ISCA sets standards and guidance relating to professional ethics which are issued as Ethics Pronouncements (EPs). EPs set out high quality ethical standards, including the fundamental principles of ethics, for professional accountants. These are integral for professional accountants to act in the public interest. The process in setting and revising EPs is robust, which promotes public confidence, From time to time, ISCA may also issue Implementation Guidances to support the profession in implementing the requirements in the EPs.
ETHICS PRONOUNCEMENTS (EPs)
All ISCA members must adhere to EP 100 Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics. EP 100 is modelled after the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants issued by the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC). It also encompasses any SG provisions included in the Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics for Public Accountants and Accounting Entities issued by the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). EP 100 contains three parts. Part A establishes the fundamental principles of ethics for professional accountants and provides a conceptual framework for applying those principles. Parts B and C illustrate how the conceptual framework is to be applied in specific situations. Part B applies to professional accountants in public practice. Part C applies to professional accountants in business.
ISCA has issued EP 100 on 25 November 2015 and is effective from 1 January 2016.
Please click here to access EP 100.
Expectations of professional accountants to combat money laundering and terrorism financing are rising. Internationally, there are increasing calls for professional accountants to adopt measures that are at least up to the international standards recommended by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Singapore is a member of the FATF, an inter-governmental body established to set standards and to promote effective implementation of legal, regulatory and operational measures for combating money laundering, terrorism financing and the financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. As a member of the FATF, Singapore is obliged to comply with the "International Standards on Combating Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism & Proliferation" issued by the FATF (FATF Recommendations) and is subject to FATF mutual evaluations on the adoption of FATF Recommendations. The FATF Recommendations include requirements for accountants.
In response, ISCA has developed the new EP200. This project demonstrates the commitment of ISCA to play its part in helping Singapore as a FATF member to combat money laundering and terrorism financing on a global scale.
EP 200 is applicable to all professional accountants and professional firms1 in Singapore.
EP 200 is effective 1 November 2014, except for the establishment of, and any improvement to, systems and controls to meet the requirements and guidance in Sections 3, 4 and 5 of EP 200, which shall be implemented by 1 May 2015.
All ISCA Members are required to comply with the requirements in EP 200. Apparent failure to do so may result in an investigation into the member’s conduct by the Investigation Committee of ISCA. EP 200 is also adopted by ACRA and is applicable to public accountants and accounting entities registered under the Accountants Act who are regulated by ACRA (please click here for the press release).
EP 200 covers the following areas:
- Section 1- Introduction and scope;
- Section 2 - Legal obligations of professional accountants under the existing Singapore legislations to report suspicious transactions;
- Section 3 - New requirements on the anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) systems and controls that professional firms shall have in place;
- Section 4 – Requirements/guidelines on customer due diligence and records keeping measures;
- Section 5 – Guidelines on other measures in the area of reporting procedures, training, compliance, hiring and audit;
- Summary of basic criminal offences under the relevant legislations in Singapore;
- Indicators of suspicious transactions;
- Suspicious Transaction Reporting Form template; and
- Supplementary guides for auditors and tax practitioners.
Please click here to access EP 200.
Please click here for a summary of EP 200.
1 A professional firm is an accounting corporation, an accounting firm or an accounting LLP approved under the Accountants Act; or an entity owned or controlled by a professional accountant or professional accountants, that provide professional services. Professional services are services requiring accountancy or related skills performed by a professional accountant including accounting, auditing, taxation, management consulting and financial management services, as well as the following designated high risk services:
(a) Buying and selling of real estate;
(b) Managing of client money, securities or other assets;
(c) Management of bank, savings or securities accounts;
(d) Organisation of contributions for the creation, operation or management of companies; and
(e) Creation, operation or management of legal persons or arrangements, and buying and selling of business entities.
EPs IMPLEMENTATION GUIDANCES (IGs)
EP 100 IG 1- Pro-Forma Paragraphs for Client Management to Acknowledge Its Responsibility for Non-Assurance Services
The pro-forma paragraphs in EP 100 IG 1 are issued with the objective of providing guidance to public accountants who have provided non-assurance services to audit or assurance clients, to obtain acknowledgement of management responsibility from the client management
The pro-forma paragraphs in EP 100 IG 1 may be included in (1) the audit engagement letter or (2) the separate stand-alone engagement letter for NAS.
Please click here for the IG.
EP 200 IG 1 comprises of FAQs to help professional accountants and professional firms implement the requirements in EP 200.
The templates and forms provided in EP 200 IG 2 relate to the designated high risk services listed in paragraph 1.5 of EP 200, hence the customer due diligence measures are more robust. They may be referred to as best practice guide for professional firms engaged to perform other types of services. These templates and forms are not prescriptive and should be tailored and adapted for use, as appropriate for the professional firm's purposes.
To facilitate the use of the templates and forms, please click here for the word document.
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