Jordanian Association of Certified Public Accountants
Member | Established: 1988 | Member since 1992
The Jordanian Association of Certified Public Accountants (JACPA) was established in 1988 in accordance with Law No. 42 of 1987. It is a mandatory membership organization comprising accountants and auditors. Its functions include advising on standard-setting; ensuring that its members comply with the laws governing the profession, the association’s by-laws and ethical requirements; providing education and training to the accountancy profession; and promoting the interest of the profession. The JACPA is a member of IFAC and the Gulf Cooperation Council Accounting and Auditing Organization.
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
As quality assurance (QA) reviews are not required in Jordan, JACPA has no direct responsibility for establishing a quality assurance (QA) review system. Nonetheless, the JACPA reports that it performs inspections of members when complaints are received and that inspections have been planned for specific business sectors. JACPA has conducted a self-assessment of its QA review system and has identified areas that require improvements in order to better align with the SMO 1 requirements, particularly the scope of its system, the review cycle, and disciplinary actions. As of 2012, it also appears that some small and medium firms may be participating voluntarily in QA reviews; however, the association reports that it has not been able to carry out reviews of larger firms due to stakeholder resistance.
To address this issue, the JACPA’s efforts have primarily focused on promoting draft changes to Law No. 73 of 2003 on Organizing the Practice of the Public Accounting Profession to make participation in the QA review system a mandatory membership requirement, which is estimated to be completed in December 2018. During the 2012–2013 period, while the association had been encouraging this legal change, with assistance from the World Bank, it developed tools and resources to prepare its members for implementation of its QA system. The JACPA reports that it continues to implement necessary changes to the system to ensure it is in line with SMO 1 and to communicate and provide trainings for its members on ISA 220 and ISQC 1.
Currently, the JACPA plans to develop a cooperative QA program with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Lebanese Association of Certified Public Accountants, and the Arab Federation of Accountants and Auditors based on a workshop that was done in 2015. The regional team is scheduled to begin reviews in countries of the region in November 2018.
While the JACPA has made progress with the assistance of the World Bank, it is encouraged to revise its SMO Action Plan to reflect the current context, objectives, as well as plans for the 2017–2019 periods. The association is advised to follow the guidance provided by IFAC to update its SMO Action Plan. It is should also clarify whether QA reviews are currently being carried out and whether the system meets SMO 1 requirements, which are available in Appendix II of this document and within the SMO Action Plan. The JACPA is also encouraged to clarify whether ISQC 1 has been adopted, and to provide clear indications of its activities to educate and train its members. Finally, JACPA is also encouraged to provide any updates available on the status of the proposed amendments to the Jordanian Law No. 73 of 2003.
- SMO 2: International Education Standards
The JACPA is responsible for adopting and implementing IES requirements related to professional certification examinations, practical experience requirements, and continuing professional development (CPD) requirements for its members.
The association has an Exam Committee composed of the Chairman of the Jordan Accounting Bureau, the JACPA Chairman, two universities professors, and two professional accountants. The JACPA reports that questions are collected from universities, professionals and regulatory departments.
The JACPA has taken an inputs-based approach to adoption of practical experience and CPD requirements. Candidates for JACPA membership must complete three years of supervised practical experience, and following admission, they must complete a minimum of 20 hours of CPD per year. JACPA monitors CPD fulfillment and conducts periodic audits to ensure compliance by its members.
With assistance from the World Bank, the JACPA has ongoing plans in place since 2013 and 2014 to design and implement a system of CPD as well as a system for monitoring achievement of the updated requirement of 40 hours per year with 120 hours cumulative over a three-year period. In addition, as part of the project, JACPA created a committee of university instructors to promote adoption of the IES requirements and improve university accounting education. However, it is unclear if the initiative has been executed and if the CPD requirements have since been revised for its members, especially given that the institute has noted plans to establish a training committee dedicate to aligning CPD programming with IES requirements by 2018. Nevertheless, JACPA does note that it carries out training courses for members on IFRS and ISA updates, business law developments, and taxation on an annual basis.
JACPA has noted there is a lack of translated study materials but it is unclear how JACPA may be working to help address this issue.
Lastly, the JACPA also reports that it continuously monitors IAESB pronouncements and carries out ongoing promotion and support of initial professional development and CPD requirements in line with the IES. However, no specific actions are outlined.
While the JACPA has made progress with the assistance of the World Bank, it is encouraged to revise its SMO Action Plan, following guidance provided by IFAC, to reflect the current context, objectives, as well as plans for the 2017–2019 periods. The JACPA is also encouraged to provide clear descriptions of its activities to promote and support adoption of IES with other stakeholders, particularly the activities of the committee with university professors. Since the IES have been revised (effective in 2015), the JACPA should consider developing specific plans to review, adopt, and promote and support the relevant new requirements.
- SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
Under Law No. 73 of 2003 on Organizing the Practice of the Public Accounting Profession, the JACPA is responsible for recommending the auditing standards the Higher Committee of the Accountancy Profession (HCAP) is to adopt. In 1992, the HCAP adopted all ISA as issued by the IAASB for current and future audits. Since all revised and new ISA are applicable in Jordan with the effective date issued by the IAASB, the JACPA focuses its efforts on providing implementation support, by offering trainings for its members. The association also develops conferences and events for its members and participates in regional events on ISA.
JACPA is planning to use audit software to ensure higher quality audits. This audit software, Pack PE-EK, is expected to standardize audit procedures in order to reduce judgmental audit issues and therefore, ensure higher quality audits particularly by small- and medium practitioners. JACPA intends to collaborate with the Arab Federation of Accountants and Auditors to acquire the Pack PE-EEK audit tool and have an Arabic version of the tool by June 2017. JACPA also states that it plans to develop guidance to assist its members with ISA implementation in small and medium practices.
The JACPA is encouraged to revise its SMO Action Plan, according to the guidance and recommendations provided by IFAC, to clarify activities it is undertaking for the 2017–2019 periods, in particular its intent of “general purpose translations” of standards’ headings and guidance development. Additionally, it is encouraged to highlight some specific examples of activities the association has planned for the 2017–2019 periods. Moreover, the association is encouraged to include information specifically related to how the new and revised ISA (effective 2016) is being adopted, as well as the training and other implementation support activities planned. The JACPA should also indicate the translation of the ISA that is being used.
The JACPA should also include plans related to notifying members and the general public of all new, proposed, and revised international standards and other pronouncements. Finally, the association is encouraged to participate in the international standard-setting process by providing comments to the IAASB’s Exposure Drafts and contributing to public consultations.
- SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
In accordance with Law No. 73 of 2003 on Organizing the Practice of the Public Accounting Profession, the JACPA is responsible for recommending the ethical requirements for professional accountants that the Higher Committee of the Accountancy Profession (HCAP) is to adopt. In 1992, the HCAP adopted the IESBA Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.
Since all revised and new requirements of the IESBA Code are applicable in Jordan with the effective date issued by the IESBA, the JACPA focuses on providing updates and trainings to its members in order to support implementation.
While the JACPA reports that the IESBA Code is required with the effective date as issued by the IESBA, it does not seem that there is an ongoing process to consider new and revised pronouncements and the congruence with Jordanian Laws. The JACPA had plans for the 2012–2015 periods to compare all ethical requirements in legislation and compare those to the IESBA Code to identify areas of deviations. Furthermore, the association was going to develop a compendium of the ethical requirements in Jordanian Laws to distribute to its members. However, the project has been postponed while focus was placed on the development of a quality assurance system. Similarly, JACPA has also had plans since 2012 to introduce an ethics exam as part of licensing requirements but this is initiative is pending upon the approval of the amendments to the Law No. 73 of 2003 on Organizing the Practice of the Public Accounting Profession. The JACPA has not indicated an estimated timeline, nor have they considered developing a voluntary exam in the meantime.
The JACPA is encouraged to revise its SMO Action Plan according to the guidance and recommendations provided by IFAC, such as highlighting the specific activities the association has planned for the 2017–2019 periods. This includes providing updates on its delayed action items. The JACPA should ensure an ongoing process is in place to consider the impacts of new and revised pronouncements on the ethical requirements of Jordanian Laws.
The association is encouraged to specifically include information in its SMO Action Plan related to how the NOCLAR standard (effective 2017) will be adopted, as well as the specific training and other implementation support activities planned. The JACPA should also incorporate plans related to sharing translations of the IESBA Code with its members, as well as notifying members and the general public of all new, proposed, and revised international standards and other pronouncements. The JACPA is encouraged to clarify if it has adopted the 2015 Handbook of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants that was already translated into Arabic for its members to apply.
Finally, the association is encouraged to participate in the international standard-setting process by providing comments to the IESBA’s Exposure Drafts and contributing to public consultations.
- SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
The Ministry of Finance (MoF), the entity responsible for the adoption of public sector accounting standards, officially endorsed the adoption and implementation of IPSAS in 2015, and a five-year implementation road map is in place, with implementation assistance coming from the United States Agency for International Development under Jordan’s Fiscal Reform Project. The five-year plan is expected to entail a gradual transformation from cash-basis to accrual-basis. Both the JACPA as well as the International Arab Society of Certified Accountants are involved in the project to provide the following support: (a) producing seminars/training courses on the subject; (b) giving consultancy and advice in implementing each standard; (c) recommending the adoption of best accounting policies, if any, that will serve the Jordanian economy and governmental budget; and (d) providing any assistance to the project as needed. Prior to the adoption decision by the MoF, the JACPA was active in raising awareness of the IPSAS and promoting their adoption through meetings with the government officials.
To support its members, JACPA plans to start conducting course on IPSAS implementation in 2017.
The JACPA is encouraged to develop more detailed plans for the 2017–2019 periods regarding the areas of support it is providing in the IPSAS implementation project and include these in its SMO Action Plan. Additional examples of planned activities to support its members for the 2017–2019 reporting period would also be beneficial.
- SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
According to Law No. 73 of 2003 on Organizing the Practice of the Public Accounting Profession, the JACPA has the authority to discipline professional accountants and has an operational Investigation Committee, Disciplinary Committee, and appeals process. The association states that it cooperates with the Jordanian Courts to operate its investigative and disciplinary (I&D) system, and it must seek approval from the Higher Committee of the Accountancy Profession (HCAP) to enforce certain penalties, such as expulsion from membership.
The JACPA has been in the process of updating its I&D system since 2011 to ensure that all of the revised SMO 6 requirements have been adopted. An emphasis has been placed on the areas of committee composition, having a process for the independent review of complaints, and making the information of I&D proceedings available to the public. This is being done as part of the proposed reform of Law No. 73 of 2003 on Organizing the Practice of the Public Accounting Profession and also requires promoting the reforms to the HCAP. The institute notes that this has been delayed until December 2018 due to the dissolution of the Jordanian parliament and the current political situation. Additionally, JACPA has encouraged the HCAP to appoint retired JACPA members to sit on the Disciplinary Committee to enhance independence; however, the institute indicates that this recommendation is still pending and the matter is not expected to be concluded until December 2018.
The JACPA is encouraged to update its SMO Action Plan and establish specific plans in aligning its I&D system with the SMO 6 requirements. The association should also consider actions to ensure the general public is made aware of the I&D system, its processes, and how to file complaints.
- SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
In contrast to auditing and ethical standards, the association does not have a role with respect to standard-setting as the IFRS are adopted in Jordan by various laws and regulations governing financial reporting. Accordingly, the JACPA’s focus is primarily on providing trainings and updates for its members. It does this by translating and publishing amendments to the IFRS in its quarterly magazine and conducting courses and conferences on IFRS.
The JACPA states that it is committed to promoting the adoption of the IFRS for small- and medium-sized entities (SMEs); however, it notes that the main challenge for their adoption is related to the lack of a definition for SMEs in Jordan. Since SMEs are not defined in Jordan, the JACPA proposed to use the IFRS definition for entities that must use IFRS. Once confirmed by the Board, the Higher Committee of the Accountancy Profession would need to approve the definition in order to have legal backing. JACPA estimates that this initiative will be completed by December 2018.
The JACPA is encouraged to revise its SMO Action Plan according to the guidance and recommendations provided by IFAC, which include removing cancelled plans related to translations and identifying specific activities the association has planned for the 2017–2019 periods. The JACPA should also include plans related to notifying members and the general public of all new, proposed, and revised international standards and other pronouncements. Finally, the association is encouraged to participate in the international standard-setting process by providing comments to the IASB’s Exposure Drafts and contributing to public consultations.
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