The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) on Tuesday, 6 Sept. launched its Action Plan for Fighting Corruption and Economic Crime with support from professional accountancy organizations, including the Cayman Islands Institute of Professional Accountants.
The IFAC action plan, which can be viewed in full on CIIPA’s website, includes five pillars supporting an ecosystem to help fight economic crime. They include:
• Harnessing the Full Potential of Education and Professional Development
• Supporting Global Standards
• Contributing to Evidence-based Policymaking
• Strengthening Our Impact through Engagement and Partnership
• Contributing Our Expertise through Thought and Leadership Advocacy
In 2017, CIIPA became the Cayman Islands’ Supervisory body for Anti-Money Laundering for the accounting industry and is charged with registering all accounting firms, monitoring for compliance as well as issuing guidance, directives and procedures.
“The accountancy profession plays a significant role in fighting corruption and economic crimes. Professionals often have unique insight into a company’s operations and financial information and have a significant role to play in ensuring their services are not used to further a criminal purpose. The fight against crime demands that criminals be prevented from legitimizing the proceeds of their crime by the process of money laundering. CIIPA is proud to work with IFAC on the launch of its action plan,” said CIIPA Chief Executive Officer Sheree Ebanks.
As part of its role as AML supervisor for the profession, CIIPA conducts on-site inspections as well as off-site monitoring of firms. Five firms were inspected in 2021 and there were fewer findings per firm compared to the prior year, indicating a trend toward better compliance by firms and underscoring the effectiveness of supervision and outreach. This trend was also reflected in the 2021 National Risk Assessment, where the accounting sector received a summary risk rating of medium-low.
CIIPA has included as part of its annual action plan provisions to ensure Cayman remains a high-quality jurisdiction through its obligations as AML supervisor.
The Cayman Islands has implemented the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) 40 Recommendations on the Prevention of Money Laundering and the Countering of Terrorist Financing, which are international standards. A 2021 report from the FATF found the Cayman Islands is either compliant or largely compliant in all 40 of those recommendations.