On December 10, 2003, the Colombian Government at the head of an inter-institutional technical Committee, formed by the following entities: Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Superintendent of Securities, Banking Superintendent, Corporate Superintendent, General Accountant of the Nation, National Tax and Customs Directorate, National Planning Department, presents the bill of economic intervention through which the Mechanisms by which international accounting, audit and accounting standards are adopted in Colombia; The Trade Code, accounting standards, and other provisions relating to the matter are amended; This bill leaves without object The four projects with regard to the accounting science that currently attend the Congress of the Republic, in addition to this disappears the whole history of the professional accounting practice in Colombia; Both in its normative historical component and in its technical and methodological historical component.
The accounting profession in Colombia has a long history of transformations, but it will be presented with what may be its most profound change changing from its issuing origin; Because unlike the previous variations and reforms, they will not be of Colombian origin but world, generated by internationally recognized organisms, for standardized and ideal circumstances, typical of the international levels, the Which surely will not coincide with the circumstances of our nation; That is, the Colombian accounting profession will force it to fit shoes made with an international last.
The scope of these events is described in article 6 of the Economic Intervention act as well:
«Article 6. Limits to Economic freedom: The economic intervention carried out in accordance with this Law, imposes obligations to the public authorities, to the economic entities, to its administrators, owners or controlers, to those who practise the profession To the technical and disciplinary entities of the accounting industry and to the general public. »
Impacting on the previous terms to accountants who are professionally performing, students of accounting science, traders and their financial statements and, at the macro level, the accounting profession and the economy in general. The impact will have repercussions such as: a) relearning the basic body of accounting knowledge regarding accounting, auditing and accounting, and B) reconceiving the professional accounting work in the labour market.
According To The statistics that the Central Board of Accountants manages, in Colombia there are currently approximately 110,000 Public Accountants exercising the profession; Sufficient number to have a representation in the Congress of the Republic but, paradoxically, it seemed that they did not realize that the draft exposed to public discussion of the law of economic intervention brought as deadline on February 13, 2004 for that the inter-institutional Committee received comments and comments from the stakeholders, seeking to bring these contributions together in favour of the improvement and adjustment of that draft.
This document is written to ensure that the interested parties find out about the bill and join their review; To contribute their knowledge and opinions, actively participate in the destiny that will become the accounting profession and, in this way, to answer the question: Where are the public accountants of Colombia in front of the new law of economic intervention?
We Present the analysis of this law in its most significant changes for the authors in order to communicate them and, in turn, to contribute their own viewpoints. For This purpose we extracted from the bill some articles that develop the changes, so it is necessary that this document be supplemented by the total reading of the bill, file that will be appended to the sent of this document.
The analysis of changes will be treated in two groups: a) those generated by article 38 repealing; Article in which most of the significant changes are concentrated and which will guide by the reading of other selected articles to develop the thematic and, B) other changes.
In Order To analyse the changes to this economic Intervention Act, the study of the repealing presented in article 38 will begin. Text below:
«Article 38. Repealing: With the entry into force of this law, the following entities are deleted, as well as the administrative units if any: the Technical Council of the accounting, the Permanent Council for the Evaluation of the Accounting Standards and the Board Central Accountants.
By virtue of the validity of this law, the following rules are repealed, as well as the provisions that have modified them: [Blank Space where limited are determined that laws, decrees and norms are repealed]
Paragraph: The Expressions «fiscal audit» or «tax reviewer» which are contained in current norms shall be deemed to be replaced by the expressions «financial statements auditory» or «audit of financial statements» respectively.
. Abolition of the Technical Council of the accountancy and the Permanent Council for the Evaluation of Accounting Standards
The reading of article 38 recognizes the deletion of the Technical Council of Accounting and the Permanent Council for the Evaluation of Accounting Standards, which shall be replaced by the terms laid down in articles 9 and 27.
«Article 9. National competent Body to determine the adoption of the International standard: Within The framework of the provisions of articles 150 numeral 21, 189 numeral 24, 333, 334 and 335 of the Political Constitution, the State shall intervene in the economy by assigning the functions and Recognizing as technically competent to determine the adoption of the international standard in the terms of this law, and consequently, to decide on the adoption of international accounting, audit and accounting standards, Following:
1. The National Government, by means of general rules, on the international Accounting, auditing and accounting standards that all economic entities must fulfil.
2. The General Accountant of the Nation, on the international accounting standards that must govern in the country for public sector entities.
3. The Comptroller-General of the Republic, on the Code of Ethics and audit standards for the government sector.
Paragraph: The General Accountant of the Nation, the Comptroller General of the Republic and any other entity defined as competent to carry out adoption processes must establish the appropriate internal mechanisms to ensure the observance of the Principle of autonomy enshrined in article 7, paragraph 1, of this law.
«Article 27. Upper Accounting Committee: The Upper Accounting Committee aims to support the National Government in the orientation of the entities obliged to prepare, present and disclose financial information regarding the application of international standards of Accounting, auditing and accounting, adopted as stipulated in this law. The Superior Accounting Committee shall comply with the following composition and functions:
1. Composition: The Upper Accounting Committee be held at least twice a year, or when it is quoted by the National Government, will draw up its own regulations and shall be chaired by the Minister of Finance and Public Credit or by the Deputy minister to whom the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit delegate to that end. The Committee shall be composed of the following officers:
A) The Minister of Finance and Public Credit, or the Vice-minister to whom he appoints for such purpose;
B. The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, or the Vice-minister to whom he appoints for such purpose;
C. The Banking Superintendent;
D. The Superintendent of Securities;
The Superintendent of Home Utilities;
The Director of National Taxes and Customs; And
g) The General Accountant of the Nation.
Paragraph 1: The Higher Accounting Committee May, in its rules of procedure, establish the possibility of inviting other entities to its meetings if, in the opinion of its members, it is necessary to fulfil its objectives or functions. In any case, when the Committee deals with issues related to auditing for the government sector, the Comptroller-General of the Republic should be invited as one of its members.
Paragraph 2: The Superintendent of Companies, or whoever does his or her time, shall have the right to participate in the meetings of the Upper Accounting Committee, in a voice but without a vote.
2. Functions: The Upper Accounting Committee shall have the following functions:
To Promote the homogenization of the derived rules issued by the supervisory bodies in accordance with the faculty established in article 11 of this Law;
Request the National Government, through a motivated act, to postpone the application of any international standard which, at its discretion, is contrary to the public interest, does not comply with the purposes, principles, objectives and requirements set out in this law or Seriously injure the whole of an economic sector. In No case shall this power be exercised for the benefit of a particular economic entity or to modify any international standard; And
The others set out in their own rules. »
Opinion: In our opinion the Technical Council of the accounting and the Permanent Council for the Evaluation of Accounting Standards is a strategic move to allow the entry to Colombia without difficulty, but also without criterion Technical, international accounting, auditing and accounting standards.
Public accountants should be careful to let these bodies disappear without any argument, since it is counterproductive since the calls to participate and verify the adoption of international standards must be professionals of Public accounting without any bias and with high technical and academic knowledge; These are the ideal people to watch over the profession. In Addition, the bodies to be abolished are financially viable at the present time and they are functioning in a functional way being those of the profession.