Associate | Established: 2007 | 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.
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 between 2022-2026 The program began in 2017, and NBA Netherlands continues to provide 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 NBA/PUM program considers the recently effective Quality Management standards following NBA best practices. SCAI offers its members with training courses pertaining to ISQM 1 and ISQM 2 as part of its annual continuing professional development (CPD) requirements as approved by NBA/CEDEO. Webinars on ISA 315, ISQM 1 and ISQM 2 were also hosted by NBA/PUM in Q1 of 2023.
In Q4 of 2023, NBA/PUM is planning an in-person visit to SCAI. SCAI’s legal advisor is working on relevant regulations pertaining to QA to be adopted by the Annual General Assembly of SCAI in 2023.
SCAI is encouraged to provide an update on the implementation of the QA review system for its members and continue to ensure the incorporation of SMO 1 best practices.
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.
In April 2019, to include more members in the registry, SCAI implemented its own initiative called the Chartered Accountant (CA) training program for foreign professional accountants from other IFAC member organizations. Individuals who undergo this program complete 3 local regulatory exams before receiving a declaration of professional competence to register as a member of SCAI and practice.
SCAI 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). SCAI reports that it is in the process of updating its website to keep its members better informed.
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 result in enforcement procedures.
SCAI is encouraged to ensure that its recognition and confirmation process of other PAOs is robust.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
The Law on Accountancy of 2018 designates the Suriname Chartered Accountants Institute (SCAI) as the audit standard-setter for all companies, and since October 2018, ISA are adopted as issued by IAASB. As of 2023, the 2021 Handbook of International Quality Control, Auditing, Review, other Assurance, and Related Services Pronouncements is in effect.
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 reports that it has decided to adopt the IESBA Code of Ethics as issued by IESBA, which as of 2023 is the 2022 International Code of Ethics.
SCAI reports to update its members on new and revised ethical requirements on an ongoing basis via its website, quarterly newsletters, and social media forums such as LinkedIn and Facebook.
To advance ethical behavior amongst professionals in Suriname, SCAI has been raising awareness of the requirements amongst its membership and other key stakeholders through the technical sessions that are part of continuing professional education seminars.
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 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. Subsequently, SCAI also met 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 technical and advocacy support to the Ministry of Finance and encouraging adoption of IPSAS (first on a cash basis) 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 the public sector.
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. According to the Law on Accountancy of 2018, the Ministry of Justice determines the composition of the Disciplinary Board. As of October 2022, the President of the Ministry of Justice nominated 2 persons from the Court to serve on the Disciplinary Board, while SCAI identified 2 accountants to serve on the Board. Follow-up on suggested amendments to the Law for alignment with SMO 6 are expected to take place with consultation of SCAI’s lawyer in 2023.
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.
As of 2023, SCAI is in the process of forming an I&D committee that will develop a strategic 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. SCAI plans to disseminate information on the I&D processes via its quarterly newsletter to raise awareness amongst its members and stakeholders.
In the meantime, all members of SCAI are also members of foreign institutes (IFAC member organizations) and subject to their respective I&D systems. SCAI requires all members on an annual basis to demonstrate that they are still a member of one of the recognized professional accountancy organizations and that no disciplinary measures have been imposed. SCAI also liaises 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 an important component 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, seeking the assistance of the donor community, learning experiences of other PAOs as well as reviewing available resources such as the Investigation & Discipline Systems Guide developed by the Confederation of Asian & Pacific Accountants are recommended. SCAI is also encouraged to support members with understanding how to submit complaints in the absence of a formal committee.
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, 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; (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.
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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