Under the Barbados Companies Act, only persons with the relevant qualifications can be appointed as auditors of a Company. The main requirements are as follows:
- The person must be a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados (‘Institute’).
- The person must hold a practising certificate of the Institute.
The actual requirements go on to state that an individual who is not independent of the Company, its affiliated companies and its directors and officers is not qualified to be an auditor of that Company.
Appointment of Auditors
At the first meeting of the shareholders and on an annual basis, the shareholders of a Company are required to appoint an auditor to hold office until the close of the next annual meeting. This should be done by ordinary resolution.
Cessation of Office
Generally, an auditor of a Company ceases to hold office when he:
- dies or resigns, or
- is removed from office by the shareholders. This can be done by ordinary resolution at a special meeting convened for such a purpose. The vacancy created can be filled at the same meeting. The new auditor appointed holds office for the unexpired term of his predecessor.
Acceptance of Appointment
An individual cannot accept an appointment to the office of auditor of a Company if he is replacing an auditor who has resigned, been removed or whose term of office has expired or is about to expire, until the individual has requested and received from the former auditor a written statement of the circumstances and the reasons why, in that auditor’s opinion, he is to be replaced.
However, in the event that the individual receives no reply within 15 days of sending this request, provided that he is suitably qualified, he may accept the appointment.
Refer to Sections 153 – 167 of the Companies Act for further guidance on the requirements of Auditors in Barbados.
There is a wide cross section of auditors on the island of Barbados. The Big 4 Audit Firms all have a presence and are active in the community.
The main services offered by these firms are Audit, Tax and Accounting and Advisory services. Each service area is headed by a team of professionals who strive to offer the highest level of services.
Many smaller firms can also be found on the island offering a range of accounting and other consultancy services. Your specific needs will determine if you opt to use one of the Big 4 firms, or one of the smaller service providers.