Developing the Accountancy Profession

Counting on Each Other — Cross-Regional PAO Exchanges to Strengthen Quality Assurance in Trinidad & Tobago

Sarah Gagnon, Dana Jensen | October 26, 2022


Professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) are crucial components of a well-functioning, sustainable accountancy profession, and enhancing collaboration and partnerships among PAOs has benefits for all organizations involved. There are several ways that PAOs may work together, including long-term twinning arrangements, fixed-term donor funded projects, and other engagements, both formal and informal, to facilitate learning. There is significant value in having a PAO share its experiences with another, telling the story of how it got to where it is, with the aim of supporting another PAO through the same process. IFAC outlines these principles in its PAO capacity building guidance, Counting on Each Other: Establishing & Maintaining Effective PAO Partnerships.

One of the benefits of joining the IFAC network is that member organizations gain access to expertise, resources, and support that helps them strengthen the services provided to their membership. IFAC actively facilitates such exchanges through its IFAC Member Compliance Program and IFAC’s PAO Development & Advisory Group—one of the group’s key mandates is to empower PAOs with guidance, leadership, and technical assistance.


Recently, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Trinidad and Tobago (ICATT) requested support and information around establishing a quality assurance (QA) review system for Non-Audit accountants. ICATT has a QA review system for auditors in conjunction with the ACCA. While that review system continues to operate efficiently, ICATT is expanding its review program to include non-audit members in public practice and considering self-reporting models for them. This is aligned with the best practices outlined in IFAC’s membership requirement on quality assurance (SMO 1), which notes that it is in the public interest for the largest range of professional services performed by professional accountants to be subject to quality assurance review systems.


To support ICATT in establishing its expanded review program, IFAC organized meetings between ICATT and three PAOs that successfully operate such a system for accounting services in their jurisdictions—the Association of Accountants of the Republic of Latvia; Corpul Expertilor Contabili si Contabililor Autorizati din Romania; and the Lithuanian Association of Accountants and Auditors. Following the meetings, all PAOs provided ICATT with templates to reference, for example: guidelines, explanatory notes, and checklists.

Stronger PAO-to-PAO partnerships benefits the accountancy profession and the resiliency of our communities is essential! We’re delighted to highlight this example of collaboration amongst PAOs from diverse regions, which offer opportunities to pool resources and expertise to benefit member organizations, the global accountancy profession, and the public interest.

Request: Establishing a Quality Assurance Review System for Non-Audit Accountants in Trinidad & Tobago



  • New connections and relationship-building across varying regions.
  • Exchange of know-how and experience in introducing a QA review system for accountants.
  • Exchange of templates and guidance.


If your member organization seeks additional information or clarity on an initiative and would like to speak to other PAOs, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your respective regional manager and/or contact the IFAC PAO Development & Advisory Group!


Sarah Gagnon

Senior Manager, IFAC

Sarah Gagnon is a Senior Manager at IFAC where she provides membership and development services for IFAC's member organizations across Central, Southern, and Eastern Europe. Sarah also leads IFAC's Member Compliance Program and spearheads the external & internal strategic communications and reports on adoption & implementation of global accountancy standards. Prior to joining IFAC, Sarah worked at the SEEP Network in Arlington, VA to support research and membership services for SEEP's global membership of microfinance associations. She holds a bachelor's degree from Union College in Political Science and a graduate degree in Latin American Studies/Development from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. See more by Sarah Gagnon

Dana Jensen

Regional Manager, IFAC

Dana Jensen manages the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Caribbean regions under the IFAC Member Compliance Program, as well as the IFAC Membership Program, to support the adoption and implementation efforts of international standards and best practices amongst IFAC’s member organizations as well as non-members. Prior to her time at IFAC, Dana was a Policy Coordinator at the United Nations (UN) in the Department for Peacekeeping Operations. She holds an MSc from Columbia University (2011); she is currently Prince Sultan University-Banque Saudi Fransi’s Fellow in Islamic Finance (2021-2023) and is also pursuing a Diploma in Islamic Finance from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants® (CIMA®) (2023). See more by Dana Jensen


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