Member | Established: 2013 (predecessor founded in 1895) | Member since 2013 (predecessor a founding member)
NBA Netherlands was formed from the merger of two Dutch professional accountancy organizations—the Royal Dutch Institute of Chartered Accountants (Royal NIVRA) and the Dutch Association of Accountants (NOvAA)—in January 2013. The Royal NIRVA, which was established in 1895, comprised accountants and auditors in public practice, the business sector, and government. Members of the NOvAA, which was founded in 1948, were mainly accountants. In December 2012, the Accountancy Profession Act established the legal status of the NBA Netherlands as a mandatory membership organization for auditors. The institute’s mandate includes (i) setting auditing and ethical standards for auditors; (ii) conducting quality assurance reviews of non-PIEs (delegated by the AFM); (iii) conducting continuing professional development; (iv) conducting audit licensing exams and issuing certificates; (v) undertaking any other activities that promote high professional standards and improve the quality of auditing services; and (vi) collecting and forwarding complaints to the Disciplinary Court. NBA Netherlands is a member of IFAC, Accountancy Europe, and the European Federation of Accountants and Auditors for small- and medium-sized entities.
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
The Audit Firms Supervision Act of 2006 (as amended) stipulates that a quality assurance (QA) review system for all audits be established and overseen by the Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM).
AFM performs inspections of audit firms that conduct statutory audits of public interest entities (PIEs) at least once every three years. It delegated responsibility for inspections of audit firms that audit non-PIEs to the NBA Netherlands which conducts inspections once every six years to monitor and enforce compliance with best practice standards.
NBA Netherlands accredits specific bodies to conduct QA reviews for members who provide services to the public sector, are internal auditors, or operate small- and medium-sized practices.
To fulfill its responsibility as delegated by the AFM, NBA Netherlands activities include: (i) providing detailed information on the revised Quality Assurance Review Program to all active members, (ii) supporting members through the preparation and dissemination of practice guidance and tools, and offering relevant continuing professional development courses on quality control, ethical, and professional standards, and (iii) strengthening the capacity of review team leaders and team members to conduct inspections by providing the relevant tools and training.
NBA Netherlands has an ongoing process in place to promote updates to the QA Review Program in the Netherlands and participates in policy dialogues with the public oversight authority, the AFM, on SMO 1 requirements. Similarly, it works with the bodies that it has accredited to carry out QA reviews for its members to revise and update the review systems to continue to enhance internal processes.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
The initial professional and continuing professional development (IPD and CPD respectively) requirements are established for auditors in the Accountancy Profession Act of 2014 (as amended). Responsibility for implementation is shared by NBA Netherlands, the Commissie Eindtermen Accountantsopleiding (CEA), the Dutch Flemish Accreditation Organization (NVAO), and universities (academic and professional) and according to the NBA Netherlands, all have a process in place to monitor new and revised IES.
As of 2019, NBA Netherlands indicates that education providers are in the process of implementing a new elective structure and learning outcomes approach which is expected to be completed within the year. Furthermore, NBA Netherlands plans to operationalize its new continuing professional development (CPD) training in 2019 which will focus on a more personalized and output-based performance.
The institute encourages relevant bodies to implement post-implementation reviews of the national accountancy education requirements and collaborates with the CEA to ensure that education providers comply with the prescribed entry-level requirements for the profession. NBA Netherlands actively seeks to enhance convergence of all aspects of initial and continuing professional development programs with the revised 2015 IES through appropriate content and activities related to education, examination, and certification of Registered Accountants (Registeraccountants, RAs) and Accounting Consultants (Accountant Adminstratieconsullent, AAs). To prepare students to sit for the exams, the institute provides multiple resources on its website, including sample papers and the qualifications’ syllabi.
Finally, NBA Netherlands has been participating in the “Common Content Project” for several years to encourage cross-border mobility for accountants in the European Union. The project team has reportedly developed a curriculum for educational institutions based on revised 2015 IES requirements that would enable accountants to work in any EU country without having to adhere to additional training courses. More information regarding the project can be found here.
NBA Netherlands is encouraged participate where relevant in sharing its perspective and experiences in implementing national accountancy education requirements that meet the revised IES as part of IFAC’s new approach to accountancy education.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
The Accountancy Profession Act of 2014 (as amended) specifies that NBA Netherlands is responsible for setting auditing standards in the Netherlands. NBA Netherlands adopted ISA as issued by the IAASB without modifications, including the effective dates, for the conduct of all financial statement audits. The 2018 Handbook is effective, and the institute included mandatory training courses on ISA 250 (revised) and ISA 540 (revised) for members. NBA Netherlands also disseminates Dutch translations of the standards and reports that the 2016 ISA is the latest version to have been translated.
NBA Netherlands raises awareness of new requirements and makes implementation guidance and tools available to practitioners on its website. For example, NBA Netherlands issued an information brochure and practical examples of the new auditor’s report for its members.
The institute incorporates standard-related topics into mandatory continuing professional development courses and has an audit-mentoring program for any audit firms that might receive unsatisfactory quality assurance results.
Lastly, NBA Netherlands also participates in the international standard-setting process by providing comments on IAASB Exposure Drafts.
SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
Auditors are subject to ethical requirements established by the Koninklijke Nederlandse Beroepsorganisatie van Accountants (hereinafter “NBA Netherlands”), as per the Accountancy Profession Act of 2014 (as amended).
NBA Netherlands reports that ethical requirements for auditors are based on, and are fully converged with, the 2016 IESBA Code of Ethics. The institute established plans to regularly update its requirements and will therefore converge with the 2018 Restructured IESBA Code of Ethics when it comes into effect on June 15, 2019.
The institute collaborates with education providers to ensure that pre-qualification education incorporates new and revised IESBA Code of Ethics requirements, as well as EU and national ethical requirements. The institute endeavors to ensure that the various quality assurance review programs promote compliance with ethical standards and uses the results to design and tailor continuing professional development (CPD) courses that address areas of weakness for members and review teams. NBA Netherlands also requires mandatory CPD courses for members on ethics-related topics.
NBA Netherlands keeps members informed about ethical requirements, current and new, by making relevant standards and guidance available on its website, and by offering various learning opportunities to raise members’ awareness of relevant requirements. Finally, the institute participates in the international standard-setting process by providing comments on IESBA Exposure Drafts and continues to support ongoing convergence with the revised IESBA Code of Ethics.
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
The Ministry of Finance is responsible for establishing public sector accounting standards at the central government level, while the Ministry of Internal Affairs has the authority to set standards for the local government. There are no stated plans to adopt accrual-basis IPSAS as of the assessment date.
With no responsibility for adoption of public sector accounting standards, NBA Netherlands focuses on promoting the adoption of IPSAS (cash- and accrual-based) in policy discussions with parliament and ministries. The institute also participates in a Public Sector Working Group comprising key stakeholders that encourage adoption of/convergence with IPSAS, and it initiates and participates in various international forums and conferences on the topic.
NBA Netherlands provides information on new and revised IPSAS to its members who work in the public sector. It also participates in the international standard-setting process by providing comments on the Exposure Drafts issued by the IPSASB.
NBA Netherlands is encouraged to provide more information on its activities to promote adoption of accrual-basis IPSAS. NBA Netherlands is also encouraged to elaborate on any training support it offers its members that work in the public sector. It may consider developing a strategy outlining its involvement in public sector accounting issues and support it can provide to public sector accountants in the jurisdiction.
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
The Audit Firms Supervision Act of 2006 (as amended) provides the legal authority for the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) to design and implement an investigations and disciplinary (I&D) system for audit firms. Individual auditors on the other hand, as per the Act on Disciplinary Jurisprudence of Accountants of 2008 (as amended), that are in violation of any rules or regulations are subject to the Ministry of Justice’s I&D system.
Both the AFM and NBA Netherlands are required under the Audit Firms Supervision Act of 2006 (as amended) to file and forward cases against individual auditors to the Ministry of Justice’s Disciplinary Court. NBA Netherlands established a Complaints Committee responsible for collecting and forwarding complaints to the Disciplinary Court.
NBA Netherlands reports that it contributes to the various processes by initiating investigations based on findings from the Quality Assurance Review Program and forwarding cases to the Court where it is appropriate to do so.
NBA Netherlands ensures that all members have access to adequate continuing professional development courses on current regulations and the I&D systems and processes. The institute also raises awareness of the system through the publication of cases and verdicts in various newsletters on its website. It also provides its members with guidance on how to initiate complaints.
NBA Netherlands collaborates with relevant stakeholders to review the impact of new laws, regulations, and standards on the I&D systems to ensure continued fulfillment of SMO 6 requirements.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
In accordance with the Annual Accounts Title 9 of the Netherlands Civil Code (NCC) of 2016 (as amended), the Dutch Accounting Standards Board (DASB) is responsible for setting applicable private sector accounting standards in the Netherlands.
EU-endorsed IFRS are required for the preparation of separate and consolidated financial statements of listed companies and public interest entities (PIEs) which are defined as banks, central credit institutions, insurers, and any enterprise, institution or public body forming part of one of the categories designated pursuant to Section 2 of the Audit Firms Supervision Act that makes it possible for the legislator to expand the class of PIEs. Section 2 has not been 'used' to date. Regulated and medium-sized companies are required to apply the Dutch Accounting Standards (Dutch GAAP).
As for small entities, they can choose one of four options/standards to prepare their financial statements: Dutch Corporation Tax Act; Dutch Accounting Standards for Small Entities; Dutch Accounting Standards for Medium-sized and Large Entities; or EU-endorsed IFRS and sections of the Dutch Accounting Standards for Medium-sized and Large entities.
The institute helps to keep members who provide services to PIEs updated on current, new, and revised IFRS, and delivers mandatory continuing professional development courses that cover IFRS.
NBA Netherlands participates extensively in the international standard-setting process to support the convergence of EU private sector accounting standards with IFRS and IFRS for SMEs through its participation in and submission of comments to the IASB, European Commission Committees, the European Financial Reporting and Advisory Group, and Accountancy Europe.
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.
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