Bermuda: Law of Offshore
The Accountancy Profession
This page was last updated on 5 August 2019.
There are both local and international accounting firms 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 Accountants of Bermuda (ICAB). The ICAB is formally affiliated to the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. Accountants may join the 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 (GAAP) and auditing standards are applied in Bermuda. However, the GAAP of any other jurisdiction may be followed at the choice of a Bermudian company, so long as this is disclosed in its accounts.
Bermudian companies normally have local auditors, though 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. Insurance companies must be audited by a local auditor.
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.