Auditing regional auditors
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, November 20, 2008 - A move by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Caribbean (ICAC) to monitor the quality of financial audits provided by its members across the region is being supported by accounting regulators in Barbados.
Andrew Brathwaite, Vice President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (ICAB), admitted the profession had “taken a beating” from a number of high profile corporate and audit failures outside of the region and the ICAC initiative was a positive step toward increasing public confidence in the quality of audits and financial reporting.
Under the scheme, all members of the accounting Institutes in Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago who perform audits will be subject to at least one monitoring visit over a six year period starting in 2009. This visit will involve an examination of the quality control policies and procedures of a member or firm as well as an examination of a number of completed audits. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica is also planning to join the scheme.
Mr Brathwaite added that the ICAB, which is the body legally mandated to regulate accounting professionals in Barbados, would ensure that the practice monitoring scheme was carried out on the island.
He added that the institute was also placing strong emphasis on ensuring that its members kept up with developing trends and practices through its continuing professional education (CPE) programme, of which a major activity was their upcoming annual conference.
The 15th annual ICAB conference will be held tomorrow under the theme, ‘Beyond the Numbers – Developing Strategies to Achieve Transparency, Accountability and Good Governance’.
This year’s event will bring together over 130 accounting professionals to explore those influences that have far reaching implications for financial systems across the board and will present a line-up of legal, tax and financial experts who will offer participants insight into issues surrounding the accounting profession as it faces some of its most challenging times.
Among the scheduled speakers are University of the West Indies Law Lecturer Jeff Cumberbatch who will look at the topical issue of the legal rights accorded to those ‘whistle blowers’ who expose criminal and immoral wrongdoings by their companies; anti-money laundering and fraud expert Everett Colby, CGA, principal with Canadian accounting firm Colby McGeachy PC, with an examination of the link between accounting and financial risk management; and corporate practitioner Dr Grenville Phillips who will bring close to 30 years of experience to bear on the issue of corporate governance in the context of Barbadian and Caribbean legislation.
The public sector will also be represented at the conference by Barbados’ Accountant General Margaret Sivers, who will outline government’s ongoing reform of its accounting practices as she tackles the topic of public accountability; and Veronica Savory, a professional accountant trained in the areas of auditing and taxation services, who will provide a demonstration on the Department of Inland Revenue’s new eFiling platform, which rolls out on January 2, 2009.