The International Arab Society of Certified Accountants (IASCA) has announced the issuance of the Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing (AML & CTF) Guidelines in cooperation with Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Global (TAG.Global).

The guidelines aim to guide those concerned with the application of the (AML & CTF) legislations in the Arab region such as accountants, auditors, tax and credit consultants, and those who provide corporate services.  

TAG.Global founder and chairman, Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, said: “We, at TAG.Global and IASCA, have exerted the utmost efforts to prepare these guidelines, the first of its kind, to help accountants comply with the obligations imposed on them by the laws and legislations of AML & CTF in the Arab countries.”

He added that the courts should refer to the local laws and legislations along with the international regulations to decide whether an entity, subject to these laws, has committed such crimes. 

The references included in these guidelines follow the broad outline of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) guidance for a Risk-Based Approach for the accounting profession, and they fulfill the requirements of the FATF 40 recommendations on accountancy obligations regarding AML/CFT compliance requirements. They also adopt the most recent and advanced guidelines applied in developed countries. 

IASCA executive director, Salem Al-Ouri, added: “These guidelines are the latest and the most advanced guidelines applied in developed countries. They include all the concepts and procedures that professional accountants should be aware of to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

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“The guidelines aim at ensuring that accountants will not use the services they provide in supporting criminal activities; instead, they will employ the services they provide in facilitating the vital transactions that support the economies and preserve the wealth of nations.”

These guidelines set out the accountant’s responsibilities in combating money laundering, starting from developing and maintaining a risk assessment framework, till reaching a final decision regarding how to handle high-risk clients suspected of money laundering. 

These developments in accounting in the Arab world follow the announcement that the Abu Dhabi-based AIM Auditing would be joining GGI, expanding their offering in the United Arab Emirates. The Accountant’s sister publication, the International Accounting Bulletin, covered this last week.