Swaziland Institute of Accountants
Member | Established: 1985 | Member since 1986
The Swaziland Institute of Accountants (SIA) unites the accountancy profession in Swaziland as a mandatory membership organization. Its members work in public practice, commerce and industry, and the public sector providing services to a range of different businesses. The SIA adheres to internationally recognized professional standards and offers professional trainings to ensure that its members provide high-quality services and are committed to the community they are serving.
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
To fulfill its regulatory responsibility of establishing a mandatory quality assurance (QA) review system, the SIA has worked in collaboration with the Association Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA) to conduct QA reviews.
From 2008–2015, SIA contracted the ACCA to carry out the QA reviews on its behalf utilizing a QA review system that was in line with SMO 1 requirements. The contract with ACCA was in place until December 2015, with the last QA reviews taking place in March 2015. SIA indicates that the contract has not been renewed and as of October 2016, the institute in discussions with other QA service providers with the assistance of Pan African Federation of Accountants.
To support members’ implementation of the standards and understanding and the practice monitoring review, SIA provides training on the relevant standards and technical resources, such as a pre-review questionnaire and checklist. After the review is performed SIA also follow-ups with members on the results of the review and in cases where there are deficiencies, the institute requires members to submit an action plan to address the identified deficiencies.
In its next SMO Action Plan submission, SIA is encouraged to indicate if QA reviews have resumed under a new contract with a different provider. In the event QA reviews are restarted, SIA is encouraged to ensure that the contracted QA review system is in line with SMO 1 requirements.
- SMO 2: International Education Standards
SIA is responsible for establishing initial professional development (IPD) and continuing professional development (CPD) requirements for its members. As the institute does not have its own qualification program or examination, it relies qualifications and requirements issued by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT-UK), and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) which are in line with IES requirements. As of 2016, SIA indicates it is considering the possibility of having its own qualification program and seeking assistance from the World Bank to launch this initiative.
Within Swaziland, SIA states that it promotes the IES requirements and IAESB pronouncements to local accountancy education providers—universities approved by SIA based on academic requirements—so that the curricula incorporates the up-to-date requirements. In its 2016 SMO Action Plan, the institute reports that it visits university officials to further promote the incorporation of IES requirements in to local curriculum although it notes that it does not do this on a regular basis and it is unclear if university curricula are required to meet IES content requirements.
Additionally, SIA indicated it has been working with the AAT-UK on two educational initiatives to support the increasing number of accounting technicians in the country. These are initiatives include: increasing the number of available educational resources and, since 2015, offering a computer-based exam for Registered Accountants.
To further support its members, SIA carries out CPD courses in collaboration with SAICA and ACCA. In 2015 and 2016, SIA indicates it held workshops on updates to IFRS and ISA.
SIA should plan to review the revised IES requirements, effective as of July 2016, and communicate with the ACCA, SAICA, and its approved universities to ensure that its members continue to fulfill the IPD requirements. Additionally, SIA should confirm if its approved universities have incorporated the IES 1–4 requirements into the local curriculum and include this information in its SMO Action Plan. It is also encouraged to ensure that its CPD requirements are aligned with the revised IES and if gaps exist, SIA should then include actions to demonstrate how it is working to incorporate and promote the new standards. Finally, SIA is encouraged to consider and subsequently indicate in its SMO Action Plan if it is viable for the institute to participate in the standard-setting process by submitting comments on Exposure Drafts issued by the IAESB.
- SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
SIA is authorized by law to adopt and promulgate the applicable auditing standards in Swaziland. Accordingly, it states that it established an Auditing Standard-setting Committee which has adopted the ISA as issued by IAASB for application in all audits and reports that its Council meets monthly to review new and amended standards. It now focuses its activities on advancing the implementation of the standards.
To this end, SIA reports that it provides trainings and training materials on the most recent ISA developments for its members and disseminates the ISA and IAASB pronouncements on its websites and in the local press. SIA also monitors compliance with the standards through its Audit Quality Review System.
Additionally, SIA indicates that it participates in the international standard-setting process by commenting on Exposure Drafts published by IAASB.
SIA is encouraged to review the new auditor reporting standards, effective as of December 2016, and include planned activities to support its members with implementation in its SMO Action Plan during this update cycle.
- SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
Ethical requirements are established by law and by the SIA in regards to its members. Having first established its own Code of Ethics that incorporated the 2004 IESBA Code of Ethics, the SIA has since updated its Code of Ethics by adopting the 2009 IESBA Code without modifications for its members.
To support its members with the implementation of the Code, SIA indicates that it is planning on including a presentation on the Code during its Annual General Assembly in June 2017 and including trainings on the Code during the 2017 year.
Additionally, SIA also reports that it is involved in an ongoing consultation with the University of Swaziland to incorporate ethics-related curriculum and, in particular, changes stemming from the adoption of the 2009 IESBA Code of Ethics into its accounting syllabi. However, it is unclear if the consultations have spurred any changes to the University’s accounting syllabi as the SIA reports it continues to be a work in progress.
As the SIA has not updated its Code of Ethics since 2009, the institute is encouraged to include plans in its SMO Action Plan in order to establish ongoing procedures to update and incorporate revisions to its Code of Ethics on an ongoing basis. In line with this, SIA is also encouraged to indicate plans to review the NOCLAR standard, which will become effective as of July 2017, and begin considering means to incorporate the standard into its ethical requirements. In its SMO Action Plan, SIA is also encouraged to include any trainings or activities it may have planned to support its members during the 2016–2018 periods. Finally, SIA is encouraged to consider and subsequently indicate in its SMO Action Plan if it is viable for the institute to participate in the standard-setting process by submitting comments on Exposure Drafts issued by the IESBA.
- SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
The Swazi government is responsible for the adoption of public sector accounting standards which are cash-basis. However, SIA states that it meets monthly with the Auditor General and Accountant General as they are members of the SIA Council and raises their awareness on the benefits of adopting IPSAS.
SIA is encouraged to consider, if deemed pertinent and relevant, developing a strategic plan of action with a timeframe that outlines how it can promote and support implementation of IPSAS in Swaziland. This may include sharing IPSAS-related resources and pronouncements issued by IPSASB with the relevant authorities. Additionally, SIA is encouraged to indicate in its SMO Action Plan how it is working to support its members that work in the public sector with the application of current public sector accounting standards through trainings, continuing professional development events, or other implementation guidance.
- SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
As the entity responsible for the investigation and discipline (I&D) of accountants in Swaziland, SIA has established I&D mechanisms for misconduct and failure to comply with professional standards and in September 2015 there were three cases brought to the Disciplinary Committee based on information from quality assurance reviews. SIA reports that it strengthened its I&D procedures to better align with the SMO 6 requirements after successfully lobbying the government to pass amendments to the Accountants Act in 2011. The new amendments permit the Disciplinary Committee to be chaired by a High Court Judge or an individual who has practiced law for at least ten years and has been appointed by the Chief of Justice.
SIA indicates that it keeps its members informed of the I&D procedures by providing copies of the I&D rules. SIA also states that it will organize regular trainings to make members aware of the procedures.
SIA is encouraged to conduct a self-assessment of its I&D system against the SMO 6 requirements and report on the results of its I&D system’s compliance in its SMO Action Plan. Appendix III of this document can be used as a tool to guide the review. After the review, if any areas require further improvements, SIA should prioritize plans to address these issues and outline next steps in its SMO Action Plan. In its SMO Action Plan, SIA is also encouraged to confirm if it has executed the trainings for its members on the I&D procedures.
- SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
The Companies Act of 2009 stipulates that applicable corporate financial reporting requirements in Swaziland are IFRS. SIA promulgates the IFRS as issued by the IASB without modifications including effective dates and has approved compliance with IFRS for small- and medium-sized entities (SMEs).
SIA states that it established a Technical Committee to review new and amended standards, although the Technical Committee reportedly last convened in October 2012. However, SIA indicates the Council meets monthly to review new and amended standards while there are developing plans to reconstitute the Technical Committee.
The institute is also focusing on supporting the implementation of the standards by its members. It does this by disseminating the standards through its website and publishing them in local papers. SIA also provides trainings on new standards, pronouncements, and developments for its members on an annual basis. Most recently, in November 2016, SIA held a one-day seminar for its members on amendments to IFRS for SMEs.
Furthermore, SIA reports that in established a unit with the institute to monitor and enforce compliance with the IFRS.
Lastly, SIA indicates that it participates in the international standard-setting process by commenting on exposure drafts issued by the IASB.
In its next SMO Action Plan, SIA is encouraged to update the implementation of its activities in regards to its Technical Committee. Additionally, SIA is also encouraged to include any specific trainings or activities it may have planned to support its members during the 2016–2018 periods in this area.
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