Suriname Chartered Accountants Institute
Associate | Established: 2007 (by law in 2018) | Associate since 2019
The institute was first operational in 2007 under the name Suriname Institute of Chartered Accountants (SUVA) and was renamed the Suriname Chartered Accountants Institute (SCAI) under the Law on Accountancy of 2018.
The institute operates as a mandatory membership organization for all professional accountants seeking to work in public practice—auditors and chartered accountants. The Law on Accountancy of 2018 empowers SCAI with the mandate to: (i) maintain a registry of its members; (ii) issue audit and chartered accountant licenses; (iii) establish continuing professional development requirements; (iv) adopt accounting and auditing standards; (v) establish ethical requirements; (vi) conduct an investigative and disciplinary system with the Ministry of Justice; and (vii) develop and conduct a mandatory quality assurance review system.
SCAI is an IFAC Associate and a full member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean.
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 Law on Accountancy of 2018 delegates authority to the Suriname Chartered Accountants Institute (SCAI) to develop and conduct a mandatory quality assurance (QA) review system in the jurisdiction. The QA review system has been established, but not yet operational.
All members of SCAI are required to be members of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), NBA Netherlands, or the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and are eligible to be subject to their QA review systems which are in line with SMO 1 requirements.
SCAI executed several plans prior to the passage of the 2018 legislation to prepare for the creation of a QA review system that would meet SMO 1 requirements. Notably, SCAI drafted its Charter and the Law on Accountancy of 2018 to ensure that the regulations clearly permit and outline QA procedures. It also established a QA Committee that is working to develop a strategic plan to operate the QA system in line with SMO 1 requirements.
As part of building its capacity in this area, SCAI signed an agreement with NBA Netherlands PUM project management to support with implementation of a QA review system. The program began in 2017, and NBA Netherlands continues to provide required program assistance, training, support, and execution for the practice monitoring function. SCAI’s QA committee is also being further developed as part of this program. The overarching objective of the partnership is for SCAI to operate the QA review system by 2026.
The NBA/PUM program will consider the new Quality Management standards following NBA best practices. Based on the small number of accountants in the jurisdiction that are practicing, and in the interest of confidentiality, SCAI will continue using foreign accountants for quality reviews.
Furthermore, since all members of SCAI are required to be members of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), NBA Netherlands, or the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), all SCAI members are eligible to be subject to their QA review systems that are in line with SMO 1 requirements; provide evidence on an annual basis that they are still a member of one of the three recognized PAOs; and that no concerns have been raised. SCAI provides annual training opportunities to support its members with understanding QA requirements.
SCAI is encouraged to provide an update on the implementation of the QA review system for its members and ensure the incorporation of SMO 1 best practices. Importantly, the new suite of IAASB Quality Management standards that will become effective in December 2022 will require significant change management for regulators and firms. SCAI is encouraged to refer to the new changes from quality control standards to quality management standards as it progresses with implementing the QA reviews and preparing members and other relevant stakeholders for the change.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
The Law on Accountancy of 2018 stipulates initial professional development (IPD) requirements and delegates authority to SCAI to establish continuing professional development (CPD) requirements. As of 2022, educational requirements at the jurisdiction level are aligned with 2019 revised IES.
In April 2019, to include more members in the registry, SCAI implemented its own accountancy education program called the Chartered Accountant (CA) training program for foreign professional accountants.
SCAI also supports its members by providing them with CPD courses in collaboration with NBA Netherlands and AICPA that are based on the needs of local professionals (and to meet learning outcomes – IES 8). SCAI reports that it is in the process of updating its website to keep its members better informed of courses being provided and other developments.
Monitoring of the CPD output approach is conducted annually. SCAI members are required to retain appropriate records pertaining to CPD fulfillment; provide upon request verifiable evidence to demonstrate compliance with CPD requirements; and submit a declaration periodically declaring that they have obtained and maintain the necessary knowledge and skills to perform competently. SCAI reports to review and assess learning plans including reflections with evidence to ensure compliance with CPD, and non-compliance may trigger enforcement procedures.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
The Law on Accountancy of 2018 designates the SCAI as the audit standard-setter. SCAI requires the application of NBA Netherlands’ Dutch translations of ISA which are translated in an ongoing manner.
SCAI supports its members with implementation by providing them with annual training sessions on ISA and other IAASB pronouncements. The institute works to ensure that its continuing professional development program incorporates technical courses to educate members and other stakeholders about new auditing and related standards, and how this may impact their work. Each year updates to the standards are also discussed in a dedicated “updates” course.
The institute also indicates that it maintains an active program for responding to IAASB exposure drafts both as an individual PAO and as a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean.
SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
In accordance with the Law on Accountancy of 2018, the Suriname Chartered Accountants Institute (SCAI) is responsible for adopting ethical requirements for all professional accountants. SCAI, in compliance with the Law on Accountancy of 2018, has developed its own code of ethics based on the 2018 International Code of Ethics issued by the IESBA and plans to update it based on the 2021 International Code of Ethics in 2022.
In 2019, SCAI published information related to the 2018 IESBA Code of Ethics on SCAI’s website, quarterly newsletters and via SCAI’s social media forums such as LinkedIn and Facebook. It plans the same for the 2021 IESBA Code of Ethics.
To advance ethical behavior amongst professionals in Suriname, SCAI has been executing plans to raise awareness of the requirements amongst its members and other key stakeholders through the technical sessions that are included in the continuing professional education seminars.
The 2021 version of the International Code of Ethics is now available, which namely differs from the 2020 Handbook by including approved revisions that will become effective in December 2022, such as: revisions to non-assurance services, fees, and objectivity of an engagement quality reviewer. Since SCAI has not yet adopted the 2020 version of the International Code of Ethics, it should also include the following changes: (i) 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) (ii) Revised Part 4B and the related conforming amendments to the Glossary which came into effect in June 2021; and (iii) Revisions to promote the role and mindset expected of professional accountants which came into effect in December 2021. If not already doing so, SCAI should be raising awareness and educating members on the revisions that came into effect in 2021, as well as the revisions that will become effective throughout 2022, to prepare auditors to properly apply the standards upon effective date. If deemed feasible, SCAI is encouraged to consider plans to participate in the international standard-setting process by providing comments on exposure drafts and other IESBA pronouncements to share its experiences and perspective.
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
The Ministry of Finance is responsible for the adoption of public sector accounting standards. SCAI reports that, as of 2022, the government uses a cash basis form of accounting but that the government is considering adoption of IPSAS in the future. A formal timeline for such an initiative has not yet been established.
As SCAI does not have responsibility for adoption of public sector accounting standards in the jurisdiction, it focuses its efforts on raising awareness and promoting the adoption of IPSAS. SCAI invited representatives from IPSASB to increase awareness and promote adoption during the SCAI annual conference held in August 2018 which was attended by key Ministry of Finance officials. During that same year, SCAI met with IPSASB representatives to discuss various strategies that would enable them to better promote adoption of the standards. SCAI is also planning to meet with the Ministry of Finance in Q2 2022 to continue discussions on IPSAS adoption and implementation in Suriname. To continue such endeavors, SCAI reports that it plans to create a committee focused on raising awareness of IPSAS and coordinating translations with the NBA Netherlands.
To support its members and other accounting professionals who work in the public sector, SCAI is in discussion with the Algemene Rekenkamer (General Audit Chamber) and Central Government Auditing Bureau (CLAD – the entity responsible for auditing government bodies) to collaborate on training and awareness-raising initiatives.
SCAI is encouraged to continue its strong technical and advocacy support to the Ministry of Finance as part of enhancing public financial management in the jurisdiction. The IFAC’s Train the Trainers: Introduction to IPSAS and IFAC’s Pathways to Accrual resources might be helpful to SCAI to continue providing support to public sector accountants in the jurisdiction. Lastly, if deemed feasible, SCAI could consider participating in the international standard-setting process by submitting comments to IPSASB-issued exposure drafts.
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
In accordance with the Law on Accountancy of 2018, the Suriname Chartered Accountants Institute (SCAI) is responsible for establishing an investigative and disciplinary (I&D) system with the Ministry of Justice for all professional accountants. SCAI is in the process of forming an I&D committee that will develop a strategy plan for implementation of the I&D system using SMO 6 requirements. Once the I&D committee is established, the I&D system’s date of operation will subsequently be determined and SCAI plans to disseminate information on the I&D processes via its quarterly newsletter to raise awareness amongst its members and stakeholders.
SCAI executed several plans prior to the passage of the 2018 legislation to prepare for the creation of an I&D system that would meet SMO 6 requirements. Notably, SCAI drafted its Charter and the Law on Accountancy of 2018 to ensure that the regulations clearly permit and outline I&D procedures.
According to the Law on Accountancy of 2018, the Ministry of Justice determines the composition of the Disciplinary Board—which will consist of three (3) members; two of which are retired accountancy professionals that are members of SCAI with at least ten years of experience, and one that is a member of the Ministry of Justice. The law also stipulates that both SCAI and the Ministry of Justice will be responsible for establishing an Investigations Committee.
In the interim, since all members of SCAI are also required to be members of ACCA, NBA Netherlands, or the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), all may be subject to I&D procedures that are in line with SMO 6 requirements. SCAI requires all members on an annual basis to demonstrate that they are still a member of one of the three recognized professional accountancy organizations and that no disciplinary measures have been imposed. SCAI also signed an agreement with these institutes to be informed of any I&D cases against its members. The Board has authority to issue further rules regarding the investigation and disciplinary system as needed. SCAI members—individuals and firms—that seek to file complaints must currently do so via the foreign institutes.
Effective and efficient I&D procedures are foundational to maintaining public trust and confidence in the profession. Considering that the implementation of an I&D system continues to be in the development stage, SCAI should establish a defined timeframe for how it intends to operationalize the system in line with SMO 6 best practices which will require strategic planning, and communicating the resources (financial, technical, and human capital) needed to achieve this objective. Furthermore, SCAI should indicate clear examples of outreach and awareness raising to the public, business, private, and public sector stakeholders on the I&D processes, how to submit complaints, and that disciplinary actions will be taken when necessary.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
The Law on the Financial Statements (2017) stipulates that all large corporations and public interest entities (PIEs) are required to prepare financial reports in accordance with IFRS as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board. All small- and medium-sized companies are required to apply IFRS for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and were given until 2021 to transition to the IFRS for SMEs.
SCAI executed several plans prior to the passage of the 2017 legislation to prepare for the adoption of IFRS. Notably, SCAI worked with the government to ensure that the regulations clearly outline IFRS requirements.
The institute has been proactive in supporting implementation of IFRS. It began offering training prior to the adoption of the Law in 2017. SCAI also reports that it will continue to publish details of IASB pronouncements through newsletters, professional publications (e-copies and hard copies), and announcements on its website. The institute also indicates that it works with various universities in the Netherlands to include IFRS in university curricula in Suriname and plans to continue this activity on an ongoing basis.
Other activities that SCAI undertakes to facilitate implementation include: (i) ensuring that its continuing professional development program incorporates IFRS and at least one course on first time adoption to assist business and professionals with the transition; (ii) developing and providing training for businesses, and financial practitioners; and (iii) maintaining an active program for responding to IASB exposure drafts both as an individual PAO and as a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean.
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