Kammer der Steuerberater und Wirtschaftsprüfer

Member | Established: 1947 | Member since 1991

KSW was established by Public Accountants’ Statute of Professional Practice (Wirtschaftstreuhandberufsgesetz - WTBG) as a mandatory membership organization for Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). Pending endorsement of ISA by the EU Commission, KSW acts as the de facto audit standard-setter in the jurisdiction under the supervision of the Audit Oversight Body of Austria (Abschlussprüferaufsichtsbehörde – APAB). WTBG authorized the KSW to develop and issue the Directive on the Practice of the Public Accounting Professions (Wirtschaftstreuhandberufs-Ausübungsrichtlinie - WTARL).

In accordance with WTBG and WTARL, KSW is responsible for (i) administering relevant professional examinations; (ii) evaluating candidates’ fulfillment of all initial professional development requirements established by law; (iii) licensing CPAs; (iv) monitoring implementation of continuing professional development requirements by members; (v) conducting an investigation and disciplinary system for members; and (vi) monitoring ethical requirements of members. 

KSW is a member of IFAC and Accountancy Europe.

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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.

Methodology
Last updated: 12/2019
We welcome feedback. Please email membership@ifac.org

SMO Action Plan

Status of Fulfillment by SMO

  • SMO 1: Quality Assurance

    The legal basis for the Austrian Quality Assurance and Public Oversight System is set out in the Austrian Auditor Oversight Act of 2016 (Abschlussprüfer-Aufsichtsgesetz – APAG) which establishes the Audit Oversight Body of Austria (Abschlussprüferaufsichtsbehörde – APAB) as the audit supervisory authority in the jurisdiction that operates under the oversight of the Ministry of Finance. APAB is responsible for establishing and conducting quality assurance (QA) reviews for all mandatory audits.

    The Institute of Austrian Certified Public Accountants (Institut Österreichischer Wirtschaftsprüfer – IWP) and the Chamber of Public Accountants (Kammer der Wirtschaftstreuhänder – KSW) report in their 2019 SMO Action Plan that the QA review system operating in the jurisdiction is in line with the requirements of SMO 1.

    KSW, which has no direct responsibility for the QA review system in Austria, focuses on supporting its members in implementing appropriate internal control systems in accordance with ISQC 1 and ISA 220. KSW assists members in improving audit quality using the results of the practice reviews and offers raining on undergoing practice reviews.

    KSW publishes implementation guidance, Guidance for the Application of Standards on Quality Assurance in Practice, which it revises periodically. It informs its members of updates to the QA review system. In addition, the KSW delivers continuing professional development courses for its members and quality assurance reviewers.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • SMO 2: International Education Standards

    The Accountants Act (Bundesgesetz über die Bilanzbuchhaltungsberufe – BibuG); the Public Accountants’ Statute of Professional Practice (Wirtschaftstreuhandberufsgesetz – WTBG); and the Directive on the Practice of the Public Accounting Professions (Wirtschaftstreuhandberufs-Ausübungsrichtlinie – WTARL) establish initial professional and continuing professional development (IPD and CPD respectively) requirements for all segments of the profession.

    The Institute of Austrian Certified Public Accountants (Institut Österreichischer Wirtschaftsprüfer – IWP) and the Chamber of Public Accountants (Kammer der Wirtschaftstreuhänder – KSW) report in their 2019 SMO Action Plan that the education requirements in the jurisdiction address all the relevant revised 2015 IES requirements.

    KSW supports the implementation of the education requirements through the provision of various education, examination preparation, and CPD programs to its members at the KSW Academy of Public Accountants.

    KSW also disseminates information to members about recent developments and revisions issued by the IAESB.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing

    European Union member states had until June 17, 2016 to transpose the European audit reform package, comprising the Directive 2014/56/EU on statutory audits of annual accounts and consolidated accounts), into their national legislation. At the same time, the Regulation (EU) No 537/2014 on specific requirements regarding statutory audit of public interest entities (PIEs) came into force. The Regulation is directly applicable law in all EU member states and overrides any national law on the same subject matter. The Directive requires auditors and audit firms in member states to apply international auditing standards adopted by the EU Commission which—as stated in the Directive—means ISA, ISQC 1, and other related standards issued through the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB). While the German parliament adopted the EU audit reforms on March 10, 2016, the EU Commission has not yet adopted ISA.

    The Chamber of Public Accountants (Kammer der Wirtschaftstreuhänder – KSW) supports its members with implementation of ISA through the design, development and delivery of seminars on audit standards and related topics. Furthermore, it offers training and disseminates resources via email, its website, and its technical bulletin with any emphasis on any new developments.

    KSW (along with the Institute of Austrian Certified Public Accountants (Institut Österreichischer Wirtschaftsprüfer – IWP) participates in the EU standard-setting process by submitting comments on Exposure Drafts and other related materials. Since 2014, it has delivered a comprehensive training program on the application of ISA.

    KSW already participates in the EU standard-setting process, but it is also encouraged to participate in the international standard-setting process by collaborating with IWP to provide comments on Exposure Drafts and other IAASB pronouncements.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants

    The Accountants Act (Bundesgesetz über die Bilanzbuchhaltungsberufe – BibuG); the Public Accountants’ Statute of Professional Practice (Wirtschaftstreuhandberufsgesetz – WTBG); and the Directive on the Practice of the Public Accounting Professions (Wirtschaftstreuhandberufs-Ausübungsrichtlinie – WTARL) establish ethical requirements for all segments of the profession.

    The Institute of Austrian Certified Public Accountants (Institut Österreichischer Wirtschaftsprüfer – IWP) and the Chamber of Public Accountants (Kammer der Wirtschaftstreuhänder – KSW) report in their 2019 SMO Action Plan that the ethical requirements for professional accountants in Austria are equivalent and more stringent than the requirements of the 2018 Handbook of the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants.

    Although the KSW has no responsibility for the adoption of ethical standards for members of the profession, it continues to monitor the activities of IESBA and promotes the convergence of national and EU regulations with the IESBA Code of Ethics. KSW also communicates new developments and changes in international standards to its members and the general public through magazines, emails, and its website. To assist its members with understanding ethical obligations, KSW provides seminars, training, continuing professional development courses, and implementation guidance.

    KSW (along with IWP) participates in the EU standard-setting process by submitting comments on Exposure Drafts and other related materials.

    KSW already participates in the EU standard-setting process, but it is also encouraged to participate in the international standard-setting process by collaborating with IWP to provide comments on Exposure Drafts and other IESBA pronouncements.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards

    The Austrian government requires accrual-basis reporting to be applied in preparing the financial statements/reports for the federal/central government for the most recently completed financial year. The Austrian government issues its own national standards.

    It is unclear if there are plans to formally adopt IPSAS for application in the jurisdiction in light of the ongoing initiative to develop EU’s European Public Sector Accounting Standards (EPSAS) which are based on IPSAS but tailored for application in the EU.

    In 2019, the government established a working group to consider plans for implementation of IPSAS. This working group comprises of representatives of the profession, the academia, the government, federal lands and municipalities.

    Chamber of Public Accountants (Kammer der Wirtschaftstreuhänder – KSW) has no responsibility for the adoption or implementation of public sector accounting standards in the jurisdiction. Nevertheless, the institute reports that its representatives promote convergence of national and EU regulations with IPSASB pronouncements and that the institute also helps to keep its members informed about pronouncements and updates issued by the IPSASB. KSW’s CPD programs, as well as other training and educational activities, include IPSAS-related materials.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline

    The Accountants Act (Bundesgesetz über die Bilanzbuchhaltungsberufe – BibuG); the Public Accountants’ Statute of Professional Practice (Wirtschaftstreuhandberufsgesetz – WTBG); and the Directive on the Practice of the Public Accounting Professions (Wirtschaftstreuhandberufs-Ausübungsrichtlinie – WTARL) establish investigation and disciplinary (I&D) requirements for all segments of the profession.

    Since 2015, the Institute of Austrian Certified Public Accountants (Institut Österreichischer Wirtschaftsprüfer – IWP) and the Chamber of Public Accountants (Kammer der Wirtschaftstreuhänder – KSW) conducted a self-assessment of the I&D systems in the jurisdiction and reported that all I&D systems are in line with SMO 6 requirements.

    KSW established ongoing processes to conduct assessments of its own I&D policies and processes against the requirements of SMO 6 to ensure continued alignment.

    KSW linked its I&D system with the quality assurance review system in the jurisdiction to further investigation and discipline auditors. Furthermore, disciplinary proceedings may now be initiated based on the findings of quality assurance reviews.

    Current Status: Sustain

  • SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards

    In Austria, section 245a of the Austrian Commercial Code of 2015, as amended (Unternehmensgesetzbuch – UGB) stipulates the requirements for preparation of financial statements, including applicable accounting standards and financial reporting thresholds which are in line with the European Commission (EC) Regulation No. 1606/2002. Authority to set accounting standards in Austria rests with the government. EU-endorsed IFRS are required for the preparation of consolidated financial statements of all public interest entities (PIEs) in Austria, which comprise listed entities, credit institutions, and insurance undertakings. All other entities are free to choose to prepare consolidated financial statements in accordance with EU-endorsed IFRS or in accordance with Austrian GAAP as established in law.

    The Chamber of Public Accountants (Kammer der Wirtschaftstreuhänder – KSW) with no responsibility for the adoption of IFRS in Austria, focuses on keeping members abreast of new and revised standards through updates that it publishes in its Journal. It also collaborates with the Institute of Austrian Certified Public Accountants (Institut Österreichischer Wirtschaftsprüfer – IWP) to host continuing professional development training events on the standards, and to provide comments on public consultations.

    Current Status: Sustain

Disclaimer

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.

 

Contact

Schonbrunnerstrasse 222-228/Stg.1/6.Stock
1120 Wien
Austria
Tel: +43 / 1 / 811 73 - 0
Fax: +43 / 1 / 811 73 - 100
office@kwt.or.at
http://www.kwt.or.at/

 

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