The independent financial audit was reinstated in the Republic of Bulgaria with the enforcement of the Accountancy Act, approved by the Bulgarian Parliament in the beginning of 1991. In this way, the profession of public accountant, which had existed by virtue of law during the period 1931-1948, has been regenerated under the name Certified Public Accountant (“CPA”).
The profession of public accountants in Bulgaria is completely independent and self-regulated. It primarily includes independent financial audit, but also consulting, and advisory activities in a broad area of tax, management, information technology, internal audit, as well as other activities. To perform, however statutory audits, a certified public accountant should be registered in ICPA as Registered Auditor under certain terms and conditions and maintain compliance with those terms and conditions in all time.
As a result of the accession of Bulgaria to European Union as of January 1, 2007, the profession falls under the regulation of EU and currently is fully compliant with the European Law in the field. With the adoption of the EU Directive on Statutory Audits/2006, which should become effective in all member states by June 2008, the profession of public accountants in Bulgaria will further develop to comply with this new directive. Changes in the legislation are being currently discussed to ensure such a compliance within the established terms.
ESTABLISHMENT AND GENERAL STATUS
The Institute of Certified Public Accountants (“ICPA”, the “Institute”) is the single national professional organization for all Certified Public Accountants in Bulgaria. The Institute of Certified Public Accountants is an independent, self-sustained professional legal organization, headquartered in Sofia.
The CPA’s qualification is recognized in Bulgaria as a most prestigious professional business qualification. By law, all CPA’s have the unconditional right to become members of the Institute once qualified. .
ICPA’s mission is to provide members with the resources, information, and leadership that enable them to deliver valuable services in the highest professional manner to benefit the investors, the general public, as well as employers and clients.
Institute’s strategy and policies are determined by its governing bodies and committees.
The structure of the Institute is as follows:
General Assembly the supreme governing body of the Institute, which adopts ICPA By-Laws, the Professional Code of Ethics and elects the members of the Institute's governing bodies, as well as approving resolutions on any matter of ICPA’s affairs;
Managing Board – organizes and manages the entire activities of the Institute between the meetings of the General Assembly;
Supervisory Board- oversights the implementation of the decisions of the General Assembly, the implementation of the Institute's budget and the activities of the Managing Board;
Professional Ethics Committee – oversights the implementation of the Professional Code of Ethics
Committee for Oversight of the Quality of Audit Services- oversights the quality of audit activities of registered auditors under the rules and procedures adopted by the General Assembly.
Disciplinary Committee- reviews the conclusions of Committee for Oversight of the Quality of Audit Services and the Professional Ethics Committee and proposes to the Management Board disciplinary measures to be imposed.
The day-to-day activities of the Institute are managed by the Executive Director. ICPA has around 10 staff, all based in Sofia.
Regional Organizations – the Institute has 12 regional organizations – 5 of the based in Sofia and 7 – in the country. The membership in them is on a regional principle. The regional organizations elect their own managing body, which consists of a Chairman, Secretary and a Supervisor. On their regular meetings the regional organizations discuss current issues connected with the profession and they organize the continuous professional education of their members.
The activities of the Institute are regulated with Independent Financial Audit Act and By-laws. In general they include:
International Federation of Accountants
The Institute of Certified Public Accountants is the successor of the functions of the Association of Certified Public Accountants and of the membership in the International Federation of Accountants dating from 1995.
South-Eastern European Partnership for Accountancy Development /SEEPAD/
Since 1999, the Institute has been participating actively in the activities of the South-Eastern European Partnership for Accountancy Development /SEEPAD/.
International Federation of Francophone Certified Public Accountants /FIDEF/
The Institute is a member of the International Federation of Francophone Certified Public Accountants /FIDEF/ since 2002.
Federation of European Certified Public Accountants /FEE/
ICPA became a correspondent member of FEE in 2002 and a full member in 2006.
Federation of Certified Public Accountants from the Mediterranean States /FCM/
The Institute is a member of FCM since 2003.
RELATIONS WITH LOCAL PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
The Institute is well presented in society and maintains close relations with the Bulgarian institutions and professional organizations.
Discussions on new projects in the sphere of accounting legislation, tax and other regulations have been performed during the years with: