Institute of Chartered Accountants of Trinidad and Tobago
Member | Established: 1970 | Member since 1977
ICATT was established by the ICATT Act of 1970. Membership in ICATT is mandatory for auditors, and voluntary for accountants.
ICATT is the accounting and auditing standard setter in the jurisdiction that promotes and contributes to the advancement of the profession, and provides professional training.
In addition to being a member of IFAC, ICATT is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean.
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
The ICATT Act of 1970 empowers ICATT to statutorily regulate auditors.
With that authority, ICATT signed a contract with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) to develop a QA review system which it states fulfills SMO 1 requirements. The QA review system was established in 2007 for the inspection of its members’ audits, and the audit monitoring visits began in 2009. ICATT has since renewed its contract with ACCA, and therefore QA reviews continue to be outsourced to ACCA through December 2019. ACCA submits reports to ICATT’s Licensing Committee for review and action. The committee will also receive reports on QA reviews from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC) in some instances.
Based on the results of QA reviews, the Licensing Committee has the power to refer matters to ICATT’s Investigations Committee as needed. ICATT has been disseminating reports on the reviews available from the ACCA, and has been coordinating training sessions based on deficiencies discovered in the review process.
The institute makes its Annual Reports available to the public via its website, which includes the results of QA reviews. It reports in the 2017 Annual Report on Audit Monitoring Visits that since 2009, 205 audit monitoring visits have been conducted and in 2017 alone, a total of 22 were completed. ICATT indicates that it has plans to expand its review program to include non-audit members in public practice and is considering self-reporting models for them.
ICATT is encouraged to consider how it can tailor its trainings based on the findings of all QA reviews.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
ICATT has the legal authority to establish initial professional development (IPD) and continuing professional development (CPD) requirements for its members.
ICATT’s current IPD requirements include passing examinations (under a joint ICATT and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants scheme) and acquiring specified practical experience. After an extensive review process, as of January 1, 2018, ICATT has begun issuing Practicing and Auditing Certificates based on hours of relevant practical experience under the supervision of an accredited principal (employer).
As of the date of the assessment, there is no examination on local tax and business law. For this reason, ICATT reports that it is exploring the possibility of administering its own local tax and company law examinations or working with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean to set a regional taxation and company law examination. Given the institute’s capacity, discussions are ongoing at the regional level on how to best pursue and implement such an examination.
Furthermore, effective January 1, 2018, ICATT revamped its CPD requirements to comply with IES 7 and IES 8. Members are required to complete at least 40 hours of CPD per year where at least 21 CPD hours must be verifiable. Members that possess Auditing and Practicing Certificates are required to complete an additional 10 hours of CPD annually in the specialized areas of practice. At least half of CPD hours completed annually must be verifiable for members possessing Auditing and Practicing Certificates. ICATT notes that it has worked to enhance its communications with members and receive feedback on CPD courses to ensure that trainings are geared toward members’ needs. For example, based on feedback received from members, ICATT reportedly conducted roughly 22 courses on audit reporting in 2017.
Lastly, to support its members, ICATT reports to be updating its website to post all IAESB pronouncements and in the interim is distributing IAESB pronouncements to members via email.
ICATT is encouraged to review the national requirements against those of the revised 2015 IES—which emphasize learning outcomes approaches—and, if gaps exist, create plans to work with other stakeholders to bring the national requirements in line with those of the revised standards. If deemed feasible, ICATT is encouraged to participate in the international standard-setting process by providing comments on exposure drafts and other pronouncements issued by the IAESB.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
ICATT, as empowered by the ICATT Act of 1970 sets standards for all audits in the jurisdiction. It has adopted ISA as issued by the IAASB without modification which include the new auditor’s report.
ICATT reports that it has ongoing processes for disseminating information on new and modified IAASB pronouncements, providing training, including standard-related topics in its continuing professional development courses, and developing technical guidance to support its members with the implementation of the standards. ICATT indicates that it solicits feedback from members on draft pronouncements issued by the IAASB. While ICATT has not responded to any exposure drafts to date, ICATT as assigned responsibility to its Audit & Accounting Standards Committee to fulfill this function going forward.
ICATT is encouraged to update its SMO Action Plan to indicate its recent and planned activities in this area, such as supporting its members with the implementation of the applicable standards. For example, ICATT could include highlight current training initiatives around ISA for members and stakeholders. ICATT is also encouraged to support its Audit & Accounting Standards Committee in providing comments on IAASB exposure drafts so that the jurisdiction experience is shared at the global level.
SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
ICATT has adopted the IESBA Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants by reference and has focused its activities on providing training, including ethics topics in continuing professional development activities, and disseminating information on the updates of the IESBA Code of Ethics to its members via a quarterly newsletter. The institute utilizes the support and resources of its Council members—one of whom is an Ethics Officer at firm—to offer ethics trainings based on IESBA material.
ICATT is encouraged to update its SMO Action Plan to indicate its recent and planned activities in this area, such as supporting its members with the implementation of the new NOCLAR standard—a significant, international ethics standard for auditors and other professional accountants. ICATT is also encouraged to provide comments on IESBA Exposure Drafts if deemed feasible.
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
ICATT has no legal mandate for the adoption of public sector accounting standards which are determined by the government of Trinidad and Tobago. Nevertheless, it reports that it promotes the adoption of IPSAS to the Ministry of Finance, the Comptroller of Accounts, and the Auditor General. For example, the ICATT had planned different activities to promote IPSAS adoption at a June 2015 meeting of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean—more information on the execution and outcomes of these initiatives have been requested as part of the assessment process.
ICATT reports that it continues to participate in the Ministry of Finance’s Working Group on Accounting and Financial Reporting Framework Policies and procedures to move towards IPSAS adoption.
ICATT is encouraged to update its SMO Action Plan to include specific examples of activities and initiatives it is undertaking to promote IPSAS in Trinidad and Tobago, and to report on any outcomes. ICATT could also elaborate on how it is supporting the government’s drive to implement IPSAS and strong public financial management (e.g. through training of public sector staff, organizing events, and/or advocating for public sector competencies).
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
In accordance with the ICATT Act of 1970, ICATT is responsible for investigative and disciplinary (I&D) procedures over its members. After adopting revised Rules and Regulations on February 15, 2017, ICATT reports that its I&D system is now in line with the requirements of SMO 6.
Effective January 1, 2018, members of the ICATT Council are no longer eligible to serve on any I&D tribunal or committee as members, Chairman or Vice-Chairman. Since the new rules and regulations for I&D passed in early 2018, ICATT has been focusing on conducting training for members of the I&D tribunals and committees on the new processes to ensure that they observe due process. ICATT plans to conduct annual reviews of its system to ensure that its I&D system continues to be in line with SMO 6 requirements.
ICATT is encouraged to include in its SMO Action Plan examples of activities being carried out to distribute information to members regarding recent developments and revisions made to the I&D system. ICATT is also encouraged to set a clear timeline for the annual review of the new I&D system to ensure that alignment with SMO 6 requirements continues as implementation progresses.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
The ICATT Act of 1970; the Companies Act of 1995, and the Companies Regulations of 1997; the Insurance Act of 1980 (as amended 2009); the Financial Institutions Act of 2008; and the Securities Industry Act of 1995, establish basic financial reporting requirements in Trinidad & Tobago. The Acts generally do not contain detailed accounting and financial reporting requirements but rather refer to standards adopted by ICATT.
ICATT adopted IFRS and IFRS for Small- and Medium-sized Entities by reference and without modification, and focuses on supporting its members with implementation of standards through training and education activities. It has also established a mechanism to disseminate new and modified IASB pronouncements and make them available to its members.
While ICATT has not responded to any exposure drafts issued by the IASB to date, ICATT reports it assigned responsibility to its Audit & Accounting Standards Committee to fulfill this function going forward.
ICATT is encouraged to update its SMO Action Plan to indicate its recent and planned activities in this area, such as supporting its members with the implementation of the applicable standards. For example, ICATT could include highlight current training initiatives around IFRS for members and stakeholders. ICATT is also encouraged to support its Audit & Accounting Standards Committee in providing comments on IASB exposure drafts so that the jurisdiction experience is shared at the global level.
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.