Member | Established: 1944 | Member since 1978
Under the Law 633 of 1944 and the Decree 2032 of 1984, the ICPARD was established as an organization uniting Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). It is authorized to carry out specific regulatory responsibilities for CPAs and audit firms such as: (i) establishing accounting, auditing, ethical, and other professional standards for application; (ii) monitoring its members’ compliance with the Code of Ethics; (iii) maintaining registers of CPAs and firms; (iv) investigating and disciplining its members; and (v) promoting the advancement of the profession by establishing continuing professional development requirements for its members. CPAs and audit firms must be a member of the institute in order to practice accountancy in the jurisdiction. In addition to being a member of IFAC, the ICPARD is a member of the Inter-American Accounting Association (AIC) and the Group of Latin American Accounting Standards Setters (GLENIF).
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 the absence of a legally required and operational quality assurance (QA) review system for audit work, the ICPARD is pursuing plans to support the establishment and implementation of a mandatory QA review system for its members, which are the only individuals permitted to carry out audits in the Dominican Republic. The institute reports that it has adopted ISA 220 and ISQC 1 for application by its members, and has confirmed that the new suite of IAASB Quality Management standards will become effective in December 2022.
The ICPARD has created a dedicated committee to establish a mandatory QA review system. The committee first established a voluntary QA system with the support of the Inter-American Accounting Association and has confirmed mandatory participation and inspections starting in August 2022.
To support the adoption of relevant standards, ICPARD developed a Manual for the implementation of a Quality Control System for Firms in the Dominican Republic. ICPARD completed a national consultation process with all national regulators on the applicability of the manual and obtained the support of critical stakeholders. In addition, ICPARD hosted training activities on the manual across the jurisdiction to facilitate adoption.
ICPARD has reported a QA implementation plan that includes: collecting information on the status of adoption of ISQC 1 and ISA 220 by all audit firms; providing training activities; disseminating information; and ongoing liaison with national regulators. In addition, ICPARD plans to execute the QA review system in line with the SMO 1 requirements.
The ICPARD has undertaken several commendable actions to drive the adoption and implementation of a QA system for all auditors that aligns with the SMO 1 requirements. During the next round of its Action Plan update, the ICPARD is encouraged to provide an update on the establishment and implementation of the QA review system for its members and confirm the extent of alignment with SMO 1 best practices.
Importantly, the new suite of IAASB Quality Management standards that will become effective in December 2022 will require significant change management for regulators and firms. The ICPARD is encouraged to refer to the new changes from quality control standards to quality management standards as it progresses with implementing the QA reviews and preparing members and other relevant stakeholders for the change.
Lastly, the ICPARD is encouraged to establish plans in its SMO Action Plan to promote and support the development of a unified, mandatory QA review system at the jurisdiction level for all audits and/or promote regulators' QA systems’ compliance with the SMO 1 requirements.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
In the Dominican Republic, the Ministry of Finance, universities, and the ICPARD all have a role in setting initial professional development (IPD) and continuing professional development (CPD) requirements for professional accountants; however, ICPARD indicates that it has limited authority to incorporate the IES into national requirements and is only legally capable and responsible for establishing CPD requirements for its members.
Accordingly, in 2014 the institute adopted CPD requirements for its members that are in line with IES 7 requirements. To support professional competencies, the ICPARD offers certifications to professionals providing specialty services, such as, IFRS, IFRS for SMEs and ISA.
Since 2014 the ICPARD has focused on promoting IPD requirements that align with the IES. The ICPARD indicates that it has established a Continuing Education Committee that has signed agreements with various universities to promote the IES and encourage the universities to incorporate the requirements into their accounting curricula so that graduates have a uniform and adequate level of accounting education and knowledge before practicing. In addition, it has proposed changes to the Law 633 of 1944 and Decree 2032 of 1984 that would grant ICPARD the authority to set IPD requirements in line with international standards.
The ICPARD efforts to promote the IES are commendable. As the regulators' plans to adopt the latest IES requirements are unclear, the ICPARD is encouraged to adopt the 2019 IES requirements for its members where feasible. A voluntary certification aligned with the IES could be one option, as well as a university accreditation scheme, and the ICPARD can refer to examples in the region for best practices and learnings.
The latest IES standards reflect the need for competency-based approaches as well as the increasing demand for accountants skilled in information and communications technologies and place further emphasis on professional skepticism skills and behaviors. These apply to both aspiring and professional accountants. The Accountancy Education E-Tool and the IES Checklist developed by IFAC & available in Spanish may be useful and the ICPARD should review these available tools as part of its work plan to advocate for IES adoption.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
The ICPARD reports that it has adopted by reference ISA as issued by the IAASB for application in the jurisdiction for non-regulated companies and its members—the only authorized individuals in the Dominican Republic to conduct audits.
To support members’ implementation of the standards, the ICPARD has established an Audit Standards and Procedures Committee to monitor new and revised pronouncements issued by the IAASB. In addition, the ICPARD provides training activities such as workshops and train the trainers’ courses and disseminates information on the international developments in the area. Lastly, the ICPARD reports it is collaborating with universities to incorporate ISA into their accountancy curricula.
The 2020 IAASB Handbook is available, which includes ISA 540 revised (effective December 2019), ISA 315 revised (effective December 2021) and conforming amendments arising from the IESBA Code of Ethics. The ICPARD may also consider disseminating available translations of ISA 315, ISQM 1, ISQM 2, ISA 220, and ISRS 4000 (revised) that will become effective throughout 2021 – 2022 to prepare auditors to properly apply the standards upon effective date.
The ICPARD is encouraged to update its SMO Action Plan to indicate the current legal and regulatory requirements for conducting audit activities for regulated companies. The ICPARD should update the SMO Action Plan following staff guidance and indicate specific ways it is engaging with regulators to promote the adoption of ISA. If deemed feasible, it would be beneficial for the ICPARD to participate in the international standard-setting process by providing comments on exposure drafts and other IAASB pronouncements.
SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
The ICPARD is responsible for setting ethical requirements and has adopted a Code of Ethics based on the 2009 IESBA Code of Ethics. The ICPARD has created a Qualifications and Ethics Committee responsible for setting and updating the ethical requirements and ensuring compliance with the Code.
The ICPARD reports establishing a new committee that decided to update the ethical requirements significantly. The new committee is considering whether to adopt the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants by reference or update the national Code to converge with the latest requirements of the International Code issued by IESBA. The process requires extensive consultation with all stakeholders in the jurisdiction.
The ICPARD indicates that it has processes to disseminate information about the Code through seminars, CPD, its website, and printed materials.
The ICPARD should provide more concrete, detailed information and a timeline about its plan to eliminate differences between the national Code and the International Code of Ethics and/or consider the full adoption of the Intenrnational Code of Ethics for all professional accountants. Subsequently, the ICPARD is encouraged to develop activities to provide training and guidance on the ethics requirements to support proper implementation and application. The ICPARD is encouraged to update its SMO Action Plan to indicate the actions it undertakes to raise awareness amongst its members, regulators, and the public about the IESBA Code of Ethics.
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
In the Dominican Republic, the General Agency of Government Accounting (DIGECOG) has adopted the 2017 suite of accrual-basis IPSAS as the national public sector accounting standards (IFAC/CIPFA International Public Sector Financial Accountability Index 2020). The ICPARD reports that its primary role is to support the implementation process.
As part of these efforts, the ICPARD has signed training agreements with government agencies, such as the DIGECOG, the General Bureau of Governmental Ethics and Integrity, the Dominican Chamber of Accounts, and has provided multiple IPSAS workshops and training activities for its members.
Under the agreement with DIGECOG, the ICPARD continues supporting the adoption and implementation of IPSAS, including establishing an IPSAS committee to support the review of the standards, provide training activities and disseminate information to the public and its members.
The ICPARD is using its best efforts to fulfill the SMO 5 requirements. The ICPARD is encouraged to promote the adoption and implementation of the 2021 IPSAS Handbook, which is available in Spanish and is the latest version of the accrual-basis IPSAS. Adoption of accrual IPSAS as issued by the IPSASB would ensure the application of global best practices. The IFAC’s Train the Trainers: Introduction to IPSAS resource might be helpful to ICPARD to continue providing support to public sector accountants in the jurisdiction.
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
The ICPARD is responsible for establishing and operating an investigative and disciplinary (I&D) system for professional accountants and, accordingly, has created an Investigation, Qualifications, and Ethics Committee and a Disciplinary Tribune to comprise its I&D system.
The Disciplinary Tribune will hear the cases reported by the Investigation, Qualifications, and Ethics Committee. The system is operational and active; however, it is not clear if the institute has reviewed and incorporated the SMO 6 requirements into its procedures. The ICPARD reports it has proposed changes as part of the jurisdictional legislative reform that would enhance its I&D system.
The ICPARD develops activities to raise awareness among its members about the Code of Ethics and the consequences for misconduct through its I&D procedures and disseminates information on its website and social media.
I&D procedures that meet the SMO 6 benchmark are foundational to maintaining public trust and confidence in the profession. The ICPARD system continues to have gaps since its last Action Plan update in 2018. It is strongly recommended that it invest time and resources in strengthening its procedures. The ICPARD is encouraged to connect with other PAOs in the region that have overcome similar obstacles to learn from them. At a minimum, the ICPARD should communicate the gaps of its system against the requirements of SMO 6 and explain how it is planning to address the needed improvements in this area where it is legally capable.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
The ICPARD has adopted IFRS and IFRS for Small- and Medium-sized Entities (SMEs) as the applicable accounting standards for non-regulated companies. The ICPARD reports that it has established a Standards and Principles Committee, which is responsible for advising the institute in the preparation and issuance of technical resolutions (in which it has defined SMEs to clarify appropriate standards for companies), continuously reviewing and updating technical resolutions based on new and amended standards, developing implementation guidance, and developing training activities for its members.
As part of its efforts to facilitate IFRS implementation and disseminate the accounting standards, ICPARD has signed agreements with professional and business institutions and other associations, such as the Dominican Association of Engineers, Architects and Land Surveyors, the Dominican Association of Lawyers of the Dominican Republic, the Economists Association, and the National Confederation of Small and Medium Enterprises. Additionally, the institute has agreements with universities to ensure training on the standards by including IFRS in the accounting curricula.
In order to assist its members with understanding the requirements and implementation of the accounting standards, the institute has signed an agreement with the Inter-American Accounting Association to offer an online certification in IFRS for SMEs, and collaborated with international CPA firms to develop train the trainers’ courses to have the participants be able to replicate their training activities throughout the country. The ICPARD Higher Studies Center offers courses on IFRS and IFRS for SMEs to further increase members’ knowledge of the standards. Additionally, the institute supports members’ implementation and compliance with IFRS by sharing information on new and modified IASB pronouncements.
Finally, the ICPARD is a member of the Latin American Accounting Standard Setters Group and participates in the international standard-setting process by providing comments to exposure drafts on a regional level.
The ICPARD is using its best efforts to fulfill the SMO 7 requirements. Efforts to adopt the latest IFRS are strongly encouraged to bring transparency, accountability, and efficiency to national, regional, and global markets. As part of its role in supporting adoption, ICPARD is encouraged to continue its advocacy efforts with the regulators to promote the adoption of IFRS as the applicable accounting standards for regulated companies.
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.
Esq. Pedro A. Lluberes