Government Office Linkages

BOA PARTICIPATES IN AMLAC WORKSHOP

BoA Members Hon. Concordio Quisaot and Samuel Padilla participated in the Final Workshop on the National Risk Assessment Money Laundering/Terrorist Financing held in Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on May 11 to 13, 2016.

Hon. Quisaot and Padilla discussed with the various government regulators, AMLA covered persons and World Bank representatives the issues involving the the coverage of accountants in the covered transaction reporting of suspicious money laundering activities. Accountants are considered as Designated Non-Financial Businesses and Professions (DNFBPs) under the Philippines’ Anti-Money Laundering Act with certain reporting responsibilities to be submitted to the Anti-Money Laundering council (AMLAC).

There will be further discussions with AMLAC to discuss further matters affecting the profession in terms of the AMLAC law .

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MEASURES AGAINST ERRING CPAs

 The Board of Accountancy is focused on its campaign against CPAs who do not comply or violate the accountancy rules with its “Run After Erring CPAs” program.  This program is directed towards detecting and sanctioning CPAs who fail to comply or out rightly violate the provisions of law and regulations on the accountancy practice.  These violations range from the most minor such as late filing of applications of accreditation to the most major violations such as criminal acts related to the fraudulent practice of accountancy of signing audit opinions without audit work and working papers.

“Under this Run After Erring CPAs program, we have pro-actively coordinated with the other regulator offices, such as BIR, SEC, BSP, PDIC, COA, and the Ombudsman to secure information on erring CPAs who may be involved in cases dealing on violations of the Corporation Code, Revised Securities Act, National Internal Revenue Code bank rules and regulations, and budgetary disbursement rules. Once we have this information, we will investigate if these CPAs have violates our Accountancy Law, Code of Ethics and pertinent rules and regulations,” Chairman Tan-Torres said.

Chairman Tan-Torres said, “Erring CPAs will be investigated by the BoA for their involvement as external auditors or internal accountants of companies that the BIR has filed tax evasion or tax assessment cases, or where SEC has investigated for securities fraud, or where the BSP and PDIC have closed rural bank failure for  negligent mismanagement.  We will also investigate the cases of government CPAs who have cases with the COA and the Ombudsman for irregularities in the discharge of their accountancy Once their culpabilities are established, the necessary sanction, including revocation of their CPA license or even recommendation for the filing of criminal cases, will be instituted.”

“We will soon issue resolutions providing for the schedule of fines and penalties that may be imposed together with the other sanctions allowed by our law,” Chairman Tan-Torres said.

“A Whistle blower program will also be instituted together with other stakeholders institution to provide a facility where information on erring CPAs can be submitted in confidence,”  Chairman Tan-Torres said.

“We now have effective tools and programs to detect and deter violations of our accountancy laws.  These include the Quality Assurance Review program; the Cloud Based Risk Based Red Flagging Information Technology IT system; the publication of updated listing of accredited CPAs; the office verification procedures; the Engagement Reporting of tax practitioners;   the partnerships with several institutions; and streamlining of the PRC investigative process,” Chairman Tan-Torres said.

“With all these in place and with the resolve of the BoA, we can expect to have several cases of erring CPAs being identified and severely sanctioned,” Chairman Tan-Torres said, “The era of the erring CPAs will in a matter of time be over.”

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CDA RELEASES FINANCIAL REPORTING CIRCULAR

The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) has released last September 15, 2015 Memorandum Circular No. 5-2015 or the “Philippine Financial Reporting Framework for Cooperatives.”

The Circular provided that due to the uniqueness and peculiarities of cooperatives, the the CDA prescribed the comprehensive financial reporting framework that will address the needs of the users of the cooperatives’ financial statements.

The Circular further provided that “cooperatives cannot strictly follow the PFRS for the reason that Republic Act No. 9520, otherwise known as the Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008, specifically provides for treatment of certain accounts which are unique only to cooperatives and such peculiarities are in accord with universally-accepted cooperative principles. As a consequence, cooperative external auditors are left with no option but to render, at times, qualified opinion because the cooperatives could not comply with the PFRS. As a matter of fact, other cooperative external auditors express varied opinions on the presentation of the audited financial statements of cooperatives ranging from unmodified, qualified, adverse and disclaimer of opinion on the items presented in the financial statements.”

It is indicated in the Circular that the Financial Reporting Framework for Cooperatives was developed from the Philippine Financial Reporting Standards for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. and that modifications were made on several provisions of the standards taking into considerations cooperative laws, rules, regulations and principles.

The Circular can be downloaded from http://cda.gov.ph/resour…/issuances/memorandum-circulars-mcs

“The current Board has not been consulted in the promulgation of this Circular. Thus, we are not able yet to comment on how this will affect our accounting standards that CPAs will use in reporting transactions of cooperatives. Under the Accountancy Law, the Board has the responsibility to prescribe the accounting standards that will be used by CPAs. We will coordinate with the CDA in addressing this issue and other concerns,” Chairman Joel Tan-Torres.

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GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTANTS TO ATTEND CONVENTIONS

The various associations of government CPAs will be having their conventions this coming months.

The Association of Government Internal Auditors, Inc. (AGIA) will be holding its Annual National Convention cum Seminar on October 7-9, 2015 tin Waterfront Cebu City Hotel & Casino,, Cebu City with the theme “AGIA: Framing the Future of Internal Audit in the Public Sector”.

The Philippine Association of Local Government Accountants (PhALGA), Inc., the national organization of Provincial, City and Municipal Accountants, will holding its 10th Visayas Geographical Conference on September 16-18, 2015 at Punta Villa Resort, Arevalo, Iloilo City with the theme: “Commitment: Key Towards Enhancing Fiscal Administration.”

The Association of Government Accountants (AGAP) will be holding its convention in Aziza Paradise Hotel, Puerto Princesa, Palawan on October 21 -24, 2015 with the theme “Bolstering Good Governance Through Publ;ic Expenditure Management Reforms.”

Earlier, the 37th National Convention of the Government Association of Certified Public Accountants (GACPA) was held on April 15-18, 2015 at SMXCC in Davao City with the theme “GACPA Leads, Excels, Adheres to Professional Standards.”

To our fellow accountants in government, congratulations for the anticipated success of your forthcoming events.

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COUNCIL OF ACCREDITORS CONVENED

Four government offices gathered in the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on September 15, 2015 to sign the terms of reference to govern the accreditation of CPAs.

The representatives of the Board of Accountancy, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Securities Exchange Commission and Insurance Commission agreed to coordinate in the implementation of efforts in the accreditation and other activities involving CPAs interacting in the four agencies.

BoA Chairman Joel Tan-Torres, BSP Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla, SEC Commissioner Antonette Ibe, and IC Commissioner Emmanuel Dooc signed the agreement in appropriate ceremonies in the BSP. BoA Member Hon. Concordio Quisaot witnessed the event.

“With this arrangement formally in place, the four offices can streamline the processes implemented to minimize the documents and procedures required from CPAs dealing with the different offices,” said Chairman Tan-Torres.

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JOINT ACTIVITIES TO BE PURSUED BY COA AND BOA

BoA Chairman Joel Tan-Torres met the entire CoA Board consisting of Chairman Miguel Aguinaldo, Commissioner Heidi Mendoza and Jose Favia on September 10, 2015 in the CoA Central Office in Quezon City, Various collaborative matters were discussed including:

1) COA sharing with BOA the non-confidential information of erring CPAs involved in cases that COA had investigated so that the BOA can use this as a basis to institute the necessary regulatory action on these erring CPAs

2) COA and BOA cooperating to offer internship training and/or employment to accounting students and/or new CPAs

3) BOA volunteering to be involved in the Citizen Participatory Audit of the large and priority projects, including the PPP’s and rehabilitation projects.

4) BOA extending assistance to the COA in pursuit of its mandate of conducting revenue or assessment audit of tax-collecting agencies such as the BOC and LGUs.

5) BOA extending assistance to the COA on its plan of devolving the financial audit of the GOCCs and government agencies.

6) BOA inviting COA Chairman to talk on the November Annual National Convention and December International Regulators Convention.

“We are pleased that the CoA officials are fully supportive of these collaborative projects which we both will soon formalize, “said Chairman Tan-Torres.

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ACCOUNTANTS SHOULD BE AWARE HOW TO SECURE ACCOUNTING SYSTEM AGAINST CYBERCRIME

The Rules and Regulations (RR) in implementing the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 have been released. The full copy of these RR are posted. Accountants should be in the forefront of knowing the issues and concerns involving cybercrime and cybersecurity. A lot of financial and accounting information are being maintained in the cyber environment, and hence exposed to the risks and threats of unscrupulous persons who have information technology knowledge and evil intent to compromise these information.

“The Board of Accountancy is aware of the growing importance of focusing on the cyber issues affecting the accounting profession. We will be coordinating with the legal enforcement authorities, including the National Bureau of Investigation, to put in place the necessary measures to ensure that the accounting profession will not be vulnerable to cybercrime risks, ” BoA Chairman Joel Tan-Torres said.

“We also encourage that our various accounting sectoral organizations start making their stakeholders aware of the needs and procesess in securing their accounting information and environment as a precaution against cybercrime. Our CPD courses can start offering these information and training,” Chairman Tan-Torres added.

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EH PLANS PRESENTED TO DOF SEC

BoA Chairman Joel Tan-Torres and member Hon. Gloria Baysa made a courtesy call on Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Cesar Purisima on June 10, 2015 in the DOF officne in Land Bank Makati. During the visit, Chairman Tan-Torres presented the priority projects of the BoA and the accountancy profession under the “Expanding Horizons” initiaitve.

“Secretary Purisima is a fellow CPA. He was very much interested in the developments and the priority projects that we presented to him. In particular, he expressed his support to the Quality Assurance ReviewProgram and ASEAN Mutual Recongnition Arrangement. Secretary Purisima also suggested to coordinate closely with the other government regulators in the accreditation process of CPAs. He also advised us focus on raising the standards and quality of our CPAs,” Chairman Tran-Torres said.

Chairman Tan-Torres and Ho. Baysa presented to and discussed with Secretary Purisima other matters, such as the review of Accountancy program and curriculum, review of the Board Exam syllabus, rationalization of the the external audit prescribed threshold, implementation of the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement, implementation of the Quality Assurance Review, the implementation requirements of EO 18, implementation of the Tax Academy for government CPAs and the amendments of RA 9298.

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GOVERNMENT CPAs SUPPORT EH INITIATIVES

More than 250 government CPAs listen to BoA Chairman Joel Tan-Torres enumerate the various Expanding Horizons (EH) proects pertaining to the government accountancy sector during the Accountancy Week Celebration held last July 16, 2015 at the Heritage Hotel.

Chairman Tan-Torres discussed the following with the GACPA officers and members headed by its President, Wilfredo Agito:

– Internship program for government offices

– Review CPD for government CPAs

– Coordinate with DBM and CSC for the upgrading of the salary levels of government CPAs

– Coordinate with CSC for the mandatory inclusion of the CPA qualifying standards for appointments or promotions to relevant government positions

– Collaborate with SEC, BSP,COA and BIR on erring CPA cases

– Organize the “CPA for CPA” Project

– Coordinate with CDA on the issuance of guidelines for the FS reporting of cooperatives

– Coordinate with DOF for the operationalization of the Tax Academy

During the open forum, there was a clamor of having the CPA licence fees, GACPA membership fees, and CPD fees of the government accountants be shouldered by the respective government offices. Chairman Tan-Torres committed to support this advocacy once GACPA comes up with a position paper endorsing the same.

Commission on Audit Chairman Michaeil Aguinaldo and BoA Chairman Tan-Torres also discussed future collaborative efforts, include CPAs for the Citizenry Participatory Audit (CPA), Internship Program, exchange of information on erring CPAs, and devolving the audit of Financial Statements of GOCCs to the CPAs in public practice.

Vice Chair Gloria Baysa and Member Hon. Samuel Padilla attended the event.

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BoA AND COA CHAIRMAN MEET

BoA Chairman Joel Tan-Torres and Commission on Audit (COA) Chairman Michael Aguinaldo met recently in a recent Tax Management Association of the Philippines membership meeting in July 2015.

The two chairmen discussed collaborative efforts that the BoA and COA can undertake. BoA Chairman requested COA Chairman Aguinaldo that COA submit to BoA information of erring CPAs involved in cases that the COA has investigated so that the BOA can institute the necessary regulatory action on these.

“The BOA is also ready to extend any assistance to the COA in pursuit of its mandate. In particular we are aware that the COA is also concerned with the revenue audit of tax-collecting agencies such as the BIR, BOC, and LGUs. We may be in a position to provide inputs on this matter. Likewise, we will discuss how the accountancy profession can be involved in the Citizens Participatory Audit (CPA), It is just but proper that our CPAs will be involved in this worthwhile program of CPA. We can start by assisting COA in large impact projects, such as the Public Private Partnership projects ,” Chairman Tan-Torres said.

“The accountancy students are also ready to be trained as interns in COA. We are offering the BoA Internship Program as a template for government offices to implement,” Chairman Tan-Torres said.

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BoA RUNS AFTER ERRING CPAs REPORTED BY SEC

The Board of Accountancy has asked the Officer –in- Charge of the Office of the General Accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Atty.Emmanuel Artiza regarding its referrals of erring CPAs to the BoA in its letter dated July 8, 2015

The BoA is asking from SEC all pertinent documents/information (audited financial statements, independent opinion report issued by the CPAs, evaluation report on the violations noted per individual CPAs and complete address of the erring CPAs) in support of the BoA inquiry/investigation that has been initiated.

Atty. Samuel B. Padilla, a member of the BOA, is assigned to handle and monitor these cases that will be investigated.

“The BoA is now instituting a re-invIgorated investigation of CPAs who may have violated the provisions of the Accountancy Law and other laws. We should all be vigilant against these CPAs who are giving our profession a bad image and reputation because of their malpractices. We will be harsh on these erring CPAs. We encourage the public to report any instances of activities of erring CPAs to the BoA with the necessary evidence so that we can pursue an investigation on these practices,” Chairman Joel Tan-Torres said.

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