Capacity building projects
ICAEW has a dedicated international capacity building team that has worked on more than 65 projects across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East in over 30 countries.
Those include Abu Dhabi (UAE), Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Botswana, Cambodia, Croatia, Cyprus, Dubai (UAE), Georgia, Ghana, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lesotho, Malawi, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
In addition, we have provided Audit Quality Monitoring training and capacity strengthening in Bulgaria, Cayman Islands, Dubai, Estonia, Gibraltar, Greece, Ireland, Malta and Scotland.
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Success in Ghana
ICAEW has worked closely with the Institute of Chartered Accountants (Ghana) (ICAG) since 2011.
Our first 18-month project was funded by the World Bank and focused on upgrading the ICAG PQ and strengthening the quality of auditing and the monitoring of audit firms by the institute.
As part of this project ICAG staff were trained in audit quality monitoring and in conducting initial assessment visits to audit firms to evaluate the quality of audit. ‘We looked at their legal structure and how they acquired and accepted clients,’ says Charles Egan, consultant head reviewer at ICAG.
ICAEW arranged free access to an Excel-based product designed to help firms comply with International Standards on Auditing (ISA) and provided training in the use of this, as well as guidance on how audit firms should use ISQC1 to improve their audit processes. ICAG has almost 200 audit firm members and a full-time audit quality monitoring team is doing full audit monitoring of these. ‘This has brought the audit firms into a much tighter form of regulation at a very timely point in Ghana’s economic development,’ says Mark Campbell, director of international capacity building.
In November 2015, we launched a new project to strengthen the education, training and related PQ elements at ICAG, funded by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) under the PAO ‘Standards and Enforcement’ pillar of the IFAC PAO Capacity Building Framework.
Subsequently in August 2016, we were provided with additional funding from IFAC to provide implementation support to ICAG for the project focusing on: the examination areas of the PQ, accountancy education, PQ tuition and practical training.
In Phase 1, ICAEW undertook an in-depth diagnostic review of these areas in consultation with ICAG Council, ICAG CEO and key stakeholders, and as an output, prepared a roadmap for strengthening each area.
In Phase 2, the focus was on implementing the four roadmaps. It also included delivery of a further programme of training of examiners and moderators, to reinforce the equivalent training provided during Phase 1.
Strengthening the profession - Botswana
A key objective of our joint ICAEW-Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) project was to develop a competitive PQ in Botswana to ensure it attracts the best and brightest students.
This has helped to strengthen BICA in the business and financial architecture of Botswana and to raise its profile in Africa.
Elsewhere, ICAEW is helping to establish or reform national qualifications in Cambodia, Ghana, Malawi, Myanmar, Nigeria and Tanzania.
Twinning with Malawi
ICAEW worked with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Malawi (formally Society of Accountants in Malawi - SOCAM) on a twinning project funded by the World Bank to strengthen the accountancy profession in Malawi.
The twinning arrangement involved close cooperation to deliver a strategic plan and roadmap, a national professional qualification to strengthen audit regulation and deliver training and workshops on international standards, audit quality assurance and professional ethics.
Project milestones included the development and launch of the ICAM PQ for examination in 2014 and an international conference to launch ICAM in July 2014 with the support of the European Commission, ICAEW, the World Bank and IFAC.
Creating partnerships - Nigeria
ICAEW worked in partnership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) to redevelop its professional qualification, develop and deliver a pilot Case Study syllabus, technical oversight and relevant training.
At the same time we partnered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in Nigeria to help its transition from national accounting standards to IFRS and to reform its regulatory framework. Both projects were funded by the World Bank.
Strengthening audit regulation in Asia and the Pacific
In 2015, ICAEW began working on an Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded project to Strengthen Financial Management in Asia and the Pacific. The project, which is also being supported by the Confederation of Asian and Pacific Accountants (CAPA), aim’s to pilot Audit Quality Assurance systems for professional accountancy organisations (PAOs) in a sample of member countries including Cambodia, Georgia, Myanmar, Nepal and Samoa.
The project takes a two phase approach. Phase 1 - part 1 included the development of a good-practice guide (Quality Assurance for Audit: A Good-Practice Guide) to help break down the why, what and how of setting up a Quality Assurance (QA) for audit function for the first time. We also worked in-country to create PAO-specific QA roadmaps and conduct national workshops with key stakeholders on the launch.
Phase 1 - part 2 saw all of the pilot countries move to the implementation stage. ICAEW worked with the PAOs and key stakeholders to deliver the outcomes set out in their individual QA for Audit roadmaps developed in part 1. This included gathering information on legislation, regulations and bye-laws to aid in the development of audit regulations that bind auditors into complying with audit quality requirements, and develop operational procedures for the QA for audit monitoring teams.
Phase 2 of the project will commence later in 2019. This third round of ADB funding will allow implementation initiatives to continue, including:
- In-country classroom training and support for key governance and strategic functions
- Mentoring at each stage of the inspection process, from risk-based sampling of auditors and audits right through to reporting and sanctions
- Additional mentoring support for functions related to the QA for Audit functions, such as the Investigation and Discipline and the registration/licensing functions
Joint working – Sri Lanka
ICAEW completed a project in Sri Lanka to establish an audit quality assurance unit and deliver a programme to support IFRS adoption and compliance. Our experts delivered high level training programmes for trainers and members of CA Sri Lanka to improve the quality of implementation and compliance.
These projects involved considerable joint working between ICAEW and CA Sri Lanka. They illustrate how much can be achieved through partnership and provide a strong foundation for further cooperation between ICAEW and CA Sri Lanka.
A lasting impact: Myanmar
In Myanmar in 2013, ICAEW began working in partnership with the Myanmar Institute of Certified Public Accountants (MICPA), the Auditor General and Myanmar Accountancy Council on a UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office funded project aimed at enhancing transparency through strengthening the accountancy profession.
This initial project involved the delivery of training and workshops in international standards, audit quality assurance and professional ethics. ICAEW experts also worked closely with counterpart staff and stakeholders to develop a strategic plan for strengthening the accountancy profession in Myanmar. The overall goal was to transform the MICPA into a vibrant, competitive and confident national institute.
Subsequently in 2014, we began a second project funded by the FCO to bring the professional qualification (PQ) in Myanmar in line with international benchmarks, to improve the quality of training for students and the level of technical support and training for members. We embarked on wide stakeholder engagement and produced a report with recommendations and a roadmap for developing the PQ.
A third and final round of funding was sought in 2015 for a one-year project to provide further support to launch a national PQ. ICAEW was successfully awarded the funding from FCO South East Asia Prosperity Fund to undertake this work and the project was completed in 2016.
Partnering for success
For certain projects ICAEW will choose to partner with organisations such as audit and accounting firms, government departments, for example, a Revenue and Customs department or National Audit Office – or specialist consultancies to ensure we maximise access to the appropriate expertise.
For example, in Turkey and Belgium we partnered with PwC on a project to train NATO personnel in IPSAS and IFRS. The projects involved training and workshop sessions, to deliver official IPSAS and IFRS certification as well as related consultancy tasks.
ICAEW, together with PwC, has been able to provide NATO with unmatched training experience and expertise together with deep value and efficiencies in these areas. This guarantees personnel are actively engaged in the learning process and can go back to their organisation ready to apply new skills.
We have carried out similar work in other countries, including in Cyprus.
Working in support of national professions – Kyrgyzstan
Since 2016 ICAEW has been supporting the Union of Auditors and Accountants (UAA) and the State Service for Regulation and Supervision of Financial Markets Republic (SSRSFM) in Kyrgyzstan on a project to strengthen the capacity of the accounting profession. The contract is funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) through the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) Capacity Building Program.
Phase 1 of the project focused on identifying the necessary actions and next steps to initiate the reform process and covered:
- assessing the need for translation of international standards into the Kyrgyz language;
- sharing knowledge on good practice in institutional frameworks for financial reporting;
- providing recommendations for institutional framework for corporate financial reporting suitable for the Kyrgyz environment
- developing roadmaps for key national stakeholders to be involved in the regulation of corporate financial reporting in the jurisdiction
Phase 2 of the project is currently underway (2019) and is focused on the implementation of the actions in Phase 1 and next steps. There are six project components:
- Translation of IFRS for SMEs
- Technical Assistance to SSRSFM to Draft a New Law
- Assisting SSRSFM on audit regulatory activities
- Improving the Technical Capacity of Kyrgyz Accountancy Profession
- Moving to a Single PAO
- Developing a national accountancy qualification
Close cooperation – Jordan
ICAEW worked closely with the Jordan Association of Certified Public Accountants on a World Bank project to strengthen its capacity and expertise to deliver training. We reviewed the training needs of the profession in Jordan and designed a training plan to help the profession adopt international standards. This was followed by the delivery of a wide range of training programmes for master trainers.
A key challenge in today’s developing markets is maintaining the status of the national qualification in the face of international competition. This project is also helping to highlight the importance of professional accountants with Jordanian regulatory bodies and the public sector.
Strengthening audit oversight - Saudi Arabia
ICAEW worked with the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to establish an Audi Oversight Authority (AOA).
The project covered four key components that began with assessing the current audit oversight situation in KSA. This was followed by the undertaking of an in-depth benchmarking study of international public company audit oversight authorities and assessing viable models in structuring the public company audit oversight function. The final component was to develop an implementation plan to support CMA in the establishment of the AOA.
Organisational restructuring - Saudi Arabia
In February 2018, the Saudi Organization for Certified Public Accountants (SOCPA) signed a contract with ICAEW to provide consulting assistance, leveraging ICAEW’s background in organisational restructuring and its experience in relevant industry best practices and international standards.
The primary aim of the restructuring project was to support SOCPA’s ability to meet any key challenges ahead, including those arising out of the KSA’s Vision 2030. Our work covered seven key strategic objectives:
- SOCPA students: Increase numbers of students studying for SOCPA examinations.
- Exam pass rates: Increase pass rates for SOCPA professional examinations, specifically in accounting and auditing papers.
- SOCPA membership: Increase full membership numbers to meet: the demands of the audit market and the longer term Vision 2030 demand from SME sector for financial expertise.
- Quality review: Improve effectiveness of audit quality review and regulation activity.
- SOCPA governance: Revise SOCPA governance arrangements to improve confidence in SOCPA’s status.
- Organisational structure: Revise SOCPA organisation structure.
- Resources & skills: Examine income generation/cost reduction strategies, including potential for outsourcing functions.
ICAEW works with Oxford Economics to issue quarterly reports covering Africa, China, the Middle East, South East Asia and the UK, which provide useful insight and timely intelligence for finance professionals and their clients.