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BICA licensees responding to conduct policy

Members of the accounting sector are responding and complying to the Bahamas Institute of Chartered Accountants'(BICA)professional conduct policy, an area where President Reece Chipman said many licensees have strayed.

Chipman toldGuardian Businessyesterday that BICA members who earlier in the year incorporated”&Co.”in their firm’s name without receiving approval from the organization have taken the proper measures to ensure that their practice is in line with the rules.

“We have seen a great response from individuals who were not following the rules and they have made efforts to become aligned with the policies,”Chipman said.”Most persons are making sure that they maintain the guidelines set by BICA.”

BICA issued a notice in September warning licensees practicing and advertising with”&Co.”at the end of their firm’s name could be punishable to fine. According to the rule, an individual engaged in public practice as a sole proprietor must practice under his or her own name unless permitted by BICA. Final approval must be made by the association with names ending in”&Co.”.

With the deadline for such firms to comply set at December 31, Chipman said the focus is to make sure all

licensees are on par with the local standards, as it’s a key component to fall under international guidelines. He mentioned that it’s vital that accountants stay on top of global practices.

The BICA head added that complying with the naming standards is just as important as any other goal, and it was one of the three objectives BICA wanted to accomplish this year. Practice monitoring, along with completing the Continuing Professional Education(CPE)requirements were the other two areas that were of priority in 2010.

“Our firms that are registered have to make sure that not only have they met the requirements of the code of conduct, but they need to meet the practice monitoring mandate we have,”he said.”We signed off in practice monitoring almost two years ago, so this is the first step in getting the ball rolling in having voluntary practice monitoring for our licensees.”

Chipman didn’t specify whether or not an extension will be granted to individuals not following that segment of the conduct policy, but they have until New Year’s Eve to contact BICA.

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