Corporate Governance in collaboration with the Namibian Stock Exchange and the Institute of Directors of Southern Africa to adapt the Code to Namibian legislation. The results of the review were published in Q2 of 2014 as the NAMCODE and are being promoted to the government and private sector as a guidance to best practices in governance. ICAN also held a CPD event on the application of NAMCODE to promote it to its members.
ICAN is encouraged to review the non-compliance with laws and regulations (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 raise the PAAB’s awareness of the new standard. ICAN could consider participating in the international standard-setting process by submitting comments to Exposure Drafts issued by the IESBA.
- SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
ICAN is not responsible for the adoption of public sector accounting standards in Namibia and none its members work in the public sector. Nevertheless, it indicates that it is playing an active role in promoting the necessity of adopting IPSAS to the Ministry of Finance (MoF), which is the entity responsible for adoption.
ICAN has previously hosted a training for the National Assembly Standing Committee on Public Accountants to promote the adoption of IPSAS and was involved in the 21st Conference of Commonwealth Auditors General in 2011 where it promoted the adoption of IPSAS to strengthen financial management.
In 2016, ICAN has formalized a terms of reference for a Public Sector Committee which would include a representative from the Ministry of Finance, the Auditor General, and Accountant General in order to discuss how the institute can support the adoption of IPSAS. ICAN plans to propose the establishment of this Committee to the Ministry of Finance in order to receive the MoF’s endorsement and the necessary participation from the MoF’s office. Additionally, ICAN is planning to host a roundtable event on the adoption of IPSAS with representatives from neighboring countries to share their experiences and further encourage the MoF to consider adopting IPSAS for application in Namibia.
ICAN has also established an agreement with the MoF to have three standing meetings throughout the year to further discuss the adoption of IPSAS.
- SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
ICAN is responsible for establishing and operating an I&D system for its members and has taken significant steps to ensure that its system remains compliant with the SMO 6 requirements.
In 2012, ICAN reports that it updated its I&D procedures after a comparison to South African Institute of Chartered Accountants’ and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe’s I&D systems. Additionally, in 2015, through a Special General Meeting, ICAN moved its I&D procedures from the Constitution to its By-Laws as the Constitution permits the Council to amend the By-Laws. This will allow the institute to ensure that its I&D mechanisms continue to address the SMO 6 requirements and make adjustments as necessary. In addition, this would also allow the institute to make disciplinary hearings open to the public. Subsequently, ICAN made its new Constitution available on its website in order to communicated changes and provides its new members with the Constitution, By-Laws, and Code of Ethics at its annual welcoming event.
Since its establishment, ICAN has had an Investigation Committee and a Disciplinary Committee. The Investigation Committee is responsible for receiving and considering complaints against members of the institute based on information arising from quality assurance reviews, monitored continuing professional development requirements, and complaints from the public or clients of firms. If a complaint is found to be substantive, the Investigation Committee will refer the matter to the Disciplinary Committee. The Disciplinary Committee will hold a formal disciplinary hearing to determine sanctions arising from the charge of misconduct. The I&D system permits appeals only outside of the Disciplinary Committee through the legal system. ICAN reports that the composition of its Committees requires improvement as it is only comprised of members of the institute and is already under review by the Council.
However, since July 2012, ICAN indicates that complaints to the institute have declined with the establishment of the Public Accountants’ and Auditors’ Board’s (PAAB) I&D system. ICAN received three complaints in 2015 related to services and fees which were resolved by the Secretariat. ICAN collaborates with the PAAB on I&D matters by providing the PAAB with any complaint filed against an ICAN member that is registered with the PAAB. ICAN will only address the complaint once PAAB has completed its findings to avoid any contradictory result. ICAN reports that while the PAAB’s I&D system is mostly in line with SMO 6 requirements, ICAN plans on providing the PAAB with a copy of SMO 6 requirements as it undertakes its review of its I&D procedures.
ICAN is encouraged to prioritize plans to address the gaps in compliance with the SMO 6 requirements, namely the composition of its Investigation and Disciplinary Committees, and indicate these plans in its Action Plan.
- SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
ICAN is the entity responsible for adopting accounting standards in Namibia and having adopted all IFRS as issued by the IASB since 2005 and all IFRS for SMEs since 2010, it focuses on ensuring the proper implementation of the standards.
ICAN has established a Technical Committee which is responsible for monitoring changes to the standards and pronouncements issued by the IASB. ICAN’s Technical Committee is responsible for commenting on drafts issued by the IASB. The Committee supports ICAN members by receiving queries and requests from members regarding technical matters on IFRS. When the Technical Committee, after consultation with relevant stakeholders, determines that certain queries require guidance for its members it will subsequently issue a Circular to inform its entire membership. Circulars are binding on members of the institute. ICAN then uploads the Circulars to its website to inform its members and uses an instant messaging software to alert its members of pronouncements, legislative changes, and other pertinent issues.
ICAN indicates that the seminars are offered three times a year for a total of four days of training and are taught by external experts contracted by ICAN especially for the seminar. In addition, financial statement disclosure is also reviewed during the course on ICAN’s Quality Assurance Engagement reviews to ensure that financial statements comply with IFRS.
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