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Bermuda: Law of Offshore

The Accountancy Profession

There are both local and international firms of accountants in Bermuda, including offices of the 'Big Four'. Many firms have a specialisation in insurance, given the dominance of that sector in the Bermudian economy.

The profession is governed by the Institute of Chartered Accountans of Bermuda (ICAB). ICAB is formally affiliated to the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. Accountants may join ICAB based on their membership of an approved overseas accounting body, or they may take the Canadian Uniform Final Examination.

Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and auditing standards are applied in Bermuda; but the GAAP of any other jurisdiction may be followed at the choice of a Bermudian comapny, subject to full disclosure in its accounts.

It is normal for Bermudian companies to have local auditors, although this is not legally required. The preparation of an audit can be waived by agreement of the directors and shareholders of a company, but the resident Bermudian directors of an exempt or 'permit' company normally oppose such a waiver unless a company is dormant. For insurance companies, an audit by a local auditor is compulsory.

The judiciary in Bermuda is independent, consisting of Magistrates' Courts, the Supreme Court headed by the Chief Justice (appointed by the Governor), and the Court of Appeal. There is an appeal to the Privy Council in London in some instances.



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