In 2021, IFAC expanded its membership to include two new professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) from the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The Yemeni Association of Certified Public Accountants (YACPA), the only national PAO in Yemen, invested a great deal of time, energy, and resources to be fully prepared to submit a successful IFAC membership application. YACPA is no stranger to adversity as it operates in a country whose recent history is one of turmoil. YACPA was formally welcomed as an IFAC Associate at the IFAC Council meeting in November 2021. Here YACPA leadership shares their journey as inspiration and guidance for future IFAC members.
Dana Jensen: How did YACPA’s journey to joining IFAC start?
Dr. AbdulMalek: When YACPA first applied for IFAC membership in 2011, we were given advice at the time by IFAC to postpone the application submission so we could prioritize ongoing efforts in developing the profession.
Dana Jensen: What were some of the recommendations that YACPA addressed?
Dr. AbdulMalek: Between 2013-2020, YACPA worked diligently to address all IFAC policy recommendations. Namely, it developed a strategic planning process and has been working towards a formal review to consider how differences between national legislation and international standards can best be addressed as well as how to strengthen its continuing professional development and professional experience requirements. While not the national standard-setter for corporate accounting and auditing standards, and professional ethics, YACPA supported the Government of Yemen with the adoption of International Standards on Auditing (ISA), the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) Code of Ethics, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS Standard), and introduction of a mandatory continuing professional development (CPD) requirement.
Dana Jensen: What is next for YACPA?
Majid Al-Qawsi: Today, YACPA is legally recognized as a mandatory membership professional association for Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) under Audit and Review of Accounts Law No. 26 of 1999, with the authority to (i) participate in drafting resolutions related to the profession; (ii) ensure members’ compliance with ethical, accounting, and auditing standards and cooperating with the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MIT) to support investigation & disciplinary processes; (iii) organize and monitor professional education and training; (iv) deliver CPD; (v) administer Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examinations; (vi) maintain the CPA registry; and (vii) operate a quality assurance (QA) review system under the MIT’s supervision.
Looking ahead, we see a new decade of possibility and progress as YACPA actively works towards strengthening the profession despite ongoing conflict in the country. With more tools available, and potential partnerships with other IFAC member organizations, YACPA is moving into a new phase of action. Inspired by the belief that partnership is the new leadership, YACPA seeks to collaborate with development partners and professional accountancy organizations for exponential impact.
Dr. AbdulMalek: Even in what seems like dark times with the onset of a global pandemic and ongoing wars, YACPA believes that our best days are ahead of us. YACPA has spent the past decade building the profession with passion and trust and endeavoring to create an even stronger, and more inclusive and sustainable future for all accountancy professionals in Yemen.
Majid Al-Qawsi: And that future starts right now.
For more information on YACPA’s journey, please refer to the presentation which was translated by Mr. Majid Al-Qawsi, former General Secretary of YACPA.