Saudi Organization For Certified Public Accountants General Rules For Fellowship Examination
The Ministry Of Commerce conducted a comprehensive study in order to develop the accounting and auditing profession and to improve its status. The study culminated in the issuance of Royal Decree No. M/12 dated 13.05.1412H (1992G) authorizing the passage of the new CPA Regulations. Article 19 of these regulations stated that an organization shall be established under the name of (Saudi Organization For Certified Public Accountants “SOCPA” ). It shall operate under the supervision of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in order to promote the accounting and auditing profession and all matters that might lead to development of the profession and to the improvement of its status.
As Professional qualification plays a significant role in the improvement of the profession status, the CPA Regulations entrusted SOCPA to establish the general rules for fellowship examinations. These regulations also stipulated that no individual can be enrolled in the CPA ‘s Record unless being a full member of SOCPA, which can not be satisfied without passing SOCPA fellowship examination. SOCPA , represented in its board of directors and various committees, took active steps towards the development of socpa fellowship examination. Persons interested and specialized in the accounting and auditing profession, within the Kingdom and a number of Arab countries, were requested to provide SOCPA with a representation of the curricula relating to the subjects of SOCPA fellowship program, whether they are undergraduate or postgraduate, and a list by the titles of approved books , training and study material relating to those subjects, in order for SOCPA to be well familiarized with available references and training material. A professional specialized entity (consultant) was assigned to conduct a comparative study on the subjects included in the fellowship examination in a number of developed countries such as U.K and U.S.A and to prepare a report containing the results of their study, and a list of subjects and references proposed for SOCPA fellowship program. A number of faculty members of a number of Saudi Universities and some practitioners were asked to study the report submitted by the consultant and consequently provide the recommendations that they believe to be appropriate with respect to the proposed fellowship program.
The training and education committee and the examination committee held several meetings during which the reports of the consultants and of the above mentioned experts were studied. The two committees also discussed other matters relating to the examination such as the objective of the examination, its subjects, levels, grading, the examination’s date, retaking the examination, procedures for preparing the questions and model answers and their selection, approval, monitoring and other matters relating to the examination. The two committees reached certain conclusions with respect to the fellowship program. This was achieved after taking in consideration the experience of those countries that have previous experience in that respect , particularly the United States of America. Other considerations taken were that the program should be appropriate to the local conditions of Saudi Arabia. These recommendations were submitted to the board of directors who took the necessary decisions. Upon the assessment of those rules in the light of practical experience, the board of directors took its decision No-5/2/2 dated 17-01-1419 H corresponding to 13-05-1998, authorizing the integration of practical and theoretical accounting in order to be as one subject under the name of accounting.
As the CPAs Regulations entrusted SOCPA board to organize SOCPA fellowship examination, covering the professional and academicals aspects for practicing audit profession and related regulations, and as the grasp of the national professional standards and ethical attributes that SOCPA members should have, may vary, in content, from a professional organization to another because it depends directly on the regulations, rules and standards adopted in each country; SOCPA board issued its decision No-9/2 dated 05-03-1421 H requiring the assignment of a work team to reconsider if an exemption from SOCPA fellowship examination may be granted to holders of higher certificates. In this regard consideration should be given to related decisions and stipulations including the unanimous agreement of professional bodies not to exempt holders of higher academic certificates from taking the fellowship examination and the variation of views with respect to their professional qualifications. The work team recommended that a paragraph is to be included within the general rules for fellowship examination. Under that paragraph the examinations of the accounting and auditing subjects are to be replaced by “professional standards” examination for those candidates holding the AICPA, CICA and ICAEW fellowship, however other subjects which are Zakat and Tax, Jurisprudence and Business Law should all be passed. This has been approved by the board decision No-5/2/1 dated 26-08-1421 H.
In the implementation of board decision No. 3-3-7 dated 20-11-1413 H requiring SOCPA to carry out continuous assessment to the general rules for fellowship examination program and to develop those rules in order to go well with the required purposes, the examination committee studied the rules and introduced some changes that appeared, from the practical experience, to be important. These changes were presented to the board and were approved by the board decision No 6/2 dated 17-09-1422 H (11-11-2003), as effective from the year 2004.
Enclose herewith are the general rules for fellowship examination and an outline of the subjects of SOCPA fellowship examination. In order to help candidates to the fellowship examination and to make it easier for them to pass it, an explanation to the procedures to be followed in order to take exam and some recommendations related to the preparation for the exam are annexed to these rules.
We hope the information provided in this booklet will meet the needs and achieve the objectives of its readers, wishing all of them very success.
Dr. Ahmed Almeghames