New Council Elected – 2003

The eighteenth Annual General Meeting of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Belize was held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel on March 20, 2003.

Elected to serve on the new Council 2003 – 2004 were:
Jose Bautista President
Giacomo Sanchez Vice President
Julian Castillo Secretary
Mark Hulse Treasurer
Brett Feinstein Member
Felix Reyes Member

The eighteenth Annual General Meeting of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Belize was held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel on March 20, 2003.

Elected to serve on the new Council 2003 – 2004 were:
Jose Bautista President
Giacomo Sanchez Vice President
Julian Castillo Secretary
Mark Hulse Treasurer
Brett Feinstein Member
Felix Reyes Member

The guest speaker at the meeting was the Honourable Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade who spoke about his ministry’s challenges and goals for the years 2003 to 2008 and highlighted the important areas that Accountants could play an active part.

Also, Fellowship award certificates were handed out by the Minister to the following qualifying members of the Institute: Jose Bautista FCA, Arsenio Burgos FCA, J. Julian Castillo FCA, Rene J. Blanco FCA, Clinton L. Castillo FCA, Douglas Erskine FCA, Felix Reyes FCA, Kathlyn Tillett FCA, Michael Coye FCA, Mary A. Martinez FCA, Jose L. Habet FCA, Marion Usher FCA, Thomas B. Tattersfield FCA.

2002 Report of the President and Council

Overall the year was a very good one for the Institute. The rebuilding continued and the challenge of re-establishing members’ support and confidence was met to a greater extent. Council developed firm linkages with members and members gave frequently their views, recommendations, compliments and feedback to Council.

Membership, however, decreased by two as a few members elected to have their names removed from the register of members. Nevertheless, Council is confident that as international forces compel regional bodies to partake in the protocols and rounds of the WTO, FTAA and CSME, and with the call and demand for highly trained professional accountants, it is just a matter of time before local accountants would need the acknowledgment of being a member of the Institute.

It is with this in mind that Council has been working progressively to ensure members a well-administered Institute. As a result, Council is pleased to submit this report to the members of the Institute.

Council

The Institute’s Seventeenth Annual General Meeting was held on March 20, 2002. The members duly elected to serve on the new Council for the period 2002 – 2003 were:
Felix Reyes President
Jose Bautista Vice-President
Julian Castillo Treasurer
Michael Coye Secretary
Karen Weir Member
Giacomo Sanchez Member

Committees’ Chairmen

The following Committees’ Chairmen were appointed:
CPE and Members Services Giacomo Sanchez, Deliotte & Touche
Legislation, Act & Bye-Laws Douglas Erskine, Pannell Kerr Forster
Education and Training Kathlyn Tillett
Publicity Kevin Herrera
Investigation Clinton Castillo, Pannell Kerr Forster
Disciplinary Nestor Vasquez, Vasquez & Co.

Membership Changes

Three members were admitted to the Institute during the period.

Five members were removed from the Register due to the non-payment of annual fees.
Two practising certificates were approved and one practising member retired.

Membership at year-end was forty-seven: Non-practising members 22, Practising members 25.

Student’s Affairs

The agreements relating to the ACCA technical and professional examination schemes administered by ICAB in Belize were officially signed between ACCA and ICAB. As a result, all students in Belize must be registered as a student member of ICAB as at January 1, 2003 in order to continue their ACCA program of studies.

Some forty-one students are registered as student members of the Institute.

On May 25, 2002, a student orientation and rap session was held. At this meeting, an overview of ICAB’s history, role and purpose was given, along with hands out and copies of the ACCA/ICAB joint agreements. Another meeting, sponsored by ACCA and ICAB was held on January 24, 2003 with two ACCA Representatives of Students’ affairs present. The students’ needs were noted – the main need being tutoring. ACCA and ICAB will be formulating an Action Plan to address those needs. Also, the Galen University of Cyprus, to be opened in Belize in September, 2003, has express a desire to become a Tuition Provider within their Professional Studies Department.

Student CAT/ACCA 2002 Exams Results: –

June: 49 students registered; 60% passed.
December: 51 students registered; 65% passed.

To date, four students have successfully passed all the CAT papers and, under the ACCA/ICAB partnership, Council has agreed to hold graduation ceremonies later in the year 2003.

Members CPE

Council has deferred the 2002 CPE requirements for members and has agreed that the filing of CPE returns for the year would be on a voluntary basis. Nevertheless, a CPE accredited seminar on Fraud Detection was held March 20, 2002 at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel. In the meantime, Council has been reviewing estimates and suggested programs submitted for the year 2003. Also, Council has agreed to pursue Joint CPE Seminars with other Caribbean members of ICAC through the ACCA Caribbean Offices. The ICAC’s CPE Guidelines were posted on the Institute’s website.

President’s Time and Web Site Info

The monthly “President Time” initiated by the President in 2001 continued during the year to keep members informed and in dialogue with Council and with other members.

On December 19, 2002 the ICA Belize web site www.icab.bz was launched at the Institute’s Christmas Luncheon held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel. The site is a work-in-progress and already work is being contemplated to upgrade to a state of the art level suitable for sponsorship.

The Institute’s 18th Anniversary Christmas Luncheon

The Institute held its eighteenth Anniversary Christmas Luncheon at the Radisson Fort George Hotel on December 19, 2002. Twenty-two members attended and four members sent their apologies. All members enjoyed the good fellowship.

The Secretariat

Council approved new terms of reference for the Institute’s Secretariat for the delivery of its services to members and for the running of its daily operation. Council agreed to the further strengthening of the Secretariat especially with the addition of student members to service. In this light, Council has expanded its offices and planned to pursue further expansion to house a student center.

Fellowship Awards (FCA)

Under the newly revised Bye-Law 104 of the Institute, Council conferred the Fellowship Award (FCA) to the following members: Jose Bautista, Rene Blanco, Arsenio Burgos, Clinton Castillo, Julian Castillo, Douglas Erskine, Felix Reyes, Kathlyn Tillett, Marion Usher, Michael Coye, Jose Habet, Mary Martinez, and Thomas Tattersfield. The Award ceremony was held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel and the Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade, Honourable Eamon Courtenay, presented the certificates to the members.

According to Bye-Law 104, Council may only confer the Fellowship Award (FCA) on members who have been members in good standing for at least five years prior to their nomination for the award. Nominees must have served the Institute for a minimum of three years either on Council or on a committee established by Council and must be nominated, in a form prescribed by Council, by two members in good standing.

Closing

Council fostered and maintained good working relationship with its members and affiliates during the year. However, there is a lot of unfinished business on the path of perfecting our Institute and the profession. Also, despite the bad publicity and corporate scandals in the year 2002 involving accounting practices around us, in our opinion, the profession still ranks highly in trustworthiness and value among business leaders.

Some work-in-progress for the next Council are: launching of the CPE program for members, putting into Law the proposed amendments to the Accountancy Profession Act, finalizing the Student Education and Training programs, and updating the Institute’s Action Plan.

Respectfully submitted
Oh Behalf of Council

Felix Reyes
President, ICA Belize

Dated: March 20, 2003

Accountancy Profession Act and Bye-Laws Review

The Act and Bye-Laws Review Committee completed their review of the Act and Bye-Laws in November 2002 and submitted their proposed amendments to Council.  The consultation process (with members) started in April 2002 and continued until the completion of the proposed amendments in November 2002.  The revision and update of the Act and Bye-Laws of the Institute were to reflect present day realities and requirements.  Principal areas are:

  • A more precise definition of “practising” of public accountancy;
  • Removal of the $5,000 exemption contained in Section 9(4) of the Act;
  • Detailed step-by-step procedures for receiving complaints against members, investigating such complaints and, where necessary, disciplining members;
  • Inclusion of procedures that will ensure continuity of the Council as the group charged with carrying out the functions of the Institute;
  • Inclusion of a civil violation clause in the Act under which ICAB could pursue breaches of the Act as civil matters rather than relying on the DPP’s office to prosecute;
  • Inclusion of provision for Honours and Awards to be conferred by Council; and,
  • Provision for members to engage in public practice as a limited partnership, company, or entity under certain terms and conditions.

The proposed amendments to the Act and the Bye-Laws of the Institute were approved, by resolution, by members present at a General Meeting held on December 19, 2002 for that purpose.  The Bye-Laws now constitute the new Bye-Laws of the Institute and the proposed amendments to the Act will be presented to the Minister of Finance for consideration.