Certification of accountants in Latvia
Currently no regulation of accountants’ professional activity exist in Latvia except for certified auditors. Membership in the AARL or Certificate of Professional Accountant issued by the AARL are not compulsory in order to practise the profession.
However, compliance with requirements of laws and regulations and standards governing accounting in Latvia impose certain requirements on the professional knowledge and skills required for the performance of professional accounting duties. Therefore AARL is implementing a voluntary certification process to highlight the quality and professional skills of accountants.
Certification of accountants by AARL
The certification of accountants by AARL was initiated in 2000. The programs on certification were developed in accordance with:
- the criteria of professional qualification of accountants, accepted in 1999 at the conference of United Nations;
- International Education Standards (IES) developed by the International Accounting Education Standards Board (IAESB) and also
- the provisions, principles and international recognition criteria for members and associates of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).
The Association of Accountants of the Republic of Latvia was admitted to IFAC as associate member in November 2013. Since then AARL is required to participate in the IFAC Member Body Compliance Program to demonstrate that Association is maintaining its good standing and addresses the requirements of IFAC membership, as well as how it is addressing the Statements of Membership Obligations (SMOs). SMOs serve as a framework for credible and high-quality professional accountancy organizations focused on serving the public interest by:
a) supporting adoption and implementation of international standards; and
b) maintaining adequate enforcement mechanisms to ensure professional behavior of their individual members.
AARL members, as well as other persons who are not members of the Association, who comply with all necessary requirements can obtain a Certificate of Professional Accountant – a document issued by the Association of Accountants of the Republic of Latvia certifying person’s professional preparedness in line with qualification requirements.
Requirements for obtaining Certificate of Professional Accountant
1. Qualification requirements:
university education, including: scientific bachelor’s degree, master, doctor’s degree, or second level higher professional education.
2. Work experience:
for the period of three years the applicant has to have worked as chief accountant or for the period of five years as accountant, or for five years in another top-level position related to economics and requiring knowledge in accountancy.
3. The applicant has passed the following qualification exams:
- Financial accounting;
- Management accounting;
- Tax system of the Republic of Latvia;
- Commercial Law.
4. The applicant cannot be a person:
- who is convicted for intentional offence or for malicious bankruptcy;
- who is convinced for intentional offence even if this person is dismissed from punishment because of negative prescription, pardon, amnesty;
- whose criminal case for intentional offence is dismissed because of negative prescription or amnesty.
Before attestation, the applicant pays single-payment for organization of attestation work and for funding of methodical and methodological work. Payment amount is determined by the Association Board once a year.
Documents to be submitted
The applicant submits to the Attestation Committee the following documents:
- application form;
- copy of education diploma (with presentation of the original);
- copy of Employment contract certifying necessary work experience (with presentation of the original) or certification issued by the work place; recommendations from the work place;
- one photograph (35×45 mm).
Initial registration – EUR 96.80 (incl. VAT 21%)
Courses (ad lib):
1. Financial accounting (32 hours) – EUR 157.30 (incl. VAT 21%)
2. Management accounting (32 hours) – EUR 157.30 (incl. VAT 21%)
3. Tax system of the Republic of Latvia (40 hours) - EUR 193.60 (incl. VAT 21%)
4. Commercial Law (32 hours) – EUR 157.30 (incl. VAT 21%)
Exams: 4 exams, EUR 84.70 (incl. VAT 21%) each
Procedure of certificate granting and issuing
Decision to grant a certificate is taken by Attestation Committee. The Attestation Committee issues the certificate in one month period after the day when the decision to grant this certificate is made. Certificate is prepared on a special form, sealed by the seal of the Association of Accountants of the Republic of Latvia and signed by the President of the Association of Accountants of the Republic of Latvia. Every certificate has its own serial number and it is registered in the certificate registration journal. The receiver of the certificate signs in this journal thus certifying the fact of the receipt.
Validity of certificate
Certificate of Professional Accountant is issued for five years.
In order to receive the certificate repeatedly, recertification is required.
Withdrawal of certificate
Certificate may be withdrawn if:
- the owner of this certificate has falsified one of the documents submitted to the Attestation Committee;
- professional activities are not pursued for three years.
Decision to withdraw certificate is taken in the meeting of the Attestation Committee in the presence of all its members and the certificate owner. The withdrawn certificate has to be submitted to the Attestation Committee immediately after the decision is made.