Ukrainian Federation of Professional Accountants and Auditors
Member | Established: 1996 | Member since 2008
UFPAA is one of the oldest professional accountancy organizations in the country, established as a non-governmental, self-regulatory body with voluntary membership in accordance with the Law on Citizen Association. According to UFPAA’s Charter, its objective is to “unite the efforts of accountants and auditors in fostering the reforms and further development of accounting and audit in Ukraine on the basis of the international standards, in improvement of the tax legislation and protection of joint interests of its members.” The UFPAA is one of the key stakeholders in the accounting profession in Ukraine, collaborating effectively with the Auditing Chamber of Ukraine and Ministry of Finance, and is a recipient and active participant in many donor-funded projects. The UFPAA has been a Member of IFAC since 2008.
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
UFPAA is not directly involved in establishing the requirements or conducting quality assurance (QA) reviews of auditors, which are mandatory for all statutory audits in Ukraine under the Law on Audit of Financial Statements and Auditing of 2017. Audit firms that conduct statutory audits of public interest entities (PIEs) are reviewed every three years by the Auditing Public Oversight Board (APOB). QA reviews of other audit entities carrying out statutory audits are conducted every six years by the Audit Chamber of Ukraine (ACU). According to the self-assessment conducted by the ACU in 2019, the overall QA review system in the jurisdiction complies with the requirements of SMO 1.
With no direct role either for the design of the QA system for auditors or its actual implementation, UFPAA seeks to support the regulators through provision of technical resources such as staffing and raising awareness about best practices in the area.
The association assists firms in understanding the objectives of quality control and in implementing and maintaining appropriate systems through organizing workshops and online courses. It also translates and publishes implementation support materials on best practices, for example, quality control methodology.
UFPAA, together with the MoF, APOB and ACU, are participating in the World Bank’s project Strengthening Auditing and Reporting for Eastern Partnership countries (STAREP), which includes activities related to raising awareness and best practices for QA, among other.
In 2019, UFPAA also indicated that it is considering introducing a voluntary QA system for its members. However, no details or expected timeframe have been provided.
UFPAA has demonstrated that, within the scope of its authority, it is undertaking actions to meet the SMO 1 obligations. The association is encouraged to further demonstrate its commitment to improve the existing practices such as support for the implementation of quality control standards. UFPAA should consider showcasing its specific activities and plans aimed at supporting its members with establishing quality control systems and understanding the QA process. It should also consider closely liaising with the regulators to incorporate the findings made during inspections into its educational programming.
SMO 2: International Education Standards
UFPAA is not involved in establishing initial professional development (IPD) and continuing professional development (CPD) requirements for auditors and chief accountants, the two segments of the profession regulated at the state level, which appear to only partially incorporate the requirements of revised IES.
UFPAA nevertheless has maintained a two-tiered voluntary certification scheme that offers recognition at the Certified Accounting Practitioner level (CAP) since 1997 and Certified International Professional Accountants (CIPA) since 2002. Although UFPAA reports that it has undertaken measures to review its certification programs to align with IES, the extent of incorporation of IES requirements is not clear. It also remains to be established whether UFPAA’s syllabus and learning materials are being regularly updated to reflect developments in international standard-setting.
UFPAA's entry requirements into its program include a higher education (university) diploma in accounting and auditing. To facilitate entry into its certification program, the association works with universities and gives exemptions to graduates of some programs while monitoring continued compliance with its accreditation criteria.
It also participated in 2017 in the development of the Concept for Improvement of the education system and continuous professional development of accountants and auditors in Ukraine aimed at implementing the requirements of IES in Ukraine. It is not clear, however, how this initiative has progressed to date.
All UFPAA members are required to undergo annual CPD. The Committee on Professional Education, along with the Executive Directorate and Educational Center, creates opportunities for further professional development through the appropriate events (conferences, publication of articles, books, monographs, conducting trainings, etc.). As of 2020, the Committee intends to review the existing certification program and the CPD programming to better align with IES 7.
In 2018, UFPAA entered into an agreement with the American Institute of CPAs and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants that allows sharing resources on professional development. UFPAA members now have access to AICPA’s online courses.
In addition to providing opportunities for its members, during 2017–2018, the UFPAA Training and Methodological Center was accredited by the Audit Chamber of Auditors, the regulator of the auditing profession at the time, as a CPD provider for auditors. It is not clear whether UFPAA continues to offer CPD programming for auditors considering the regulatory changes.
Lastly, UFPAA participates in a World Bank-organized Accounting Education Community of Practice, through the Strengthening Auditing and Reporting for Eastern Partnership countries program that aims to modernize accountancy education.
Staff reiterate its previous recommendation that, as an IFAC member, UFPAA drive the adoption of IES in the jurisdiction. At a minimum, UFPAA should work to execute its plans to bring its own educational programming in line with IES. In 2019, newly revised IES were issued that address learning and development for information and communications technologies (ICT) and professional skepticism. As market expectation increases for ICT skills and professional skepticism, the revised standards address the competencies, skills, and behaviors for both aspiring and professional accountants in these critical areas. The revisions will become effective January 2021. UFPAA is encouraged to review the standards and develop plans to incorporate the new requirements and to raise awareness of other stakeholders involved in lifelong development of professional accountants. The association could also drive/facilitate a comprehensive gap analysis of the overall national requirements against the revised IES in cooperation with other stakeholders.
SMO 3: International Standards on Auditing
With ISA adopted for application in Ukraine as translated and made available by the Ministry of Finance, UFPAA sees its role in this area as supporting its members with the implementation of the standards and assisting the Ministry of Finance, where opportunity arises.
Prior to 2018 when the responsibility for promulgation of ISA was handed over to the Ministry of Finance, UFPAA assisted ACU, the then auditing standard-setter, with the establishment of a joint working group to facilitate translation of IAASB pronouncements and translated the 2016–2017 Handbook, which is still in use as of 2020. It also promoted the establishment of a joint analytical group with the ACU to discuss and provide comments on the IAASB Exposure Drafts, and actively participated in the accountancy reform initiatives in the jurisdiction.
To assist with the application of ISA by its members, UFPAA provides a Help Desk service to members to address technical queries on ISA, organizes regional and international conferences, seminars and trainings, raises awareness of the latest IAASB developments via its monthly magazine School of Professional Accountant and in the ACU’s monthly magazine Auditor of Ukraine. UFPAA covers ISA in its initial and continuing professional development courses offered by its Training and Methodological Center, and develops implementation support materials, covering a wide range of auditing-related topics such as auditor reporting standards, key audit matters, key audit risks among other areas. It is not clear, however, whether UFPAA maintains ongoing processes to incorporate the changes in the international standard-setting into its educational programming in a timely manner.
UFPAA has demonstrated that, within the scope of its authority, it has undertaken initiatives to meet the SMO 3 obligations and is committed to continued improvement. UFPAA is encouraged to disseminate news, resources, guidance as well as international developments on its website and to update its educational programming on a regular basis to include new and revised ISA.
SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
UFPAA actively promoted the importance of introduction of ethical requirements for the profession, which were introduced in 2003 for all auditors in the jurisdiction. In the absence of legal ethical requirements for other accounting professionals, in 2007, the UFPAA adopted the International Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants (including International Independence Standards) (the Code) for application by its members through its Statue.
The association’s representatives were the members of the Coordination & Advisory Council responsible for the first translation of the Code. In 2014, UFPAA translated the 2012 version of the Code, which is mandatory for application by the UFPAA members. In its 2019 SMO Action Plan, the UFPAA indicated plans to translate the 2018 edition. As of 2020, the official translation of the Code is in process by the MoF.
UFPAA asserts that it works to ensure that the requirements of the 2012 IESBA Code are incorporated into its education and training programs and organizes seminars, publishes implementation materials, and supports its membership in implementing the Code. Of a note, is the launch of a comprehensive online course on the Code as a free public resource Prometheus.
Recognizing a major contribution of the UFPAA to the adoption and implementation of the Code in Ukraine, it is recommended that the association review and enhance its existing activities to support members with the implementation of the Code. Such activities may include holding seminars and focused trainings, establishing a hotline for confidential questions, and disseminating information on the developments in the area through different communications means, among other activities (please see IFAC article Paying Professional Ethics More than Lip Service for examples of such activities). Considering the June 2019 effective date of the 2018 International Code of Ethics, a completely restructured and rewritten Code that includes the important NOCLAR standard issued in 2016, UFPAA is encouraged to incorporate the new requirements into its educational programming and raise awareness of its members. If deemed relevant and necessary, the association could also consider participating in the international standard-setting process by providing comments on Exposure Drafts and other IESBA pronouncements, possibly in collaboration with other stakeholders.
SMO 5: International Public Sector Accounting Standards
Although IPSAS have not been adopted in Ukraine, UFPAA reports that it has been advocating for their adoption and implementation.
UFPAA indicates in its 2019 SMO Action Plan that in general it will continue raising awareness, sharing knowledge, and providing input to the reform of public sector accounting, supporting the Ministry of Finance (MoF) in translation of international standards, through its representation in the IFRS Council under the MoF, and participating in training, education, and continuing professional development programs conducted jointly with the MoF and PAOs.
UFPAA has demonstrated that, within the scope of its authority, it is committed to meet the SMO 5 obligations. The association is encouraged to further consider opportunities in the area of public sector accounting and, if deemed feasible, develop a plan with a defined timeline and specific activities in the area.
SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
In addition to the investigative and disciplinary system (I&D) systems for auditors established by the Auditing Public Oversight Board (APOB) and the Audit Chamber of Ukraine (ACU), UFPAA in 2007 established a Disciplinary Committee and operates an I&D system for its members. Members of the committee are independent of the subject of the investigation and other related parties. All members of the Committee must submit a Declaration of Independence both towards the subject of investigation and towards other related parties. The Committee, comprised of both accountancy and non-accountancy professionals, is entitled to impose the following sanctions: warning, reprimand, suspension from membership, and exclusion form membership.
The association indicates that it disseminates information about UFPAA’s investigation and disciplinary system to its members and the general public via its website and monthly magazine, School of Professional Accountant.
In 2019, UFPAA conducted a self-assessment of its I&D system and indicated less than full compliance with the requirements of SMO 6. It appears that there is no separation between investigation and discipline functions, no linkage with the results of QA reviews, limited range of penalties, no independent appeal body, and the results of proceedings are not made publicly available, among other areas.
Although, as of 2019, UFPAA indicated plans to establish a joint appeals committee with ACU, no other plans to bring the I&D system in line with SMO 6 best practices have been indicated.
Although staff’s previous recommendation to assess the existing I&D system in Ukraine for all categories of professional accountants in jurisdiction against the requirements of the revised SMO 6 has been met, no plans have been indicated to bring the system in line with the SMO 6 requirements. It is therefore recommended that UFPAA review the results of the self-assessment and develop plans, specific and with a defined timeframe, to bring the system fully in line with the international best practices formulated in SMO 6. In addition, UFPAA is also encouraged to raise awareness of the APOB and the ACU about the requirements of SMO 6 with a view to bring the overall I&D system in the jurisdiction fully in line with the international best practices. It is also recommended that UFPAA, to the extent possible and feasible, cooperate with the regulators to effectively and efficiently implement I&D procedures, which are foundational to maintaining public trust and confidence in the profession.
SMO 7: International Financial Reporting Standards
Since the adoption of IFRS in 2012, UFPAA uses its best endeavors to support the Ministry of Finance in the process of adoption, translation and implementation of the standards by providing trainings, organizing seminars, and offering continuing professional development on IFRSs. It is not clear, however, whether UFPAA maintains ongoing processes to incorporate the changes in the international standard-setting into its educational programming in a timely manner.
UFPAA has also, over the years, promoted revisions to the National Accounting Standards (NASs) to further converge with IFRSs. Representatives of UFPAA participate in the activities of the Parliamentary Committee which was established to bring relevant accounting and audit legislation in line with the EU directives.
Prior to delegation of the responsibility to translate standards to the Audit Chamber of Ukraine and then subsequently to the Ministry of Finance, UFPAA translated and made available the 2009 and later the 2014 version of IFRSs, along with other standard-related materials.
UFPAA also prepared implementation guidance, a manual, and video presentation on transforming financial statements prepared under Ukrainian National Accounting Standards to IFRS.
In 2011, aiming to streamline IFRS implementation in Ukraine, the MoF and UFPAA have signed a Memorandum on Cooperation and Coordination of Actions on Implementation of IFRS in Ukraine.
UFPAA has demonstrated that, within the scope of its authority, it has undertaken initiatives to meet the SMO 7 obligations and is committed to continued improvement. UFPAA is encouraged to disseminate news, resources, guidance as well as international developments on its website and, if already not done so, to update its educational programming on a regular basis to include new and revised IFRSs.
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