For which services do I need a warrant?
Eligibility to practise as an auditor is governed by the Accountancy Profession Act, CAP281 Section 3 paragraph 2. Apart from the requirement of good conduct and moral character; and full legal capacity; one needs to obtain necessary academic qualifications and practical experience in the field of accountancy or auditing.
What are the Requirements?
For a person to be eligible to practise as an accountant or auditor, one must primarily undergo recognised academic studies as approved by the Accountancy Board. Currently the Faculty of Economics Management and Accountancy (FEMA) provides an Honours Degree course in Accountancy within the University of Malta. On the other hand, the Malta Institute of Accountants (MIA) through the ACCA Joint Examination Scheme, also provides the necessary academic qualifications acceptable to the Accountancy Board.
Practical Experience Requirements for CPA
To obtain the warrant of Certified Public Accountant (CPA) you need to be able to show that you have completed at least three years accounting experience, of which at least one year should be gained after obtaining the academic qualification. The warrant is issued by the Minister of Finance on the recommendation of the Accountancy Board. Once the CPA is obtained, you may wish to proceed to obtain a Practising Certificate.
Practical Experience Requirements for Practising Certificate in Auditing
To obtain a Practising Certificate in Auditing, you need to be able to show that you have completed at least three years auditing experience under the supervision of a holder of a practising certificate in auditing, of which at least two years should be gained after obtaining the academic qualification. The Practising Certificate in Auditing, enabling one to practise the profession of a Public Auditor, is issued by the Minister of Finance on the recommendation of the Accountancy Board.
Does the accounting/auditing experience need to be continuous to qualify for a warrant?
No, as long as the cumulative experience meets the total requirements identified by Law, then this is acceptable. This experience can be acquired at any stage pre or post academic qualification. However, in the case of a CPA, at least one year should be gained after obtaining the qualification, whereas in the case of a practising certificate in auditing, at least two years should be gained after qualification and should be under the supervision of a holder of a practising certificate in auditing. Moreover, experience in the field of auditing, for the purposes of obtaining the Practising Certificate in Auditing, has to be acquired on a full-time basis, with the additional proviso that experience accumulated prequalification may only be taken into account up to a maximum of 12 months.
I have attained ACCA qualification. Is this enough to be recognised as a full academic qualification in processing my application for a warrant?
No, to practise as an accountant/auditor in Malta, you need to pass the local variants examinations organised by the Malta Institute of Accountants being Advanced Taxation and Maltese Law. Upon successful completion of these two variants, you have attained all the necessary academic qualifications to make you eligible for the award of the warrant. It is advisable that you provide a copy of these two exams results with your application form. Where the ACCA qualification has been attained through the joint examination scheme that the ACCA today has with the MIA, then you are eligible to become a warrant holder upon recognition by the MIA.
From where can I obtain a copy of the application form?
The application for an Accountant’s warrant (CPA) or a Practising Certificate in Auditing may be downloaded from the Ministry of Finance’s Website (www.accountancyboard.gov.mt). For those who do not have access to the internet, this application form is also available at the Ministry of Finance.
What documentation does one need to submit with the application form?
With the CPA application one must submit originals (and photocopies in the case of academic qualifications) of academic accountancy qualifications, a birth certificate, a recent police conduct certificate and a marriage certificate in case of female married applicants. In the case of a practising certificate one needs to refer to the registration number of the CPA warrant and submit a recent police conduct certificate.
Who can act as my referee?
In your application form, you are also requested to indicate the name and address of two referees of your choice on the form. In the case of an application for an auditor, both referees should be holders of a practising certificate. There is no further obligation on the referees of a CPA – though preferably these should also be CPA warrant holders.
How do I certify my accounting / auditing experience?
In your application form, you have to include the name and address of the firm or organisation in which you gained your training experience, clearly indicating the duration of such appointment. Consequently, the Secretary of the Accountancy Board writes a letter to your employers to confirm this experience. This confirmation by the employer should be on the organisation’s letter head. Such letter should detail the exact dates at which you were employed and confirm the experience in a practice environment.
What is the date of qualification that should be included in the application form?
The application form has necessary space for you to indicate clearly the attained academic qualification and the date when this was obtained. This date should be the date when the results were published either on University’s notice board i.e. usually in June of a particular year (eg. June 2006) or the date when results were issued from MIA. It is important to note that in the case of those who followed the ACCA examinations and passed with success the MIA variants of Advanced Taxation and Local Legislation, the date indicated should be the one when the last exam was attained. It is advisable that you provide a copy of these two exams results with your application form.
Is a fee charged upon application of a warrant?
A fee of €23.29 shall be paid to the Accountancy Board for each application - the CPA warrant and the Practising Certificate in Audit are considered to be separate applications. However, one can apply for both CPA and Practising Certificate simultaneously obviously as long as the eligibility criteria are satisfied.
After attaining warrant, are their any requirements necessary to keep my warrant?
Yes, it is obligatory by Law that given the dynamism of the profession, all warrant holders must comply with the relative CPE REgulations. Furthermore each year, an annual return should be duly compiled by all warrant holders to enable the Accountancy Board to keep an updated register of warrant holders. A fee of €23.29 is also charged each year for the annual registration fee that is payable to the Accountancy Board.
Whilst every care has been taken to keep this list of FAQs updated, prior to applying for a warrant one is encouraged to visit the Accountancy Board website www.accountancyboard.gov.mt