Russian Union of Auditors
Associate | Established: 1992 | Associate since 2013
The RUA, prior to 2016 known as the Moscow Audit Chamber, was established in 1992 and approved as an SRO by the Ministry of Finance in 2009. It is comprised of auditors and firms. The RUA became an IFAC Associate in 2013.
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
RUA, as one of the two Self-Regulatory Organizations (SROs) of auditors in the Russian Federation, is responsible for conducting quality assurance (QA) reviews of auditors of non-public interest entities under the Federal Law on Auditing. In addition, RUA introduced a requirement for all its members who provide auditing services to undergo a mandatory QA review. To this effect, RUA established a system of QA review and in 2017 conducted a self-assessment of the system against the requirements of SMO 1, which revealed that the system, in general, was in line with SMO 1, with the exception of the scope of mandatory reviews and the approach for selecting firms for QA reviews.
To carry out and oversee the QA review process, the Quality Control Committee of RUA was established and acts in accordance with its annual work plans. In 2016, the Committee held 59 meetings, both in-person and teleconference for the Committee members living outside of Moscow. In 2016, 522 QA reviews were conducted and the results were disseminated through RUA’s website as well as discussed in a number of seminars, conferences, and webinars. Reviews are conducted based on both cycle and risk approaches.
The union reports to be involved in the QA regulatory policy-making and strategy development processes through its participation in the Committees and Working Group of the Auditing Council of the Ministry of Finance and by providing comments on draft policies and regulations prepared by the Ministry. It is also represented on the Federal Treasury’s Council for organization of external quality control over the work of audit organizations, which is responsible for QA reviews of public interest entities, and conducts trainings of Treasury’s reviewers. Cooperation with the other SRO—the SRO Association “Sodruzhestvo”—to ensure effectiveness and coordination of QA review practices is also envisioned in the Action Plan; however, no specific activities have been indicated.
RUA reports that it is assisting its members in understanding the objectives of quality control and in implementation of the QA reviews. On an annual basis, the union updates and disseminates through its website implementation guidance related to quality control standards and includes related subjects in its continuing professional development programming. In 2016, individual consultations, seminars, conferences and webinars were held to disseminate information on the results of the reviews and to educate the members.
With adoption of ISQC 1 in 2017, RUA reports that it plans to develop and organize training on ISQC 1 and on conforming changes introduced to RUA’s internal regulations through its Training Center—“Intercon-Intellect”—both in Moscow and in other regions. It also plans to perform retraining of experts in external quality control taking into account changes to the RUA internal documents and ISQC 1.
The union should consider developing plans to bring the existing QA review system fully in line with SMO 1 and working with other stakeholders, such as the other SRO and the Federal Treasury that are involved in QA reviews, to promote incorporation of the revised SMO 1 requirements at the jurisdiction level and consider the need to streamline the QA review requirements to avoid the overlaps.
- SMO 2: International Education Standards
RUA shares responsibility for the implementation of the initial professional development and continuing professional development requirements for auditors, which are established by law, with other Self-Regulatory Organizations and regulators. Overall, the extent of alignment of educational requirements in the Russian Federation with those of the IES is not clear.
Since 2015, RUA has indicated plans to review the IES requirements; however, as of 2017, it appears that no progress has been made in this area and although the SMO Action Plan does include general statements supporting incorporation of IES at both jurisdictional and the PAO’s level, few specific activities or defined plans have been indicated.
RUA has established the Attestation and Professional Development Committee tasked with ongoing improvement of educational programs, accreditation, and professional development of RUA’s members who provide auditing services. The Committee is also tasked with maintaining a registry of and ensuring quality of educational providers. As of 2017, the registry includes 26 providers throughout the Russian Federation. The Attestation and Professional Development Committee also participated in the work of the Audit Council on introducing changes to the auditor qualification examination to bring it closer in line with IES 6.
RUA should establish plans to collaborate with other stakeholders involved in the education of professional accountants in the jurisdiction, such as other professional organizations of accountants and auditors as well as the regulators, to conduct a review of the national requirements against those of the revised IES, raise awareness about the requirements of IES, which are now available in the Russian language, as well as the need to bring the national educational requirements in line with IES to the relevant authorities. Subsequent steps should include updating RUA’s own training programs to ensure they are in line with IES and working with education providers to ensure that their programs are in line with IES, among other activities.
- SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
Before the adoption of ISA for application in the Russian Federation in 2017, RUA, in cooperation with other self-regulatory organizations of auditors, was involved in the development of the Federal Standards on Auditing, which were based on ISA, and promoting the adoption of ISA to the government through extensive consultations and participation in drafting the legislation. Since 2012, when the decision to adopt ISA was made, the RUA focused on the translation of the international standards first with the Russian Collegium of Auditors and later with the National Organization for Financial Accounting and Reporting Standards.
Following the effective date of ISA, RUA reports that it continues to work closely with the Audit Council affiliated with the Ministry of Finance in the preparation of implementation guidance and working papers based on ISA.
To prepare its members for the mandatory application of ISA, RUA undertook a number of initiatives throughout 2016. For example, to support small and medium-sized practices, RUA established the Working Group and the Expert Council, which include representatives of the largest audit networks of the top ten Russian audit organizations and practitioners with extensive experience in working with ISA. The Group and the Council were tasked with developing ISA implementation guidance and the templates of working documents to be used by RUA members. The union has also indicated plans to translate the Guide to Using International Standards on Auditing in the Audits of Small- and Medium-Sized Entities by the end of 2017.
In 2016–2017, RUA also organized 13 conferences as well as a number of seminars and roundtables for its members on ISA application and has established a helpline through a designated e-mail address that is maintained by the RUA Methodology and Standardization Department.
Although there is a time lag in the application of the most recent version of ISA due to legal requirements, the union reports that it follows international developments and disseminates the updates to its members, regulators, and the general public.
RUA should update its initial professional development and continuing professional development materials to ensure that they incorporate ISA requirements.
- SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
As a self-regulatory organization of auditors, RUA is required by the Federal Law on Auditing Activities No. 307-FZ of 2008, to adopt the Professional Code of Ethics and the Rules of Independence for Auditors issued by the Ethics Committee of the Audit Council of the Ministry of Finance. The Professional Code of Ethics adopted by the Audit Council in 2012 is based on the 2010 version of the IESBA Code of Ethics; however, the extent to which it meets the requirements of the IESBA Code remains to be clarified as it has been translated and adapted. RUA indicates that it initiated discussions with other professional organizations and regulators to have the latest IESBA Code translated and subsequently adopted. However, no defined timeline has been indicated.
To support its members’ with the compliance with the existing ethical and independence requirements, in 2017 RUA established the Professional and Corporate Ethics Committee, which analyzes the results of quality assurance reviews, processes complaints and appeals related to breach of ethical rules and procedures, provides advice and guidance to members, and develops implementation guidance for the requirements established by the Ministry of Finance. RUA also indicates that educational programs and continuing professional development materials cover topics related to the ethical behavior of auditors. It is not clear, however, whether members of RUA who provide non-audit services are subject to ethical requirements.
RUA should develop plans to work with other professional accountancy organizations and the regulator to promote and support the adoption of the most up-to-date IESBA Code of Ethics at the national level and to jointly participate in the international standard-setting process through the provision of comments on exposure Drafts and other pronouncements issued by IESBA. If not already the case, RUA should extend mandatory application of the existing ethical requirements for all its members, not only auditors.
- SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
RUA does not participate in the public sector accounting standard-setting process, which falls under the authority of the Ministry of Finance. The union sees its role in this SMO area in promoting the need to bring national public sector accounting standards in line with IPSAS and in disseminating information on the developments in the international standard-setting to relevant stakeholders and general public. It also plans to include public sector accounting topics into its educational programs.
RUA should consider, if deemed pertinent and relevant, developing plans with a specified timeframe that outline how it can work with other stakeholders in the jurisdiction to raise awareness about IPSAS and to promote their adoption.
- SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
In line with the requirements of the Federal Law on Auditing Activities No. 307-FZ of 2009, RUA is responsible for the development of an investigative and disciplinary (I&D) system to address violations by its members of applicable laws, auditing standards, and the Russian Professional Code of Ethics and Rules of Independence. It shares the responsibility for I&D of its members with the Federal Treasury that investigates and disciplines auditors and audit firms who provide services to public interest entities as well as with the other Self-Regulatory Organizations.
To this effect, RUA established a Disciplinary Committee and adopted The Statute on the Disciplinary Measures, which has been revised several times. The Disciplinary Committee is composed of four RUA members elected at the General Assembly. Members of this Committee only serve one-year terms and are accountable to the General Assembly. The Disciplinary Commission meets 12 days per year in full session.
In 2017, RUA conducted a self-assessment against the requirements of SMO 6 and reported the following gaps in compliance: the results of the investigative and disciplinary proceedings are not made available to the public and are reviewed only internally and there are no processes in place to liaise with outside bodies on possible involvement in serious crimes and offences.
For its next Action Plan update, RUA should develop specific plans with a defined timeline to address the shortcomings identified during the self-assessment exercise. RUA should also consider sharing the revised SMO 6 requirements with other stakeholders that are involved in the investigation and discipline of the profession in order to promote compliance at the jurisdiction level, and facilitate collaboration on the establishment of a unified system.
- SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
Having no direct responsibility for setting accounting standards in Russia and being an organization uniting mostly auditors, RUA reports that it disseminates information on the process of adoption of IFRS in the Russian Federation and on the developments in the international standard-setting to its members and educates its members on the international standards through its educational programs. It also supports the Ministry of Finance in its standard-setting function when needed and participates in regional and international conferences on IFRSs.
RUA should establish plans to advocate for and support full adoption of IFRS and IFRS for SMEs for application in the Russian Federation and work with the regulators to ensure that the most recent version of the international standards is being applied.
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