SMOs as a driver of successful PAOs: ICPAU’s Experience
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SMOs as a driver of successful
PAOs: ICPAU’s Experience
Derick Nkajja, Member, Compliance
San Jose―Costa Rica
February 13, 2016
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• Development of Action Plans
• Achievements & Challenges
• Overview of the African Region
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• The Institute of Certified Public Accountants of
Uganda (ICPAU) was established by law in 1992. The
current law is the Accountants Act of 2013.
– To regulate and maintain the Standard of Accountancy in Uganda;
– To prescribe and regulate the conduct of accountants and
practising accountants in Uganda.
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PUBLICATION OF ICPAU’S SMO ACTION PLAN
– 1st publication of the Action Plan in December 2008
– 1st Update published in June 2010
– 2nd Update published in September 2011
– 3rd Update published in October 2013
– 4th Update submitted in September 2015
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Development of the Action Plan
• Technical staff review the requirements of IFAC SMOs
• Technical staff support ICPAU departments in drafting the
plans to achieve SMO requirements
• Action plan reviewed by Management Team
• Action plan approved by Chief Executive
• Action plan endorsed by Council and shared with Council
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SMO 2: Education
SMO 4: Ethics
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Educations and Examinations
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• A Quality Assurance Programme (QAP) has been
• The QAP is conducted in three-year cycles
– 1st cycle was completed in February 2010.
– 2nd cycle completed in March 2014.
– 3rd cycle is on, so far, reviewed 70 out of 206 firms.
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• Notable progress;
– Improvement in audit quality as years go by.
– Introduction of a Practice Management Course in 2013 to address
skills gaps identified through the QAP.
– Introduction of a Quality Assurance Board (QAB) to enforce
professional standards and to enhance quality assurance.
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Education & Examinations
• Introduction of regular reviews for ICPAU examinations
courses - SMO2.
• Stakeholder confidence in CPA course.
• Engagement of tuition providers.
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Examinations & Standards
• Initial Professional Development
– The professional standards are incorporated in the ICPAU courses.
[Both Certified Public Accountant (CPA) course and Accounting
Technician Diploma (ATD) course].
– IFRS, ISAs, IPSASs and IESBA Code are examinable in both CPA
and ATD course.
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• All professional standards (IFRSs, ISAs, IPSASs) were
adopted by ICPAU.
• To support implementation,
– training is conducted regularly.
– Handbooks are regularly made available to members.
• Generation of responses to Exposure Drafts and
• IESBA code is implemented alongside the ICPAU Code.
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Standards – FiRe Awards
• Introduction of Financial Reporting (FiRe) Awards in
partnership with the Uganda Securities Exchange and the
Capital Markets Authority
– FiRe awards conducted for the last five years.
– To gauge and monitor implementation of standards
– Aim at enhancing the quality of financial and business reporting in
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• ICPAU’s Investigations and Disciplinary guidelines
developed and published in 2013.
– Staff recruited to handle investigations and ensure compliance with
• ICPAU continues to enhance public awareness of its
Disciplinary Committees mechanism and results.
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• ICPAU continues to;
– Raise awareness of SMO requirements and benefits derived there
from, to stakeholders.
– Appreciate the role of the Compliance Advisory Panel.
– Greatly get involved in IFAC activities
• Ease in signing off East Africa Community Institutes of
Accountants (EACIA) Mutual Recognition Agreement due
to similar approach to the profession.
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Challenges to SMO Action Plans
• Enabling legislation for implementation of all standards.
• Greater public expectations compared to professional
• Resource constraints.
• Increased regulatory demands worsening the resource
• State of Economic environment.
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• ICPAU adopted a mentorship approach to all its activities.
– ICAS was chosen as a twinning partner (mentor) with the support
from Uganda Government.
– The relationship has helped to strengthen the Institute’s organs.
• Sourcing sponsorships for ICPAU events & activities.
• Be contented with the natural growth/progression of the
profession according to the economic development of the
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Overview of Africa Region
• The profession is brought together by Pan Africa
Federation of Accountants (PAFA)
– With 43 members from 36 countries.
– Only 26 PAFA members are participating in SMO Action Plan.
• Not all PAFA members are IFAC members.
• Regulatory framework is very diverse
• Multiple languages used
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Challenges and Initiatives in Africa
– Enabling laws
– Low levels of private sector economic activities
– Resource Constraints & Brain Drain.
– Collaborations along economic blocs
– Mutual Recognition agreements
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• The development and implementation of the SMO Action
Plan has guided ICPAU’s professional activities and
• Challenges and constraints notwithstanding, ICPAU and
PAFA members continue to promote SMO framework as
part of the profession’s contribution to the growth and
development of strong economies.