Ordre National des Experts-Comptables et des Comptables Agréés du Burkina Faso
Associate | Established: 1996 | Associate since 2015
The ONECCA-BF was established by Law No. 48/2005/AN, which amended Law No. 22/96/ADP that originally established the institute. Its membership comprises Certified Accountants and Chartered Accountants as well as accounting firms. Membership in ONECCA-BF is mandatory for practicing accountancy. Only Chartered Accountants registered with ONECCA-BF can conduct audits.
In accordance with Law No. 48/2005/AN, ONECCA-BF is responsible for: (i) maintaining a register of Chartered Accountants and Certified Accountants; (ii) licensing qualified members to practice auditing; (iii) monitoring compliance with technical standards; (iv) ensuring that members adhere to ethical standards; (v) establishing an investigative and disciplinary (I&D) system; (vi) implementing initial professional development requirements; (vii) setting continuing professional development requirements; and (viii) monitoring conduct and performance of members, including quality assurance reviews of all audits and services carried out by members.
In addition to being an IFAC Associate, ONECCA-BF is a member of the Pan African Federation of Accountants, the International Federation of Francophone Accountants, and the Association of Accountancy Bodies in West Africa.
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
Regional regulation issued by the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) in June 2017 stipulates that professional accountancy organizations within OHADA member states are to develop and implement quality assurance (QA) review systems.
Prior to the 2017 regulation, however, the ONECCA-BF had been proactive in the adoption of quality control standards and developing plans to establish a QA review system for its 100 members. The ONECCA-BF states it has adopted ISQC 1, with an effective implementation date of January 2016, and established a QA Committee in 2015. Since 2015, the institute has been working to prepare and train QA reviewers to commence QA reviews; it was able to do its first set of reviews for three firms on a voluntary basis in October 2019. Resuming in July 2020, the institute intends to inspect five more firms on a mandatory basis. The institute reports that it has aligned its QA review procedures with SMO 1 requirements, has demonstrated that it is executing initiatives, and is committed to continued improvements to fulfill SMO 1.
Four QA reviewers of the institute received training and draft guides on quality assurance from OHADA in June 2016 and received final versions of OHADA-issued QA manual in December 2017. Further training was provided by the Pan African Federation of Accountants (PAFA) in April 2018 and by ONECCA-BF in 2019 as well.
ONECCA-BF states that it is assisting firms and individual practitioners in the implementation of ISQC1 by providing training, tools, and guidance on the standards. For example, it has disseminated to members a French translation of ISQC 1 provided by the Compagnie Nationale des Commissaires aux Comptes and l’Institut des Reviseurs d’Entreprises, a French PAO and Belgian PAO, respectively. It has also provided its members access to the Pack-PE tool to support implementation of audit standards and arranged for speakers from the DPPI to present on the benefits of undergoing a QA review and help set members’ expectations.
ONECCA-BF has commenced with QA reviews and this is a significant advancement. As all members prepare to undergo a QA review, it is encouraged to continue the implementation support it is offering to its members and QA reviewers. As part of regular assessments of the system, the institute is encouraged to review the SMO 1 requirements to ensure the system maintains alignment. As other Francophone PAOs in OHADA member states are also preparing to launch QA review systems, the ONECCA-BF may consider how it can collaborate in the exchange of tools, quality controllers, training, and information in French. Lastly, the institute is encouraged to continue monitoring and preparing members for the changes from quality control standards to quality management standards that being proposed and reviewed by the IAASB.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
With initial professional development (IPD) requirements established at the regional level by the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), the role of the ONECCA-BF is to implement the IPD requirements and establish continuing professional development (CPD) requirements for its members.
Presently, the regional IPD requirements include obtaining the Higher Education Degree in Accounting and Financial Management (DESCOGEF—for Certified Accountants) and the Degree in Accounting and Finance Expertise (DECOFI—for Chartered Accountants) in order to pass the qualifications’ exam and practice within any of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) member states. Within the OHADA and WAEMU, there are curriculum reforms under consideration that would enable accountancy education to better align with the revised IES requirements. ONECCA-BF reports that the WAEMU will adopt new regulations in 2020 to reform the DECOFI curriculum and the work undertaken by the Formation of the Accounting and Financial Experts (CREFECF), an external body recognized by WAEMU, to accredit training institutions and oversee the exam. It remains to be clarified, however, how the reforms will enhance the regional requirements alignment with the IES benchmarks.
Nationally, ONECCA-BF has been supporting the accreditation of Joseph Ki Zerbo University and the University of Ouagadougou by the WAEMU. The accreditation would verify that the university offers the same courses and syllabi of the regional Higher Education Degree in Accounting and Financial Management (DESCOGEF—for Certified Accountants) and Degree in Accounting and Finance Expertise (DECOFI—for Chartered Accountants) training that is necessary to pass the qualifications’ exam and practice within any of the WAEMU member states. In 2019, the accreditation was approved for the 2020–2021 school cycle. ONECCA-BF members serve as lecturers at the universities.
Additionally, the institute has been sharing guidance and information on best practices for exams that meet IES 6. It is encouraging the universities to comply with IES 6 when giving students examinations as part of their initiating training.
Law No. 48/2005/AN permits ONECCA-BF to adopt CPD requirements. All members must complete and record 120 hours of CPD over a three-year period. This is aligned with the IES 7 and 8. ONECCA-BF has a CPD Commission and a Training Commission that develop an annual CPD calendar to share among and inform members. It indicates it is signing an agreement with the Compagnie Nationale des Commissaires aux Comptes to support training offerings and has received feedback from members on offering taxation training.
The institute states it is exploring the possibility of including an assessment of local business and tax regulations as part of IPD. ONECCA-BF will organize an integration session for any candidates who passed examinations in non-WAEMU countries.
Finally, ONECCA-BF indicates it is active on a regional level regarding educational matters. For example, in July 2017, the institute contributed to a Pan Africa Federation of Accountants (PAFA) workshop that included initiatives such as commenting on the revised IES 7 exposure draft, establishing an educational committee within PAFA, and setting the framework of a common contents project for accountancy education.
It is not clear from the available information if the IPD requirements (e.g. DECOFI curriculum, practical experience, final assessment) are aligned with the 2019 IES requirements, which emphasize the need to demonstrate competencies. ONECCA-BF is encouraged to offer a regular Burkina Faso-specific examination as part of further incorporating IES 6 requirements into its national accountancy education.
Further, in 2019, newly revised IES address learning and development for information and communications technologies (ICT) and professional skepticism. These revised standards become effective January 2021. The requirements likely require both regional and national changes to accountancy education programming, which presently seems focused on theoretical training. The institute should take a lead role in raising awareness of, advocating for, and planning for the incorporation of IES requirements to OHADA and WAEMU as it reforms its accountancy curriculum. An assessment of current education requirements against the IES requirements, in collaboration with OHADA, WAEMU, and PAOs in member states, would be a good starting point.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
The Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) has been revising regional regulation to harmonize auditing standards with international best practice. In June 2017, OHADA issued regulation stating that all member states must adopt ISA as issued by the IAASB beginning in January 2018.
ONECCA-BF has been committed to the adoption of ISA at the national level prior to the OHADA’s adoption of the standards. In June 2015, the institute adopted ISA as issued by the IAASB without modifications, including the effective date. ONECCA-BF has adopted the English version of the standards so that all revisions to standards are adopted on an ongoing basis and become effective when issued by the IAASB to avoid a lag due to translations. Furthermore, the institute reports that auditors of public interest entities (PIEs) were early adopters of the 2016 ISA and the new auditor’s report.
With adoption now effective at the regional level, ONECCA-BF indicates that its role is to provide implementation support by disseminating information, tool such as the OHADA guides, and providing regular training on the applicable standards. It has established a Standards Commission for this purpose.
ONECCA-BF states that it promptly shares new and revised standards via its website and training. For example, the OHADA offered a training on ISA based on the new OHADA regulation in December 2017 at which ONECCA-BF members were present. Furthermore, ONECCA-BF reports that it held three ISA trainings led by the Fédération Internationale des Experts Comptables et Commissaires aux Comptes Francophones (FIDEF) prior to the effective date of the new OHADA regulation on ISA. Since July 2018, the institute has offered eight training activities on audit standards for its members and it has shared the ISA 540 guidelines, which became effective in 2019, with members. It notes that the operationalization of its QA reviews will further permit the institute to monitor implementation of ISA.
Additionally, the ONECCA-BF has received tools and audit software (Pack-PE tool) designed for small- and medium-sized entities from the Compagnie Nationale des Commissaires aux Comptes (CNCC) and indicates that it is signing an agreement with the CNCC to provide training on these materials by the end of 2020. It also shared auditing tools with its members such as questionnaires, templates, auditing procedures, and risk analyses that were provided by OHADA.
With the new OHADA regulations now effective, the ONECCA-BF is encouraged to ensure that it specifies current implementation support (such as trainings and guides) activities for its members within its SMO Action Plan. Additionally, ONECCA-BF is encouraged to consider participating in the submission of comments on IAASB exposure drafts through PAFA’s Standard-Setter Forum and to continue monitoring and preparing members for the changes from quality control standards to quality management standards that being proposed and reviewed by the IAASB.
SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
The Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA) has been revising regional regulation to harmonize ethical standards with international best practice. In June 2017, OHADA issued regulations stating that its member states, which includes Burkina Faso, must adhere to the OHADA Code of Ethics, which is note and guidance on ethical requirements, it has included training on the 2018 Code in its 2020 CPD calendar and is also working with the Compagnie Nationale des Commissaires aux Comptes (CNCC) to offer a mandatory training for all members on ethical requirements.
The new OHADA regulations only incorporate up to the 2015 IESBA Code of Ethics. The ONECCA-BF is encouraged to leverage its advisory and advocacy role and share the 2018 International Code of Ethics, which is significantly revised, contains the NOCLAR standard issued in 2016, and now available in French, with the OHADA so that it might update its regulations accordingly to align with international benchmarks as the institute has done. Additionally, ONECCA-BF is encouraged to consider participating in the submission of comments on IESBA exposure drafts through PAFA’s Standard-Setter Forum.
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
At the regional level, West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) Regulation No.09/2009/CM/UEMOA establishes public sector accounting standards for member states of the WAEMU, which includes Burkina Faso. Article 6 of that directive indicates that the government’s general accounting should be based on IPSAS. The regulation has undergone revisions to integrate a significant number of IPSAS. The revised standards were finalized in November 2018 by the West African Accounting Council and will be subject to the review of the WAEMU in 2020.
In Burkina Faso, ONECCA-BF reports that the government adopted new public sector accounting decrees as of June 1, 2016 to transition from cash-basis to accrual accounting (IFAC, CIPFA 2018). As of December 2019, the institute indicates the government has prepared the first set of financial statements using accrual accounting. It is not clear if the standards align with accrual based IPSAS, however.
The ONECCA-BF has no direct responsibility with regards to public sector accounting standard-setting and has very few members that work in the public sector. Therefore, it is generally not involved as much in public sector accounting matters as other areas. Nonetheless, the institute indicates it has been disseminating the IPSAS as they are issued by the IPSASB to keep stakeholders informed.
Furthermore, ONECCA-BF is part of a high-level Monitoring Committee of the Public Financial Management (PFM) Enforcement Strategy. The Committee includes government representatives and the institute is using this platform to monitor progress and initiate dialogue with the Ministry of Finance and the Treasury departments on adoption of accrual-IPSAS.
Additionally, the institute notes that it has started discussions during the PAFA Standard-Setters’ Forum among other WAEMU countries to discuss the ONECCA-BF’s assessment of Burkina Faso’s standards in order to strengthen its conclusions and subsequent outcomes given that the public sector framework is similar in other member states. ONECCA-BF has demonstrated that it is implementing initiatives within the scope of its authority for SMO 5 and is committed to continued improvements in this area.
In its next Action Plan submission, ONECCA-BF is encouraged update its Action Plan in order to clarify: i) if the standards applied as of 2019 align with accrual-IPSAS and if not, if there is a timeline for the adoption and implementation of accrual-IPSAS; ii) its engagements and agreements with the government regarding plans to support the implementation of IPSAS; and iii) any training support it offers its members that work in the public sector.
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
At the national level, ONECCA-BF has direct responsibility for establishing and implementing an investigative and disciplinary (I&D) system for its members.
ONECCA-BF states that it must abide by regional regulations regarding the set-up of its I&D committees. At the regional level, these committees are identified by the same name. To address regional regulations and SMO 6 requirements, ONECCA worked throughout 2017 to revise its bylaws to have two separate and independent sub-committees—one for investigation and one for discipline. During this time, previous I&D procedures were still implemented, and two members were sanctioned for wrongdoing.
As of January 2018, the institute reports that the new procedures and separate sub-committees have been established and are functional. Three individuals comprise the investigations sub-committee, which can then make recommendations to the discipline committee. Members may appeal decisions through the national court system. The ONECCA-BF conducted a self-assessment of its I&D system against the SMO 6 components and reports that its revised procedures are aligned.
The institute states that it sensitizes its members and the public on its I&D system via newspaper articles explaining the role of a Chartered Accountant, the PAO, and how the public can file a complaint.
In 2019, the institute reports that no complaints were brought to the attention of the institute. The committee pre-emptively investigated the awarding of public contracts to ONECCA-BF members to identify any potential misconduct. ONECCA-BF reports that it offered trainings to members of its investigations committee on their functions in March 2018. As the investigations function remains relatively new for the institute, in 2020, it has planned follow-up actions such as sharing case studies and scenarios that might require the investigations committee and providing further training on conducting investigations for committee members.
I&D procedures that meet the SMO 6 benchmark are foundational to maintaining public trust and confidence in the profession. The steps ONECCA-BF has taken to enhance its I&D procedures are commendable. As it begins to conduct QA reviews, it is encouraged to ensure that the results of QA reviews can be referred to the investigations committee, as necessary. As ONECCA-BF progresses with the implementation of its revised I&D procedures, it is encouraged to regularly review its system against the SMO 6 requirements.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
Burkina Faso is a member state of both the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) and the Organization for the Harmonization of Business Law in Africa (OHADA), which are regional economic unions responsible for the development of member countries’ corporate accounting standards. In January 2017, the Commission de Normalisation Comptable de l’OHADA (CNC)-OHADA adopted the OHADA Uniform Act on Accounting and Financial Information (AUDCIF) to update the previous OHADA Uniform Act on Organizing and Harmonizing Company Accounting Systems 2/2000. The previous Act had outlined the OHADA Accounting System and applicable standards—known as SYSCOHADA.
The OHADA AUDCIF revised the SYSCOHADA, namely the OHADA general accounting plan, as well as the consolidated and combined accounting rules to serve as a single accounting reference in all OHADA member states. The OHADA AUDCIF became effective on January 1, 2018 for individual accounts and on January 1, 2019 for consolidated accounts. The SYSCOHADA continue to differ from the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and are generally applied by small and medium-sized entities (SMEs); however, the AUDCIF now requires that listed companies and companies seeking financing in a public capital market to apply IFRS in consolidated statements. All other companies are permitted but not required to use IFRS.
ONECCA-BF played a key role in promoting the adoption of IFRS at the regional level and demonstrated its willingness to adopt IFRS through its representative on the OHADA committee that was responsible for the convergence process. The institute has and continues to monitor updates to the standards through its Standards’ Committee and provide training on both SYSCOHADA and IFRS through its CPD Commission. For example, in May 2017, ONECCA-BF sent two members to Cote d’Ivoire for a three-day training on the new standards and upon their return, ONECCA hosted a training for all members in June 2017. ONECCA-BF indicates that it includes several trainings on IFRS and SYSCOHADA standards in its continuing professional development program. Its most recent training was held in December 2019 on the standards that would be applicable from January 2020.
Additionally, the institute has provided its members with implementation manuals, case studies, and guidelines issued by the OHADA, and has disseminated IASB pronouncements via its website.
Furthermore, also at the regional level, ONECCA-BF indicates that it is actively involved in the Standard-Setters’ Forum of the Pan African Federation of Accountants—the regional accountancy organization—contributing to initiatives involving IFRS standard-setting developments and providing comments on IASB-issued exposure drafts.
With the recent adoption of IFRS listed companies in OHADA member states, ONECCA-BF could also consider advocating for the regional adoption of IFRS for SMEs as a permissible framework to bring SME reporting in line with international best practices.
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