International Arab Society of Certified Accountants
Member | Established: 1984 | Member since 1985
The IASCA was established in 1984 in the United Kingdom as a non-profit professional accounting association, and was formally registered in Jordan in 1994 by the Ministry of Industry and Trade as the Arab Society of Certified Accountants. Although registered in Jordan, the association operates as a regional accountancy organization in the Middle East, and comprises solely individuals from academia and the public and private sectors. The IASCA is an organization with voluntary membership with a mission to enhance the professional and technical competence of the accountancy profession in the Arab world. It offers various certification schemes to fulfill its mandate.
In addition to being a Member of IFAC, the IASCA is a member of the International Committee for Accounting Education and Research.
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
With no direct responsibility for the adoption of quality assurance (QA) system, the IASCA reports that it intends to support the Jordanian Association of Certified Public Accountants (JACPA) in promoting the establishment of a mandatory QA system that incorporates SMO 1 requirements. It indicates that it plans to work with JACPA to create Quality Control and Quality Review Committees. It also plans to initiate discussions with JACPA to jointly conduct QA review training for JACPA practitioners in May 2018 and to establish a mechanism where both associations can work together in monitoring and enforcing compliance with the mandatory QA system by May 2018.
In addition, as its members reside in a number of different countries, with different statutory requirements, rules, and legislation, maintaining its own system of quality assurance becomes challenging. The IASCA focuses, instead, on raising members’ awareness—through development of formal communication and education programs (seven were conducted in 2016 and 2017)—of the importance of implementing ISQC 1 and ISA 220, Quality Control for an Audit of Financial Statements, and providing training on the standards.
Lastly, to support the IASCA members, the association plans to develop guidance material on the QA review process.
In the next SMO Action Plan Update, the IASCA is encouraged to demonstrate the execution of its plans to collaborate with the JACPA, particularly as it relates to promoting the establishment of a mandatory QA system that incorporates SMO 1 requirements. The IASCA is also encouraged to support its members in the implementation of quality control standards in light of the planned introduction of QA reviews in Jordan in the near future.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
The IASCA has shared responsibility for initial professional development (IPD) and continuing professional development (CPD) for its members. It maintains an ongoing process to update its professional certification programs to align them with IES. The IASCA monitors the activities of the IAESB for changes to requirements and incorporates them into its curriculum and examinations as necessary.
Also, it continues to raise awareness of the importance of incorporating IES into the IPD programs of education institutes and universities—for example, it plans to conduct a seminar for university chairmen in Jordan in April 2018; an awareness-raising session for the IASCA trainers and education consultants in May 2018; and an IASCA conference on the future of the profession in November 2018.
The IASCA keeps its members abreast of their CPD obligations and provides CPD learning opportunities. The IASCA also intends to explore options of expanding its CPD course offerings to its members by reviewing possible third-party providers. As of the date of the assessment, the IASCA reports to be cooperating with several entities to support its members—Talal Abu Ghazaleh Firm; Arab Institute for Accountants (UAE); Berkeley SVP Center (UAE); Jordanian Ministry of Finance; Al-Zarqaa University (Jordan); MH&P Consulting Firm (Egypt); Lebanese Association of Certified Public Accountants; Bait Al Hekma Training Center (Iraq); and Libyan Stock Market (Libya).
The IASCA reports to provide its members with the latest version of IES on an ongoing basis for informational purposes. The association also indicates in its SMO Action Plan that it translated the 2015 version of the Handbook of International Education Pronouncements into Arabic and is in the process of translating the 2017 version.
Lastly, the IASCA reports that it participates in standard-setting events such as the annual conference of World Standard-Setters held by the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation (September 2016 and September 2017). It also reports to be considering participating in the international standard-setting process by providing comments on IAESB Exposure Drafts and Other Pronouncements.
In its next SMO Action Plan update, the IASCA is encouraged to conduct a review of the existing overall IPD and CPD requirements in Jordan for all categories of professional accountants against the IES requirements and report on the areas where improvements may be needed.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
The IASCA has no direct responsibility for the adoption of auditing standards in Jordan. However, it enhances awareness of new and revised standards and pronouncements through its newsletters and supports the implementation of ISA, by ensuring that the latest version of the standards are translated into Arabic in a timely manner and are available to its members and other professionals.
As of the date of the assessment, the IASCA established a translation agreement with IFAC and translated the 2016–2017 Handbook of International Quality Control, Auditing, Review, Other Assurance, and Related Services Pronouncements. It also monitors revisions to ISA and other pronouncements promulgated by the IAASB, and provides periodic updates. In addition, the society facilitates the incorporation of new and revised standards into certification, education, examination, and continuing professional development material and programs. It further supports the implementation process by translating guidance material prepared by IFAC such as the Guide to using ISA in the Audits of Small- and Medium-Sized Entities (3rd Edition), and by providing training to enhance professionals’ understanding and ability to apply the standards.
The IASCA is encouraged to consider including plans in its SMO Action Plan 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 IASCA has no responsibility for setting ethical requirements for the profession in Jordan; however, it requires its members to comply with the IESBA Code of Ethics to retain membership. The IASCA reports that it communicates ethical requirements by mentioning the Code of Ethics in training material and holding awareness sessions to enhance the knowledge and implementation of the requirements.
The IASCA reports to monitor any revisions to the IESBA Code of Ethics in an ongoing manner and focuses its activities on raising awareness by translating the latest versions of the Code into Arabic (2016 Handbook of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants). It also indicates that it integrates the requirements of the Code into training programs for its members. The IASCA reports to have created a web-based depository with ethics related content for its members (www.ascajordan.org/publications.aspx).
The society also engages with government representatives on areas between national legal requirements and the IESBA Code of Ethics where conflicts may arise. The IASCA executed an exercise to compare national ethical requirements contained in various laws and regulations with the IESBA Code to identify differences and bring them to the attention of the responsible parties. It is also reportedly reviewing its education, certification and continuing professional development syllabi to improve alignment with the IESBA Code.
The IASCA also assists members with application and compliance by offering various ethics-related courses and training.
Lastly, the IASCA included in its SMO Action Plan its plan to disseminate Exposure Drafts and other IESBA pronouncements to its members.
The IASCA is encouraged to consider including plans in its SMO Action Plan to participate in the international standard-setting process by providing comments on Exposure Drafts and other IESBA pronouncements.
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
The IASCA does not have any responsibility for public sector accounting standards. Therefore, it focuses its efforts on promoting adoption and implementation of IPSAS in Jordan. The IASCA has a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Finance to support implementation of IPSAS in the jurisdiction. In addition, it promotes and raises awareness by making available Arabic translations of the standards in a timely manner, and provides updates via its website on IPSASB pronouncements. It has established dialogue with professional accountancy organizations in the countries of the region to enhance knowledge sharing on IPSAS adoption and implementation. In addition, the IASCA offers courses and hosts conferences and lectures on IPSAS throughout the Arab world. It indicates in its SMO Action Plan that it is planning to develop an IPSAS certification by July 2018.
Lastly, the IASCA reports that it will complete the translation of the 2016 Handbook of International Public Sector Accounting Pronouncements for its members and professionals in the Middle East region in November 2017.
The IASCA is encouraged to consider including plans in its SMO Action Plan to participate in the international standard-setting process by providing comments on Exposure Drafts and other IPSASB pronouncements.
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
The IASCA does not have the authority to carry out investigation and discipline (I&D) for professional accountants in Jordan, as this responsibility lies with the Jordanian Association of Certified Public Accountants (JACPA), in consultation with the Jordanian Courts and the Higher Committee of the Accountancy Profession. However, the IASCA reports to have established an I&D system for its members based on JACPA’s system. The IASCA completed a self-assessment of its I&D system and confirmed that its system incorporates the main requirements of SMO 6.
An I&D Committee has been established to undertake investigation, disciplinary, and appeals processes. To support members’ understanding of the system, the IASCA has circulated guidance on the investigative and disciplinary procedures via its newsletter (annually) and website.
The IASCA is encouraged to cooperate with stakeholders in promoting and supporting adoption of an I&D system for the jurisdiction.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
The IASCA has no direct responsibility for the adoption of IFRS, but it supports the adoption and implementation of the standards through its focus on making available Arabic translations of IFRS and IFRS for SMEs, and by offering relevant training. It monitors changes to the standards and provides updates through courses and workshops. In addition, it offers certification courses and examinations in IFRS and collaborates with the IFRS Foundation to raise awareness and understanding of IFRS for SMEs in Arab countries. Furthermore, the IASCA cooperates with university professors to incorporate IFRS, including any new or revised standards, in university curricula.
Lastly, IASCA encourages its members to provide comments on Exposure Drafts and other pronouncements.
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