On 8 September 2020 the Maldives Chartered Accountants Act was published, introducing a new independent institution – The Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Maldives. The Act empowers the governing council of the institute to regulate, and develop the field of chartered accountancy in the Maldives. Some of the key areas of the Act are as follows:
Purpose of the Institute
- The Institute is a separate, and independent legal entity whose primary aims are:
- Developing and regulating the field of chartered accountancy in the Maldives;
- Facilitating and providing the training and skill development for members of the institute;
- Ensuring that accountants working in the public and private sector are competent and qualified;
- Assist in maintaining the independence of workers in the accounting field that operate in the private sector;
- Formulating a code of conduct to be followed by members of the institute and ensure compliance with the code.
- The aims of the institute and daily operations shall be supervised by a council, appointed in accordance with the Act. Upon commencement of the Act, an interim council will be appointed for a period of 4 years following which new members can be appointed.
Powers of the Institute
The Institute is empowered by the Act to carry out the following:
- Register, and protect the interest of members;
- Designing the curriculum for professional accounting training programs and authorise educational centres to carry out such programmes;
- Determine financial accounting standards, and audit standards to be followed by the private sector and enforce such standards.
Members of the Institute
The following persons may/should register with the institute:
- Members of the institute – fellow members and associate members can register as members of the institute
- Accountants in business
Auditors must be licensed by the Institute
- The Institute must publish guidelines on issuing licenses to persons carrying out statutory audits and assurance services – licensed auditors – within 3 months of ratification of the Act. The Act prohibits any person from providing such services unless they are a licensed auditor.
- The Act provides that auditors licensed by the Auditor General’s office may continue to provide such services within the period from the ratification of the Act until the Institute begins issuing licenses.
- When the transitional period expires, all audit licenses issued by state institutions will be invalid.
- Enterprises that carry on with audit and assurance services, chartered accounting firms and foreign branches may only be established in accordance with the regulations issued pursuant to the Act.
The Act requires the Council to form the following committees to carry out the functions as delegated by the Council.
- Management and Finance Committee
- Academic Committee
- Ethics Committee
- Technical and Students Committee
- Admission and Licensing Committee
The Interim Council
The Institute will be governed by an Interim Council during the first 4 years from the date of publication of the Act.
The Act will be effective from 8 September 2020.