ICAAP History: from Idea to Implementation
On April 21, 2002, a group of Ukrainian auditors and professors, with the assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and with the organisational support of the Academy for Educational Development (AED), arrived in Edinburgh for the Strategic Technical Support for Trainers (START) internship program. The internship was conducted on the facilities of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS, www.icas.com).
On the first day of our stay, on April 22, 2002, Edinburgh met us with spring warmth and sun. In ICAS, we were welcomed by welcoming smiles of our mentors – professors Bernard Cooke, Andrew Dobson, and Tom Whyte.
The two-week internship program on auditing was informative and intense. For the first time in our professional life, we had an opportunity to get practical audit knowledge from professionals with 40 years of accounting and auditing experience. The organisation of the educational process was excellent, and the studies demonstrated the true international involvement in the profession.
In addition to ICAS classroom training, we visited several auditing firms and a few famous companies in Edinburgh. We also communicated with students, chartered accountants, and ICAS management. We were impressed by the ICAS library – the literature on auditing, periodicals from all over the world most of us have not yet seen. In addition to the internship program, the organisers of our stay in Edinburgh offered a very interesting program of excursions and visits to the historic sites of Edinburgh and its surroundings.
We left Edinburgh on May 4, 2002, with unforgettable impressions about this extraordinary city, about Scotland, about ICAS, with new knowledge of International Standards on Auditing and audit practices. We were amazed by the sincerity and openness of all those involved in organising and taking care of our stay in Edinburgh, especially of our instructors. It seemed that they wanted to give us in two weeks all their knowledge acquired over a decade. We came back to Kyiv with inspiration for new accomplishments in the audit, with the desire to share knowledge and experience with our colleagues in Ukraine. (And virtually everyone at heart hoped to return to Edinburgh again). It was the moment when the dream of creating a professional organisation in Ukraine similar to ICAS was born.
Many years have passed since our trip to Scotland. These years were very important for the auditing profession development in Ukraine. Since the second half of 2002, a new two-tier certification system for auditors has started. In 2003, the Chamber of Auditors of Ukraine introduced International Standards on Auditing as National Ukrainian Auditing Standards. Also (since 2003), the Chamber of Auditors of Ukraine has begun to improve the professional knowledge of auditors continuously, and those who have been trained at ICAS were actively involved.
In 2009, external audits of quality control systems for audit services at audit firms have been initiated. Accounting and financial reporting also have been changed significantly. Since 2012, for many Ukrainian businesses, the application of International Financial Reporting Standards has been made mandatory.
Today, more than ever, the development of accounting and auditing in the country is guided by Ukraine’s European integration intentions. Financial reporting of Ukrainian entities, audits of financial statements, both based on international standards, should use the best global practice. The methods and techniques could be borrowed from leading international professional organisations of accountants and auditors, and ICAS is the best of them.