27th July 2022, Skopje – Strengthening the capacities and the expertise of the accountants are the key changes incorporated in the Law on Accounting Practice, adopted by the Parliament of the Republic of North Macedonia. Ministry of Finance prepared the legal solution through an inclusive process of consultations with the stakeholders, all to the end of establishing and implementing professional standards for the accounting profession and protecting the public interest.
Under the Law on Accounting Practice, accountants and chartered accountants will be obliged to mandatory professional education and adherence to the generally accepted Code of Ethics for the respective profession. They will be also obliged to mandatory take the exam for acquiring the status of an accountant or chartered accountant, as well as increase the number of hours of continuous professional development (CPD). Right to render accounting services 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.
Oversight of the accounting profession will be carried out by an independent and autonomous body, i.e. a Council for Advancement and Oversight of the Accounting Profession in the Republic of North Macedonia which will provide for 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.
Under the new Law, the Institute of Accountants and Chartered Accountants is defined as a legal entity with public authorizations, and its operations will be commissioned by establishing management bodies and introducing Institute’s acts. The Institute will be obliged to continuously translate the international financial reporting standards and to meet the necessary standards to become member of IFAC.
Moreover, the Law provides for entry of new legal entities on the market as regards organizing of training for the accounting practice. In fact, continuous professional development will be carried out by legal entities rendering advisory and educational services in the field of accounting, finance, taxes, corporate law and labour relations. They will have to obtain an approval from the Institute so as to carry out continuous education. 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 in the country, with the Law thus being harmonized with the EU Services Directive.
The Law is based on the principles of impartiality, independence, transparency, expertise, professionalism and legality in pursuing the accounting practice.