22nd December 2021, Skopje – New draft Law on Accounting Practice, aimed at advancing the accounting profession, is proposed by the Ministry of Finance and it was adopted at the Government session yesterday. The Law has been prepared through an inclusive process of consultations with all stakeholders, with key changes geared towards strengthening the capacities and the expertise of the accountants, mandatory taking of the exam for acquiring the status of an accountant or chartered accountant, as well as increasing the number of hours of continuous professional development (CPD). Moreover, the draft Law is aimed at market liberalization as regards the organizing of training for the accounting practice, providing for entry of new legal entities on the basis of prior fulfillment of criteria.
Furthermore, once the Republic of North Macedonia becomes EU member state, a possibility is given for foreign natural persons and legal entities to render the accounting services, with the Law thus being harmonized with the EU Services Directive.
Under the proposed Law, the Institute of Accountants and Chartered Accountants will be defined as a legal entity with public authorizations, and its operations will be commissioned by establishing management bodies and introducing Institute’s acts.
To the end of introducing oversight of the accounting profession to be carried out by an independent and autonomous body, the draft Law proposes establishment of a Council for Advancement and Oversight of the Accounting Profession in the Republic of North Macedonia which, as an independent regulatory body, will provide from adequate applying of all principles on carrying out CPD training, at the same time dealing with the continuous progress and development of the accounting fellowship as a whole, to ensuring implementation of all necessary measures to apply the International Accounting Standards.
Upon adoption of the draft Law on Accounting Practice, right to render accounting services in the Republic of North Macedonia will be acquired only upon fulfillment of the criteria prescribed in the Law. Persons practicing accounting will be liable by law for the proper keeping of accounting records, and obliged to verify the accuracy of the annual account and the financial statements, as well as their compliance with the legal provisions, with their signature. Accountants and chartered accountants will be obliged to mandatory professional education and adherence to the generally accepted Code of Ethics for the respective profession.
Existing Law on Accounting Practice was adopted ten years ago, to the end of regulating the requirements for rendering accounting services and establishment of an Institute of Accountants and Chartered Accountants. So-far application of the Law has implied the need for precise regulating of certain issued related to the Institute’s organizational setup, continuous professional development, quality control, oversight of the Institute’s operations, as well as introduction of exam for acquiring the status of an accountant or chartered accountant. Furthermore, terms of office of the Institute’s bodies and commissions have expired, hence a needs arises to also regulate the procedures for appointing the new members of the Institute’s bodies and commissions.
The draft Law is based on the principles of impartiality, independence, transparency, expertise, professionalism and legality in pursuing the accounting practice.
It has been prepared throughout 2021, with the requests of the accountants and the accounting chambers, aimed at advancing the accounting profession, being considered and accepted.
The Law was announced on the National Electronic Register of Regulations of the Republic of North Macedonia, thus enabling all stakeholders to give their comments.