Changes to the CPE Scheme and Launch of the 2016 Annual Return

Posted on: 21/12/2016

 

The Accountancy Board wishes to inform you about the recent changes to the CPE Scheme approved recently and applicable as from 20 December 2016. The Accountancy Board also wishes to inform warrant holders, sole practitioners and compliance principals of firms that they may now complete the Annual Return for 2016. Warrant holders, sole practitioners and firms are also required to settle the 2017 Annual Registration Fee of €23.29. A Quality Assurance Regulatory fee is also applicable to sole practitioners providing statutory audit services and to audit firms. You may wish to note that the deadline for the submission of the 2016 Annual Return and the settlement of the applicable fee/s is 31 January 2017. 

 

Changes to the CPE Scheme

The amended CPE Scheme may be downloaded through this link. The first change concerns the CPE Return which used to be filled in by all warrant holders. Please note that warrant holders are no longer required to provide a detailed breakdown of CPE activities carried out during the year to the Board. Warrant holders are now only required to fill in the number of structured and unstructured CPE hours in their Annual Return. However, please note that you are still required to keep records and evidence of CPE activities carried out during the year. You may in due course be requested to provide copies of such documentation to the Board through the approved accountancy body administering the CPE Scheme. Please also note that if you are a member of an accountancy body, you are still required to adhere to the requirements of that accountancy body in relation to CPE records.

Another change approved by the Board concerns CPE exemptions. Warrant holders are now no longer required to apply for a CPE exemption prior to the condition giving rise to the CPE exemption taking place. Warrant holders are required to self-assess the circumstance giving rise to the CPE exemption and decide whether it is a valid reason for an exemption. Such circumstances include career decisions to work in a non-accountancy related position and periods during which the warrant holder was out of the profession because of serious illness, maternity leave, full-time studies or unemployment. Once the warrant holder avails of a CPE exemption, he/she is then required to inform the Board retrospectively at year-end through the Annual Return. The Board will then assess the validity of the CPE exemption and may request further information through the approved accountancy body administering the CPE Scheme.

The conditions for re-entry into the profession after a CPE exemption covering a period of two or more years still apply (related information may be found in the CPE Scheme which may be downloaded from the Accountancy Board website). However, warrant holders are no longer required to fill in a form notifying the Board prior to re-entry into the profession but are required to inform the Board retrospectively at year-end through the Annual Return. Warrant holders are still required to keep records and evidence of action undertaken to satisfy the requirements for re-entry into the profession. Through the approved accountancy body administering the CPE Scheme, the Board may in due course request warrant holders to provide copies of such documentation.

You will appreciate that the Board is moving from declarations made in advance to ones being made retrospectively on a self-assessment basis.

 

Online submission of the 2016 Annual Return

The first step to submit your Annual Return is to log in by using your electronic ID (e-ID) and password. For more details on how to register your e-ID, please logon to www.mygov.mt and then click on ‘Register for an e-ID’ found on the left hand side of the webpage.

The submission of the 2016 Annual Return and the settlement of any applicable fees may be done online through this link. At this stage, you are to press the green arrow button in order to choose an application type depending on your status, as follows:

§  Warrant holder – to be selected by all warrant holders who are not sole practitioners; or

§  Sole practitioner (providing statutory audit services) – to be selected by all warrant holders who were in practice and who provided statutory audit services during 2016; or

§  Sole practitioner (not providing statutory audit services) – to be selected by all warrant holders who were in practice during 2016, but who did not provide statutory audit services.

In the case of compliance principals of audit and accounting firms, you will see your personal Annual Return (which should be submitted separately) listed together with that for the firm. To start filling in the firm’s Annual Return, please press again the green arrow button.

Please note that if you have not submitted any previous year Annual Return/s and did not settle your previous year fee/s, you will not be able to complete the 2016 Annual Return until such prior year submissions are made through the Accountancy Board website.

You will appreciate that one advantage of filling in your Annual Return online is that most information is pre-populated from the previous year’s Annual Return (even if this had been submitted manually). To this effect, you will only be required to update your Return with any changes to that information. This will undoubtedly expedite the submission process from your end.

 

Manual submission of the 2016 Annual Return

In regard to all warrant holders and compliance principals who have not obtained an e-ID, the 2016 Annual Return is also available in MS Word format from the Accountancy Board online portal through this link.

The manual version of the Annual Return together with payment is to be submitted by post to the following address: Quality Assurance Unit, Ministry for Finance, 'Maison Demandols', South Street, Valletta, VLT 2000, Malta. All cheques should be made payable to the Accountancy Board. Manual submissions not accompanied by the relevant payment will be treated as incomplete and will not be processed, rendering the submission as invalid.

 
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