Ordem dos Contabilistas Certificados
Member | Established: 1995 | Associate since 2012; Member since 2016
The OCC, established in 1995, is the mandatory professional accountancy organization for chartered accountants (Contabilista Certificado (CC)) and accounting firms (Sociedades Profissionais de Contabilistas Certificados e Sociedades de Contabilidade) in accordance with Decree Law 459/99, amended by Law No. 139/2015 and Law No. 119/2019. OCC members prepare tax and financial statements and are the only members of the profession allowed to sign financial statements along with company representatives. In accordance with the Law, the OCC’s responsibilities include the following: (i) maintaining the registry of chartered accountants and accounting firms; (ii) implementing IPD and CPD requirements for chartered accountants; (iii) enforcing ethical standards; (iv) establishing an I&D system for its members; (v) administering and monitoring of the CPD program; and (vi) establishing a quality assurance system (QA) for its members.
In addition to being a member of IFAC, the OCC is a member of the Committee for Integration Europe—Latin America (CILEA), a member of the European Federation of Accountants and Auditors for SMEs (EFAA), and member of the Fédération des Experts-Comptables Mediterranéens (FCM).
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 Portugal, the Comissão do Mercado de Valores Mobiliários (CMVM) is responsible for quality assurance (QA) reviews for public interest entities (PIEs) and the Ordem dos Revisores Oficiais de Contas (OROC) conducts QA reviews for non-PIEs, under the supervision of the CMVM. The OCC members do not provide audit services; nevertheless, the institute has established a mandatory peer review system to ensure the quality of the services delivered by its members since 2004. The OCC reports that it has incorporated SMO 1 requirements into its QA review system and periodically reviews its QA review system against the SMO 1 requirements.
The OCC peer review system applies a dual approach in selecting firms to be reviewed. The cycle-based approach ensures firms are reviewed every five years and the risk-based approach takes into consideration the number of PIEs, investigative and disciplinary procedures, and the results of previous reviews.
The practice reviews focus on accounting, preparation of financial statements, and tax declarations of all entities. The scope of the practice review also covers compliance with OCC quality control standards and CPD requirements. Reviewers are selected in accordance with specific experience criteria, and they submit their findings to the QA Commission. The OCC peer review system covered 770 cases in 2018, 148 cases in 2017, and 470 cases in 2016.
To ensure ongoing compliance with the international best practice, the OCC plans to review its existing QA system over the next year. A new approach is intended to shift the focus from quality control to quality management, thereby aligning the system with the new suite of Quality Management standards issued by the IAASB.
The OCC assists its members with the implementation of the quality control standards and provides CPD courses on quality assurance requirements.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
Initial professional development (IPD) and continuous professional development (CPD) requirements for chartered accountants are established in Law and further set and implement by the OCC under the oversight of the Ministry of Finance. The OCC maintains an ongoing process to monitor new and revised standards and other pronouncements.
OCC reports it has reviewed IPD and CPD requirements for chartered accountants using the IFAC Accountancy Education E-Tool and concludes that are mostly in line with the latest IES. As indicated by OCC, further review is needed to assess the full extent of alignment with the 2019 IES.
CPD requirements for OCC members include a CPD program of 30 hours or equivalent units of CPD courses per year. Compliance with CPD requirements is monitored and sanctions are imposed in case of non-compliance.
The OCC participated in the international standard-setting process by providing comments on consultative papers, both independently and in collaboration with the Committee for Integration Europe— Latin America, the European Federation of Accountants and Auditors for SMEs, and/or the Fédération des Experts-Comptables Mediterranéens. In addition, the institute disseminates new, proposed, and revised requirements and other pronouncements through its website, newsletter, and magazine.
OCC has demonstrated it has a review process in place to fulfill SMO 2 further. The IES Checklist developed by IFAC may be useful in progressing with the adoption of the revised requirements of the IES 2, 3, 4 and 8 that are effective as of 2021. The revisions to these 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.
- SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) is responsible for setting the Code of Ethics for OCC members. The OCC has compared the requirements of the Código Deontologico dos Contabilistas Certificados (CDCC) and those of the 2020 International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants and concluded that the CDCC requirements are no less stringent. However, the institute reports that it continues to advocate that the MoF directly adopt the IESBA Code of Ethics for chartered accountants.
The OCC has dedicated activities to assist its members with implementing its Code of Ethics. A hotline has been established to respond to any ethics-related questions from its members and OCC disseminates relevant information on the IESBA Code of Ethics through its website and magazine.
In addition, OCC has incorporated an initial professional development requirement for chartered accountants that includes a course on professional ethics and professional laws and regulations, with a final assessment. The institute also offers other courses and training on ethics throughout the year in its CPD calendar.
The OCC participates in the international standard-setting process by providing comments on IESBA Exposure Drafts and other consultative papers, independently and in collaboration with the Committee for Integration Europe— Latin America, the European Federation of Accountants and Auditors for SMEs, and/or the Fédération des Experts-Comptables Mediterranéens.
OCC should also take note of future revisions to the Code in the 2020 Handbook, including revisions to Part 4B of the Code to reflect terms and concepts used in the IAASB's International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 (Revised), which will come into effect in June 2021 and revisions to promote the role and mindset expected of all professional accountants which are effective in December 2021.
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
A public sector accounting framework based on IPSAS was created by Portugal’s Comité de Normalização Contabilística (CNC) and approved by the Decree Law No. 192/2015. The OCC is a member of the CNC, the public sector accounting standard-setter, and raises awareness of IPSAS.
The OCC organizes conferences and workshops to assist its members with the application of the existing public sector accounting standards. The OCC reports that the CNC defines the IPD and CPD requirements for professional accountants working in the public sector, and such requirements (curricula and model of training) are established with input from OCC. In addition, OCC’s bylaws and statutes define public sector accounting as an accounting specialization allowing students a pathway for OCC membership.
In addition, the institute participates in the international standard-setting process by submitting comments on IPSASB Exposure Drafts and other consultative papers, independently and in collaboration with the Committee for Integration Europe— Latin America, the European Federation of Accountants and Auditors for SMEs, and/or the Fédération des Experts-Comptables Mediterranéens.
The OCC is encouraged to continue promoting the adoption of the latest IPSAS requirements. It may find IFAC’s Train the Trainers: Introduction to IPSAS resource helpful for training and educational activities for members who might work in the public sector.
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
The OCC is responsible for establishing and operating an investigative & disciplinary (I&D) system for its members (chartered accountants) and has taken significant steps to review its procedures and ensure that its system is compliant with the SMO 6 requirements.
OCC’s Disciplinary Panel heard 291 cases in 2020, 324 cases in 2019 and 765 cases in 2018. The discipline processes incorporate both a complaints-based and information-based approach using the results of the QA system. The institute informs members and the public about its I&D procedures via emails, its magazine, and guidance on the OCC website. In addition, the OCC provides informational training sessions on its I&D system.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
In Portugal, the Comissão de Normalização Contabilística (CNC), which operates under the Ministry of Finance, is the entity responsible for the adoption of private sector accounting standards and has required IFRS for the preparation of consolidated financial statements of all public interest entities. The OCC, with no responsibility for setting these standards, reports that it plays an active role in supporting the CNC. Whenever possible and appropriate, it uses its best endeavors to assist CNC with the implementation of the IFRS in Portugal and promote ongoing convergence with IFRS. In addition, the OCC sends representatives to the European accounting meetings, roundtables, seminars, and forums to support its activities in the CNC.
The OCC states that it raises awareness of the adopted EU-endorsed IFRS by notifying members of new developments related to the standards and offering courses on IFRS in IPD and CPD educational programs.
The OCC participates in the international standard-setting process by commenting on IASB Exposure Drafts through its representation on the expert technical committees of Committee for Integration Europe— Latin America, the European Federation of Accountants and Auditors for SMEs, and/or the Fédération des Experts-Comptables Mediterranéens.
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.