President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, on Sunday, announced the establishment if the Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Maldives (ICAM), as mandated by the Maldives Chartered Accountants Act.
According to a directive issued by the President's Office, ICAM was officially formed on September 8, coinciding with the date President Solih ratified the bill.
ICAM's mandate will include formulating standards for auditing and accounting in the private sector, regulating and monitoring the work of private sector accountants and auditors, setting valuation guidelines and providing accounting related assistance to the public sector as well as technical services such as certification, education and training.
Over the course of the following three months, ICAM will issue new audit licenses, while those previously granted will be nullified after six months.
The accounting profession was previously regulated under the mandate of the Auditor General's Office, including the issuance of audit licenses since 2014.
As a measure to support the professional development of locals in the field, ICAM will also conduct training programmes, establish a code of ethics and accredit accountancy qualifications offered by colleges or universities to improve graduates' job prospects.
As per the AG Office, demand for the services of chartered accountants in Maldives had surged rapidly in response to sudden changes in economic activity, resulting in businesses hiring foreign workers. As a result, the majority of chartered accountants currently working in the country are still foreign nationals, despite a greater number of Maldivians now possessing qualifications in the field.
Speaking to The Edition, Auditor General Hassan Ziyath previously stated, "We would like to extend opportunities for Maldivians", highlighting ICAM's role in increasing local participation within the workforce.
The Auditor General's Office has long worked to establish an independent legal body such as ICAM to regulate auditing and accounting in Maldives.
As per the Maldives Chartered Accountants Act, ICAM will initially be led by a transitional council consisting of the Auditor General and eight additional members appointed to develop bylaws and standard operating procedures over four years. A key aim for the transitional period is seeking formal recognition from the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).
Following the transition period, the institute will be headed by an elected nine-member council consisting of a president, vice president and four members from ICAM, as well as the Auditor General, Commissioner General of Taxation and State Financial Controller.