South African Institute of Professional Accountants
Member | Established: 1982 | Member since 1995
SAIPA is a South African-based PAO formally established in 1982 and its responsibilities are similar to those of SAICA. It is a voluntary membership organization for professional accountants who offer accountancy, tax, and independent review services. Only SAIPA members may use the designation of PA(SA). In addition to being a member of IFAC, SAIPA is a member of the PAFA. It frequently collaborates with IRBA, SAQA, and SAICA to drive the development of the accountancy profession.
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 Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) is responsible for carrying out quality assurance (QA) reviews of auditors and firms for all statutory audits; however, since 2008, SAIPA members have been authorized to perform independent reviews for organizations with certain public interest scores. SAIPA indicates that its members must comply with ISQC 1 and ISREs and it has implemented a QA review system that is compliant with SMO 1 requirements for its members carrying out these independent reviews.
To date, SAIPA reports the following activities related to its review system: i) implementing an accreditation process which consists of an online certificate course on ISREs; ii) maintaining a register of members certified to perform independent review services and conducting annual monitoring and inspection visits as part of maintaining the accreditation; iii) inspecting and reviewing the documentation supporting the independent review services performed; iv) developing a quality assurance checklist for independent review service providers and a manual for small and medium practitioners. Furthermore, SAIPA indicates that it trains assessors and monitoring officers to ensure that the reviewers’ inspections meet SAIPA’s performance standards.
Additionally, SAIPA also conducts trainings and continuing professional development for its members on IRSE 2400, the preparation and maintenance of documentation to support independent review services, and ISQC 1.
Lastly, SAIPA states that it collaborates frequently with the IRBA as they serve on various committees, including the Accounting Standards Board, Department of Trade and Industry, the Companies Intellectual and Property Commission as well as tax stakeholder forum that is part of the South African Revenue Services (SARS).
SAIPA is encouraged to monitor and support the implementation of ISQM1 among members who may conduct any independent reviews when it becomes effective as of December 15, 2022. Resources on the quality management standards are available on the IAASB website.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
SAIPA is responsible for determining initial and continuing professional development (IPD and CPD) requirements for its members and has established an Education Committee to ensure its requirements remain aligned with the latest IES.
SAIPA indicates that it is involved in multiple initiatives to maintain and monitor its requirements with each of the IES. These include: i) accrediting universities and tertiary education providers that incorporate the IES into their accounting curriculum and conducting visits to the institutions every three years to monitor compliance with IES requirements; ii) including representatives from universities on its Education Committee to maintain communications and ensure that accounting curriculums continue to include new and revised IES; iii) automating its CPD and practical experience monitoring by permitting candidates to submit progress made with practical experience requirements online and mandating full members to upload their completed CPD hours online; iv) providing CPD workshops on a variety of topics and through different mediums such as online courses, webinars, in-person workshops, and technical articles in its quarterly magazine in order to better serve their members’ needs; v) amending its examination to comply with revised IES requirements; vi) updating its specialized education to meet the developments of the profession; vii) serving on SAICA’s Assurance Guidance Committee to support fulfillment of IES 8; and viii) participating in the international-standard setting process by providing comments either in its own capacity or through entities such as the Financial Reporting Standards Council.
SAIPA states that it is strategizing how to implement more competency-based assessments by shifting its examinations away from subject-based case studies to more integrated case studies where candidates are placed in a business case scenario with a potential client to provide advice and apply their learned technical knowledge.
Additionally, SAIPA has focused on including training in areas of specialization such as the public sector, commerce, tax, and banking. SAIPA details that it has taken several steps to strengthen its training on public sector accounting and that it has received approval from the South African Qualifications Authority so that its members may be tax practitioners.
Furthermore, the institute reports that it is collaborating with academia to develop a short course that promotes mobility into and throughout the profession.
As the accountancy profession is undergoing a change in overall regulation, SAIPA is also encouraged to work with relevant stakeholders to unify the requirements.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) is the entity responsible for setting auditing standards in South Africa; however, given that SAIPA members may conduct independent reviews of companies with a certain public interest score, SAIPA ensures that the International Standards Regulation Engagements (ISRE) as issued by the IAASB are applied.
To support its members, SAIPA has developed an online training and assessment on the ISRE. Once a member successfully passes the course, they are certified to act as an independent reviewer. Additionally, SAIPA provides trainings and continuing professional development to improve the competencies of members carrying out independent reviews. To date, SAIPA states that it offers trainings that cover the following topics: (i) engagement letter, (ii) accounting officer’s report, (iii) independent reviews, (iv) agreed upon engagements, and (iv) quality assurance.
Lastly, SAIPA states that it contributes to the international-standard setting process by providing comments either in its own capacity or through the entities as the Financial Reporting Standards Council.
The IAASB has issued an exposure draft of the proposed separate standard for audits of Less Complex Entities. SAIPA is encouraged to participate in the public consultation process for this landmark new draft standard.
SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
SAIPA has adopted the 2020 IESBA Code of Ethics as the SAIPA Code of Ethics for its members in accordance with its Constitution and By-Laws. It reports that it monitors developments and revisions to the IESBA Code to ensure alignment with its Code. Additionally, it states that any changes to the Code of Ethics are communicated to members via several mediums such as its newsletter, magazine, and continuing professional development (CPD) events.
SAIPA has mandated a CPD course on its Code of Ethics for all members and annually renews a memorandum of understanding with the Ethics Institute of South Africa whereby its members can attend seminars and workshops of the Ethics Institute at discounted rates. SAIPA has also produced additional educational materials on the Code of Ethics such as webinars, case studies, and explanatory articles in its quarterly magazine. Furthermore, the institute’s Compliance Officer and Legal Administrator is also available via telephone or email to address members’ ethics-related inquiries.
Finally, SAIPA states that it contributes to the international-standard setting process by providing comments on Exposure Drafts either in its own capacity or through the entities as the Financial Reporting Standards Council.
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
The Accounting Standards Board (ASB) is the entity responsible for adopting public sector accounting standards in South Africa. The ASB has adopted the Generally Recognized Accounting Practice (GRAP), which mostly align with accrual-basis IPSAS; however in practice most government departments are applying a modified cash basis of accounting while the National Treasury is developing a roadmap to implement accrual accounting across all departments (IFAC, CIPFA 2020)
SAIPA supports both the national and international public sector standard-setting process by serving on the Public Sector Technical Forum of the ASB. SAIPA, along with other representatives of the Forum such as SAICA, the National Treasury, and the Auditor General, meet to discuss issues related to public sector accounting in South Africa. Through the ASB, SAIPA will also submit comments on Exposure Drafts issued by the IPSASB.
In its own capacity, SAIPA reports it has undertaken several strategic initiatives to further the understanding of IPSAS. It has presented its model for the professionalization of public sector accountants to key stakeholders such as the Treasury, the South African Local Government Association, the Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority, and Forum of Accounting Bodies. The institute also engaged in discussions with the Treasury and other government authorities to encourage the provision of a short course on IPSAS and public finance. The course was envisioned as part of SAIPA’s growth strategy to attract members toward the public sector and promote mobility into and throughout the profession. Subsequently, it signed a memorandum of understanding with CPA Ireland to offer the short course on IPSAS online to practitioners and public finance professionals in South Africa.
Furthermore, SAIPA collaborated with the University of Western Cape to develop a post graduate program on Public Sector Financial Management and has endorsed the public sector qualification offered by the University of Cape Town.
SAIPA is using its best endeavors to fulfill its obligations under SMO 5, and it is encouraged to continue its advocacy and support toward accrual-basis IPSAS. Adoption and implementation of accrual IPSAS as issued by the IPSASB would ensure application of global best practice. SAIPA may find IFAC’s Train the Trainers: Introduction to IPSAS resource helpful for any advocacy and/or educational activities it offers.
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
SAIPA is responsible for the investigation and discipline (I&D) of its members and has established I&D procedures in its Quality Management System Manual that are in line with SMO 6 requirements. The institute has an Investigations and Disciplinary Committee as well as an Appeals tribunal which are to be reviewed every three years by SAIPA’s Legal Manager— an attorney— to ensure that the I&D policies incorporate the SMO 6 requirements. The Legal Manager also provides guidance on sanctions.
SAIPA reports that it has completed a review of its I&D procedures and as of 2021 reports to be amending the Bylaws regarding disciplinary procedures to ensure continued alignment with SMO 6 requirements.
The institute notes that it informs its members of the I&D procedures during their induction ceremony, a new members’ packet, and through continuous communications from the Legal & Compliance Department. SAIPA added that although it cannot make disciplinary matters public due to the Protection of Personal Information Act 2013, it does draft disciplinary cases into case studies for publication to educate its members and the public.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
IFRS and IFRS for SMEs have been codified by amendments to the Companies Act 2008 and approved by the Financial Reporting Standards Council (FRSC)—the entity responsible for setting accounting standards. As such, SAIPA supports the implementation process by providing mandatory annual continuing professional development workshops on IFRS and IFRS for SMEs and disseminating technical updates on the standards to its members through its various magazines. Additionally, the institute organizes trainings on IFRS for SMEs for its members that are led by approved training providers.
SAIPA states that it publishes articles on IFRS in various sources such as its weekly newsletter and journal to share information with its members and other relevant stakeholders. Furthermore, SAIPA reports it has produced a textbook on IFRS for SMEs as a tool for members and it is prescribed as study material at South African universities such as the University of Cape Town, the University of Western Cape, University of the Witwatersrand, and Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
Lastly, SAIPA indicates that it participates in the international-standard setting process in coordination with the FRSC by submitting comments to Exposure Drafts issued by the IASB.
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