Review Of Statutory Financial Statements And Financial Reports Of Public Interest Entities

The Malawi Accountants Board (MAB) is a regulatory body for the Accountancy Profession in Malawi. It has an oversight role over accountants and auditors, in order to improve quality of accounting and auditing services thereby enhancing the credibility of financial reporting.  It was established under the Public Accountants and Auditors Act (Cap. 53:06) which came into operation on 1st April 2014.  The overall objective of MAB is to safeguard the interest of the general public and investors in Malawi.

Section 16(1)(q) of the Public Accountants and Auditors Act gives MAB power to review statutory financial statements and financial reports of Public Interest Entities (PIEs).

The Reviews of Statutory Financial Statements and Financial Reports of Public Interest Entities Regulations (2017 & 2021), under Government Notice No. 5, defines a Public Interest Entity as follows;

a.    an entity which is of significant public interest because of its business, size, number of employees or its corporate status is such that it has a wide range of stakeholders; and,

b.    includes but is not limited to the following; credit institutions, insurance companies including medical insurance, banks, investment firms, pension firms and pension funds, parastatals and listed companies.

The main objective of the reviews is to enhance standards of statutory financial reporting in Malawi by ensuring that Public Interest Entities are at all times complying with both local and international financial reporting frameworks and are meeting listing requirements as demanded by the relevant market regulators.  

The reviews are performed by well qualified and trained professionals as such the reviewed financial statements by the regulatory body offers a range of benefits such as accuracy and reliability, verified adherence to regulatory standards and accounting principles, transparency to stakeholders, reliability and compliance with legal requirements and enhance access to capital from lending institutions, just to mention a few.

The Reviews are done based on the latest audited financial statements of the PIE. MAB performs the reviews on a sample basis. Once a Public Interest Entity has been sampled, MAB schedules and communicates the review date to management of the PIE, eight weeks in advance.

The reviews are conducted at an annual regulatory fee or contribution which is payable in advance, regardless of whether the Public Interest Entity has been reviewed or not in that particular year. The Board of Directors determine the regulatory fees on an annual basis.

The Malawi Accountants Board, therefore would like to ask all Public Interest Entities to ensure timely payment of regulatory fees to MAB as stipulated in the Public Accountants and Auditors Act (Cap 53:06).