CA Maldives Issues Certificates to Public Interest Entity Auditors

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Maldives held an event to mark the ceremony for the Registration of Public Interest Entity Auditors on Wednesday, December 22, 2021. The ceremony took place at the seminar hall of the Auditor General’s Office. Through this Registration, Audit firms will be able to conduct audits of the SOEs and Public interest entities.

The President of CA Maldives, Auditor General, Mr. Hussain Niyazy highlighted that the PIE Auditors registered with CA Maldives are firms that hold specific standards, and possess competence that complies with applicable professional standards. He also emphasized that these licences enhance the quality and credibility of the Audit firms.

Prior to today, only 3 Audit firms could conduct audits of Public Interest Entities in the Maldives. After today’s registration ceremony, a total of 7 Audit firms holds the licence to conduct audits of the Public Interest Entities.

CA President's speech at PIE Certificate Issuance Ceremony

It gives me great pleasure to congratulate all the audit firms that have been duly registered as Public Interest Entity Auditors with CA Maldives for the first time in the Maldives. It is, indeed, a historic moment for all of us here.

About a year ago, CA Maldives was established as the first-ever professional accountancy organization in the Maldives to regulate the accounting profession in the country. While taking over the regulatory mandate from the Auditor General’s Office, our immediate priority was to ensure that we have a robust licensing regime for statutory audits of companies for continuous improvement of audit quality.

Given the fact there is no audit threshold specified in the Companies Act, all companies registered with Ministry of Economic Development are subject to statutory audits. Therefore, CA Maldives also had to ensure that its licensing regime would be able to cater to the demand for external audit services. Thus, we abolished the catergorisation of audit licenses and introduced a set of eligibility criteria to enable all professional accountants that satisfy the minimum eligibility criteria to practise as licensed auditors.

This approach was designed to address supply side issues, it falls short to provide the necessary guidance on the quality and competence of external auditors of PIEs of those charged with the responsibility of recommending and appointing external auditors. It also opened up the possibility of external auditors without requisite resources and competence being appointed to carry out external audits of entities that are of significant interest to public including shareholders, investors, potential investors, etc. and regulatory authorities. PIE audits failing quality tests is a risk we as regulators and as an economy cannot afford to compromise.

Therefore, it was felt that a regulatory mechanism that caters to the stringent quality requirements in the audits of PIEs should be developed. We introduced PIE auditor registration regulation to provide assurance to relevant stakeholders that the auditors registered with CA Maldives as PIE Auditors possess the requisite competence, and comply with applicable professional standards and legislative requirements; and to enhance the quality and credibility of statutory audits in PIEs.

It took us a considerable amount of time to come up with a regulation that suits our circumstances as we explored various options pursued by other jurisdictions with regards to regulating PIE audits. We also conducted stakeholder consultations and considered their views and feedback.

At this juncture, I would like to thank all our key stakeholders for their contribution to the development of the regulation for registration of PIE Auditors. I note with appreciation the keen interest shown by our members in commenting on and providing invaluable feedback to our regulatory process. The regulation for registration of PIE generated a significant amount of interest; regulatory authorities including CMDA and MMA were extremely supportive of the work we carried out to introduce the regulation. Therefore, I am grateful to them for the invaluable feedback they provided to us.

I am also grateful to the timely work done by the Admission and Licensing Committee members and Members of the Council along with the management of the Institute for making the PIE registration a reality.

It is my sincere hope and advice that Registered PIE Auditors will continue to demonstrate their commitment to improving audit quality and comply with the requirements of the regulation. We are committed to working with our members, and licensed auditors and other stakeholders to refining and developing guidelines to improving the audit process and maintain the trust and confidence in the profession.

At the same time, we are also committed to enforcing our regulations for the greater good of the profession and maintain the public interest in check. We advice all players including our members and defined PIE auditors to respect and follow the due process of the regulation. We are stand firm to take necessary action as per our regulations.

Once again, I congratulate all our licensed audit firms who have been registered as PIE auditors.

Thank you.