Instituut van de Bedrijfsrevisoren - Institut des Réviseurs d'Entreprises
Member | Established: 1953 | Member since 1977
IBR-IRE is a mandatory membership organization for auditors and audit firms established in accordance with the Accounting Law of 1953. The main responsibilities of this professional accountancy organization include: supervising the organization and education of registered auditors and ensuring their competence, independence and ethics; monitoring the correct execution of the activities of its members; registering the new candidates who meet IBR-IRE’s membership requirements and maintaining the public register of IBR-IRE members; implementing initial professional development and continuing professional development requirements; and establishing a quality assurance review system. In addition, IBR-IRE is responsible for specific elements of the investigation and discipline mechanisms implemented for its members. IBR-IRE is a member of IFAC, Accountancy Europe (formerly known as FEE), and the Fédération Internationale des Experts-Comptables Francophones.
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 accordance with the Accounting Law of 1953, the IBR-IRE has established and maintains a quality assurance (QA) review system for all audits of financial statements in Belgium, under the oversight of the Referral and Preparation Chamber. In 2016, the IBR-IRE conducted a self-assessment of its QA system which revealed that the institute meets the SMO 1 requirements. The institute has contributed to the development of quality assurance requirements in line with SMO 1 and to the adoption of ISQC 1 as quality control standards by promoting them to the High Council for the Economic Professions and the Minister of Finance. The institute assists its members with the implementation of the quality assurance requirements and quality control standards by developing various activities, including training, continuing professional development sessions and issuing implementation guidance. IBR-IRE has also developed ongoing communication with the various bodies constituting the public oversight system in Belgium.
The IBR-IRE is encouraged to provide an update in its SMO Action Plan on the execution of its activities to comply with SMO 1, specifically regarding providing continuing education and training on ISQC 1 and performing QA reviews. The institute is also encouraged to update the background section of its SMO Action Plan to provide additional information on the status of implementation of the EU Audit Directive in the jurisdiction.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
In accordance with the requirements of the Accounting Law, 1953 and the Royal Decree of 2007, IBR-IRE ensures aspiring members comply with conditions of admission, practical experience requirements (via the Commission du Stage) and conducts a final assessment. In addition, the institute reports that it has set continuing professional development requirements that incorporate the requirements of the International Education Standard (IES) 7, Continuous Professional Development. The PAO actively contributes to the standard-setting process of the International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) by providing comments on exposure-drafts.
The IBR-IRE is encouraged to review the national requirements against those of the revised IES (effective as of July 2016) and, if gaps exist, consider working with other stakeholders to bring the national requirements in line with those of the revised standards. The IBR-IRE is also encouraged to provide an update on the institute’s activities, if any, which focus on the promotion of the revised standards.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
The High Council for the Economic Professions and the Minister of Economy approved the adoption of the Clarified ISA by IBR-IRE in 2010. In addition, the institute has translated and adopted the ISRE, 2410, Review of Interim Financial Information. It has developed an ongoing process to review new and revised pronouncements issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) and is actively involved in the translation of the international standards into French and Dutch, following IFAC Translation Policy and working in close coordination with the Compagnie Nationale des Commissaires aux Comptes, Royal Nivra (The Netherlands) and the European Commission. The IBR-IRE also reports that it regularly meets with the European Group of Auditors’ Oversight Bodies to provide comments on IAASB Exposure Drafts.
The institute has developed a range of activities to raise the public’s awareness of ISA and assist its members with the implementation of the auditing standards. Amongst others, the IBR-IRE has developed an ISA implementation manual and provides continuing professional development courses on this topic.
The IBR-IRE is encouraged to establish an ongoing process to support the promotion, adoption and implementation of new and revised IAASB pronouncements. The institute is also encouraged to provide an update on the adoption of the new auditor reporting standards, effective as of December 2016.
SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
Responsibility for the adoption of a Code of Ethics lies with the Belgian Government. While the current ethical requirements for registered auditors are in line with a version of the IESBA Code of Ethics issued prior to 2005, IBR-IRE has been actively promoting the incorporation of a 2009 version of the IESBA Code of Ethics into a Royal Decree. The institute reports that the Belgian Government is planning to adopt and implement an update of the ethical requirements in the context of the implementation of the EU Audit Directive by the end of 2016.
IBR-IRE assists its members with the implementation of ethical requirements by issuing implementation guidance and delivering continuing professional development courses, and contributes to the standard-setting activities of the IESBA by participating in Accountancy Europe Ethics Working party, which provides comments on the EDs issued by the international standard-setting body
The IBR-IRE is encouraged to establish ongoing processes to ensure that all new and revised requirements of the IESBA Code of Ethics are incorporated into national requirements on an ongoing basis. The institute is also encouraged to raise awareness of its members, regulators and the general public about the new NOCLAR standard, which will become effective as of July 2017, and to plan to support its incorporation into national requirements.
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
IBR-IRE has no responsibility for the adoption of public sector accounting standards. Public Sector Accounting Standards based on IPSAS have been adopted only for Flemish local authorities. IBR-IRE has created a working group to contribute to the developments of the European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS), encouraging alignment between IPSAS and EPSASs and promoting the adoption of these standards by all tiers of government in Europe. The institute has also developed training activities for its members, specifically on transparent government accounting and reporting based on IPSAS.
The IBR-IRE is encouraged, if deemed pertinent and relevant, to establish ongoing processes to support the adoption of IPSAS by the Government. The institute is also encouraged to provide additional information in its SMO Action Plan about developments in the Government’s plans to adopt IPSAS on a national level.
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
In accordance with the Law of July 22, 1953, the IBR-IRE, together with the Chamber of Disciplinary Transfer and Indictment and the Advisory and Supervisory Committee on the Independence of Statutory Auditors, has established mechanisms for investigating and disciplining its members for misconduct and breach of rules and regulations. IBR-IRE reports that fines do not form part of the possible sanctions that the Disciplinary Commission can impose due to the specificities of the judicial system in Belgium. However, following the implementation of the EU Audit Directive, the sanctions will be revisited and the legislation is expected to be in line with SMO 6 requirements allowing fines. IBR-IRE, in its 2016 SMO Action Plan, has conducted a self-assessment against SMO 6 requirements and has identified areas that need to be incorporated in its I&D mechanism.
The IBR-IRE is encouraged to continue working towards the fulfillment of SMO 6 requirements and to indicate activities to address the gaps it has identified in its self-assessment. IBR-IRE is also encouraged to update its SMO Action Plan to indicate planned activities that promote and support the implementation of the I&D system in the jurisdiction, as well as any potential developments resulting from the audit reform.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
Although IBR-IRE has no responsibility for setting accounting standards in Belgium, IBR-IRE supports and promotes the adoption of IFRS at the jurisdictional level. The institute also participates in the activities of the National Accounting Standard Commission, providing comments on the EDs issued by the International Accounting Standards Board via its participation in the IFRS subgroup of the national standard-setter. IBR-IRE provides implementation support to its members by developing and updating its continuing professional development courses on this topic.
The IBR-IRE is encouraged to expand on its plans to promote the adoption of IFRS and IFRS for SMEs in the jurisdiction.
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.