Do you want to practise the activity as a natural person?
What are the conditions for accessing the profession?
- must not have been stripped of your political or civil rights;
- must not have received any sanctions as part of an insolvency procedure (debt relief, personal liability, bans from professional practice, refusal of rehabilitation);
- must not have received a prison sentence (whether or not conditional) for certain crimes.
You must also possess the necessary professional qualifications. These can be obtained in various ways:
- You may take the entrance exam, if you obtained one of the diplomas or the title mentioned in the law. If you pass the entrance exam, you must take a work placement of at least three years at one or more placement supervisors. You must take interim exams during your work placement. If you pass , you will receive exemptions from the aptitude test. After your placement, you must take the aptitude test that consists of a written and verbal section. After you have passed the aptitude test, you must take the oath.
- If you can demonstrate at least seven years' relevant experience, you may be exempted from the placement. After you have passed the aptitude test, you must take the oath.
- If you are a national of another Member State of the European Union - Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland - the Institute will enrol you, if you can present a certificate of competence or a qualification that you obtained in that country. The Institute may require you to take an aptitude test, if the content of your qualification differs significantly from Belgium's.
What are your obligations in practising the profession?
As a chartered accountant, you must:
- be enrolled in the Institute for Tax Advisors and Accountants' public register;
- abide by a specific code of ethics (independence, integrity, objectivity, care, confidentiality and professionalism);
- have professional liability insurance;
- pay an annual contribution to the Institute;
- undertake training every year (continuing professional development).
Continuing professional development
In order to maintain your professional knowledge - competence and ethics - you must keep abreast of changes in legislation and the techniques and rules that are important for the exercise of your profession. You can do so by undertaking training that is accredited by the Institute for Tax Advisors and Accountants. The Institute lays down the content and the minimum number of hours of continuous training in its standard continuous training, which can be found on the Institute's website.
Duty to be insured
As a chartered accountant, you must have your civil professional liability insured with an insurance contract, which the Institute must approve.
Do you want to practise the activity as a legal person?
If you want to practise the activity as a legal person, it must meet the conditions for accessing and practising the profession. The legal person must meet the following conditions:
- it was established with legal personality in Belgian law or in the law of another Member State;
- its purpose and activities are limited to the professional activities or to practising professional activities that are compatible with these;
- it only has holdings in other companies or legal entities, the objects and activities of which are not incompatible with the pursuit of the professional activities of a certified auditor;
- the majority of the voting rights at the Annual General Meeting are held by professional practitioners;
- a majority of the members of the governing body consists of professional practitioners.
The legal person must be enrolled in the Institute's public register.
Enrolling in the public register
Enrolling as a natural person
The Institute will enter you in the public register after you:
- have passed the aptitude test for a certified accountant;
- have taken the oath.
Enrolling as a legal person
The Institute will enrol a legal person in the public register, if it meets the conditions (see above).
Lodging an appeal against refusal
If the Council of the Institute refuses to enrol you, you may appeal this. You must lodge this appeal with the appeals commission. You must do so within 30 days of the notification of the denial decision.
If you are enrolled as an (internally) chartered accountant in the public register, you must pay an annual contribution. The Institute determines the amount of this contribution every year.
In deontological terms
If you are enrolled as a chartered accountant with the Institute for Tax Advisors and Accountants, you must observe the deontological rules.
If the Institute identifies any infringements of the legal, regulatory or normative framework, the disciplinary authorities may impose one or more of the following sanctions upon you:
- ban on accepting or proceeding with certain assignments;
- suspension for a maximum of 2 years;
- being struck off.
In criminal terms
Holding the title of (internally) chartered accountant unlawfully and practising the profession illicitly is a criminal offence that may be punished with one or more correctional penalties.