News 2018

Professional Standards

Please note we have recently issued our first and second reminder letters and emails regarding the Individual Annual Returns (IAR) for 2018.  Submission of the IAR is required in accordance with the CPD Regulations and the Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) may take action against any member that does not comply.  To avoid referral to the QAC please complete and submit your return as soon as possible and certainly no later than 4 January 2019. We look forward to your cooperation in this matter.

Dec 07, 2018
Professional Standards

We have recently updated you on information that has become available regarding audit registration status for those firms holding audit registration from Chartered Accountants Ireland (‘the Institute’) in the event of a ‘no-deal Brexit’.    You can see that information at this link. https://www.charteredaccountants.ie/Professional-Standards/Public-Information/News/2017/Articles/important-information-re-implications-for-audit-registration-of-a-no-deal-brexit In that update we referred to the announcement, in late October, from the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (‘IAASA’) that, in the absence of any transitional arrangements that might be contained in any withdrawal agreement, and based on advice received from Ireland’s Attorney General, UK-based audit firms would no longer meet the eligibility criteria for approval as EU statutory auditors and therefore would not be entitled to hold audit appointments for Irish companies post Brexit.  After 29th March, therefore, UK-based auditors would be unable to sign audit reports on Irish entities and as such, will no longer be eligible for inclusion on the Irish audit register.  This situation would apply to all UK-based auditors regardless of which recognised accountancy body the firm is a member of.   While it is hoped that the above scenario can be avoided by virtue of appropriate transitional arrangements, we are engaging with the Irish authorities to understand the implications of a no-deal Brexit for our members who are UK-based firms.  We have raised a range of questions with IAASA in that regard, including those set out below.  We understand that these will be discussed with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.  The Institute will keep you informed as we get any further clarifications.   If you have any additional questions in relation to the possible implications of a no-deal Brexit for your firm please share them with us at professionalstandards@charteredaccountants.ie. You can read our key questions here.

Nov 29, 2018
Brexit

We would like to update you, our members, on information that has recently become available regarding audit registration status for those firms holding audit registration from Chartered Accountants Ireland (‘the Institute’) in the event of a ‘no-deal Brexit’.  At present, the audit regulatory framework that exists between the UK and Ireland is such that firms holding audit registration from the Institute are able to hold audit appointments in respect of both UK and Irish entities.  In simple terms, for example, this has enabled statutory audit firms ‘located’ in  Northern Ireland or Great Britain to audit Irish registered entities while statutory audit firms ‘located’ in Ireland have been able to audit UK-registered entities.   In recent weeks, both the UK and Ireland have provided further information in respect of the recognition of statutory audit firms post Brexit.  As regards the UK, the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (‘BEIS’) has confirmed that in the UK, the status quo will remain, deal or no-deal, at least until December 2020.    However, in late October the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (‘IAASA’) announced that, in the absence of any transitional arrangements that might be contained in any withdrawal agreement, and based on advice received from Ireland’s Attorney General, UK-based audit firms would no longer meet the eligibility criteria for approval as EU statutory auditors and therefore would not be entitled to hold audit appointments for Irish companies post Brexit.  After 29th March, therefore, UK-based auditors would be unable to sign audit reports on Irish entities and as such, will no longer be eligible for inclusion on the Irish audit register.   Irish company law does, of course, make provision for the recognition of statutory auditors from a ‘Third Country’, which is what the UK will become post-Brexit.  However, such recognition is subject to appropriate regulatory arrangements being established between Third Country jurisdictions and Ireland (IAASA) which would include equivalence/reciprocity regimes etc.  In spite of the existing arrangements essentially reflecting such a regime, formalising such new arrangements will take time and unlikely to meet the 29 March 2019 deadline.   While it is hoped that the above scenario can be avoided by virtue of appropriate transitional arrangements, I believe it is appropriate, and as counselled by IAASA, to advise those firms (UK-based) who may be impacted by the above to consider what action they may need to take as regards audit appointments of Irish companies they may have.   Specific issues firms will need to consider will include:   The need to make contingencies as regards the audits of Irish entities in the event of a no-deal Brexit – e.g. advising clients of this possibility and the logistics of the client identifying an alternative auditor located in Ireland; Whether it might be possible to undertake and complete statutory audits of Irish entities, including signing the audit reports before 29th March 2019, having due regard to audit quality;  Whether the audit firm has an office ‘located’ in Ireland to which the audit appointment might be reassigned, or whether within the network of which the audit firm might be a member, there is an Irish located firm to which the appointment might be transferred. Note that there is at present no clarity or certainty to this particular point.This is one of a number of matters that have been raised with regulatory bodies. Further information on the respective UK and Irish positions regarding statutory audit can be found:    Accounting and Audit if there is No-Brexit Deal; and IAASA Breakfast Briefing Summary  The Institute continues to engage with relevant regulatory bodies and Governments on this issue and related issues with a view to obtaining further clarifications and explanations.  In this regard, specifically, we have provided a series of questions and scenarios to IAASA. We shall keep you advised of additional information as it becomes known. You can read our key questions here.   While the above is likely to arise only in the event of no ‘withdrawal agreement’ between the UK and the EU, it is important that firms be aware of the possible outcomes if such occurs. If there is anyone with any queries or concerns, please contact Aidan Lambe, Director of Professional Standards, Chartered Accountants Ireland. Aidan.lambe@charteredaccountants.ie

Nov 27, 2018
Professional Standards

Chartered Accountants Ireland as a member of the Accountants Affinity Group, is working in partnership with the Home Office and National Crime Agency to tackle the serious threat of money laundering to our industry. The Flag It Up! campaign can help you to protect yourself and your business reputation from money launderers. For more information see https://flagitup.campaign.gov.uk/.

Nov 14, 2018
Professional Standards

The Investment Business Regulations have been amended to reflect the transposition of the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) into Irish Legislation by the European Union (Insurance Distribution) Regulations 2018.  We have previously notified firms of these developments in May 2018, July 2018 and September 2018.  This information is available in the professional standards news section. The European Union (Insurance Distribution) Regulations basically remove all insurance activities from the Approved Professional Body regime.  Firms providing such activities have to be authorised directly by Central Bank of Ireland (CBI).  The CBI has also advised that the activity of purely acting as an introducer or referrer to a third party would no longer be an activity requiring authorisation. The majority of the amendments to the Investment Business Regulations relate to the transposition of the IDD but we have also taken this opportunity to tidy up other conforming amendments such as the removal of the term Multi-Agency Intermediaries as such entities are no longer recognised by CBI.

Nov 12, 2018
Professional Standards

Please note we have recently issued our first reminder letters and emails regarding the Individual Annual Returns (IAR) for 2018.  Submission of the IAR is required in accordance with the CPD Regulations and the QAC may take action against any member that does not comply. We look forward to your cooperation in this matter.

Nov 07, 2018
Professional Standards

The Public Practice Regulations have been updated to reflect the requirements of the Insurance Distribution Directive. If a firm is a licensed firm or a firm authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to conduct insurance distribution activities then the minimum limit of indemnity required for those activities must be equivalent to at least €1,250,000 for any one claim and €1,850,000 in total per annum.

Oct 12, 2018
Professional Standards

Firms authorised by the Institute under the Investment Intermediaries Act, 1995 have been advised previously of a significant change to the scope of investment business activities that may be carried on under the Institute’s Investment Business Regulations.  The EU (Insurance Distribution) Regulations 2018 take effect from 1 October 2018.  One consequence of this is to remove from the scope of the Investment Business Regulations the provision of advice on insurance or insurance based products (including insurance based pensions products).  Firms wishing to engage in this activity will require separate authorisation by the Central Bank, details of which were previously advised to firms and may be found here (included in May circular).  From 1 October, firms may not conduct such activity under their Institute investment business authorisation. Firms should also note that the activity of simply referring a client to a third party for advice on insurance products (where the firm has no further role or involvement) no longer requires any form of authorisation. The Institute can continue to authorise firms to conduct the remaining activities set out in the Investment Business Regulations.  Revised regulations reflecting these changes will be issued shortly.

Sep 28, 2018
Professional Standards

Following the introduction of “Regulatory Objectives” for Recognised Professional Bodies (RPBs) in October 2015, the Insolvency Service has undertaken a number of reviews to assess the effectiveness of the regulatory regime. As part of the reviews, the Insolvency Service visited each RPB to assess how they carry out their monitoring and regulatory functions and have also undertaken a themed review on how insolvency practitioners (IPs) working at volume Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) providers are regulated. The Review of the monitoring and regulation of insolvency practitioners represents a summary of the findings to date. We are pleased to note that the conclusion of the review of Chartered Accountants Ireland stated ‘the review found that CAI is operating effectively when exercising monitoring and regulatory activities and no issues of concern were noted’. The Insolvency Service will be continuing their oversight activities in the coming months, as they move towards making a decision on whether to introduce a single regulator, as provided for in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015.

Sep 26, 2018
Professional Standards

Your Individual Annual Return 2018 is available for completion online.  Please ensure it is submitted by 31 October 2018. Click here for your Individual Annual Return.

Sep 10, 2018
Professional Standards

Implementing the Insurance Distribution Directive Legislative changes that implement the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) in the UK come into effect on 1 October 2018. The DPB Handbook has been updated to incorporate these changes and will be effective from 1 October 2018. The IDD aims to ensure harmonisation of insurance regulation across the EU, creating a consistent regulatory framework to raise conduct standards and improve consumer protection. The IDD applies to insurers, insurance intermediaries, price comparison websites/aggregators and ancillary insurance intermediaries. The full requirements of IDD place significant additional burden on FCA authorised firms. However Chartered Accountants Ireland, together with, ICAEW and ICAS, has chosen to implement the IDD via the ancillary insurance intermediary (AII) route. This means that our DPB licensed firms may only act as ancillary insurance intermediaries as defined within the legislation. This approach minimises the additional burden of regulation and reflects the nature of the insurance distribution activities carried out by our DPB licensed firms. The DPB Regime allows an activity to be complementary or to arise out of a professional service. Firms need to be aware that the scope for acting as an ancillary insurance intermediary under the IDD is narrower and only permits the distribution of complementary insurance products whose cover complements the good or service. It will enable DPB licensed firms to continue to offer common products such as tax fee protection insurance, but will prevent them from engaging in any regulated activities relating to insurance based investment products (IBIPs) and products relating to large risks from 1 October 2018. The majority of the changes to the handbook only apply to firms which provide insurance distribution activities. However, some of the changes needed to implement the IDD will have implications for all DPB licensed firms. This is all discussed in more detail below. Revised DPB Handbook - effective date 1 October 2018 Changes that impact all DPB licensed firms Further changes relevant to DPB licensed firms that distribute insurance Schedule of Amendments

Sep 06, 2018
Professional Standards

Reminder: Impending changes to the scope of authorisation under the Investment Intermediaries Act, 1995 The attention of firms currently holding investment business authorisation from the Institute under the above legislation is drawn to the previously issued information.  The Central Bank of Ireland has recently advised that the deadline for seeking the necessary authorisation (if required) has recently passed.  Those firms requiring authorisation should seek to apply as soon as possible.

Jul 20, 2018
Professional Standards

Important Information for firms holding Investment Business Authorisation under the Investment Intermediaries Act, 1995 (the IIA) The transposition by Ireland of the EU Insurance Distribution Directive[1] (the IDD) later this year is likely to have significant implications for those firms authorised by the Institute under the IIA, including removing the need for certain firms to hold IIA authorisation. As part of the transposition of the IDD, it is anticipated that ‘insurance policies’ will be removed from the scope of the IIA and therefore from the scope of the Institute’s Investment Business Regulations. This is expected to apply from 1 October 2018. When the IDD Regulations take effect, firms which are involved actively in advising on or arranging insurance products, including insurance-based life and pension products, must be registered for such activities directly by the Central Bank of Ireland. Firms should note that where a firm introduces or refers a client to a third party for the purposes of arranging the purchase of an insurance product and that firm has no further role in the transaction, that firm will not be required to be registered with the Central Bank and will continue to be authorised by the Institute until 1 October 2018.  This is because the act of introduction or referral in respect of an insurance product does not fall within the definition of 'insurance distribution' and is not subject to the IDD. Furthermore, the IDD does not apply to persons with another professional activity, such as accountants, who provide advice on insurance cover on an incidental basis in the course of that other professional activity, nor to the mere provision of information of a general nature on insurance products, provided the purpose of that activity is not to help the customer conclude or fulfil an insurance contract, e.g., preparing calculations of the maximum amount a client might contribute to a pension is not, of itself an authorisable activity. So if a firm currently holds IIA authorisation from the Institute solely because it makes referrals to a third party for advice on or for the purpose of arranging  insurance-based products and does not conduct any other type of investment business, then that firm is likely to no longer require investment business authorisation from 1 October 2018.  However, this will be a matter for the firm to decide. The scope of the IDD is confined to insurance products only.  Firms that currently hold investment business authorisation and make referrals to third parties in respect of other types of investments or for investment advice (e.g., to a stockbroker), or are active themselves in carrying on investment business will continue to require authorisation – either from the Institute or directly from the Central Bank in respect of such IIA activities. What should authorised firms do now? Each firm currently holding investment business authorisation from the Institute should review the activities it currently undertakes.  If those activities include advising on or arranging insurance products or are likely to do so in the future, then the firm will be required to register with the Central Bank in respect of such activities in accordance with the current Insurance Mediation Regulations (IMR) or the IDD regulations. If the firm carries out the following activities as provided for in the IDD: advising on, proposing, or carrying out other work preparatory to the conclusion of contracts of insurance, or concluding such contracts, or of assisting in the administration and performance of such contracts, in particular in the event of a claim, including the provision of information concerning one or more insurance contracts in accordance with criteria selected by customers through a website or other media and the compilation of an insurance product ranking list, including price and product comparison, or a discount on the price of an insurance contract, when the customer is able to directly or indirectly conclude an insurance contract using a website or other media; then you need to notify the Central Bank of Ireland in order to begin the process of receiving a registration under the IMR with the Central Bank. Please contact RIAuthorisations@CentralBank.ie no later than close of business on Friday, 25th May 2018.   Any queries on the Central Bank application process should also be sent to RIAuthorisations@CentralBank.ie.    Once a firm has been registered under the IMR, it will continue to be registered once the IDD is implemented. If the firm’s only investment business activity is referral to a third party for advice on or for the purpose of arranging insurance/insurance based pensions, and the firm has no further involvement, such activity will not require investment business authorisation, either from the Institute or from the Central Bank from 1 October 2018.    [1] Directive (EU) 2016/97 of the European Parliament and of the Council

May 17, 2018
Professional Standards

All company and individual regulatory fees for 2018 fees should be settled by 30 April 2018. If you have or are having any difficulty accessing the invoice(s), please contact Sandra Smiley in Professional Standards.

Mar 28, 2018
Professional Standards

Circumstances where there may be high risk of money laundering or terrorist financing The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (MLR 17) requires Chartered Accountants Ireland to make available any information relevant to the firm's own firm-wide risk assessment. We have identified a list of circumstances where there might be a high risk of money laundering or terrorist financing.  This list includes circumstances agreed by the accountancy professional body supervisors and identified by the National Risk Assessment. Circumstances where there may be high risk of money laundering

Mar 27, 2018
Professional Standards

Flag It Up The National Crime Agency’s National Strategic Assessment 2017 indicates that previous figures of £36 billion to £90 billion for all money laundering impacting on the UK could be a significant underestimation. Money laundering is also an enabler of serious and organised crime, which as well as costing the UK an estimated £24 billion a year, perpetuates wider social harms that damage communities and people’s lives. That’s why the legal and accountancy sectors are working with HM Government to support the ‘Flag It Up’ campaign. This joint initiative aims to raise awareness of the warning signs of money laundering, as well as the correct due diligence processes, and ultimately to help professionals to protect themselves and their firms. You can now visit and link to the new campaign page, which covers the rationale of the campaign, guidance, and links to existing campaign content. The Flag It Up campaign has also produced a video aimed at accountants to raise awareness of the threat of money laundering. You can watch the 2018 Flag it Up AML webinar here.

Mar 20, 2018
Professional Standards

Please find below the details and link to vacancies in the Professional Standards Department in Chartered Accountants Ireland. Case Manager This role is full time permanent, and is based in the Dublin office. Quality Assurance Inspector This role is full time permanent and is home based.   Closing date for receipt of applications is close of business Friday 30th March 2018.   Please forward full CV and applications to hr@charteredaccountants.ie

Mar 16, 2018
Professional Standards

AML Guidance Approved by HM Treasury CCAB (The Consultative Committee of Accounting Bodies) has published new guidance for all entities providing audit, accountancy, tax advisory, insolvency or related services such as  trust and company services, by way of business. The guidance has been updated for the new Money Laundering Regulations 2017 and is approved by HM Treasury. It has also been adopted by the UK accountancy AML supervisory bodies.  Click here for CCAB Press Release. Click here for AML Guidance for the Accountancy Sector.

Mar 14, 2018
Professional Standards

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has launched a consultation on its proposals for “Consultation Modernising ATOL”. The CAA views you as a key stakeholder and so would be interested to receive your views. The consultation has been published on the CAA website and can be accessed via this link.  The proposed changes will ensure that the ATOL scheme continues to appropriately protect consumers by keeping pace with the way in which they source, select and book their holidays.   A number of the changes stem from the new Package Travel Directive (‘PTD’), which comes into effect on 1 July 2018.  Therefore, the consultation closes on 23 March 2018.

Feb 27, 2018
Professional Standards

Accountancy Europe (previously known as FEE) has published an Information Paper titled “Auditor’s Role in Fighting Financial Crime”. Click here for more information.

Feb 08, 2018
Professional Standards

The Investment Business Regulations have been amended as a result of the following: Recent changes to required compensation arrangements that all IIA authorised firms must have in place. From August 2017 such firms must pay a levy to the Investor Compensation Scheme. The Institute has previously contacted your firm’s Investment Business Compliance Partner in this regard; and Publication by the Central Bank of Ireland of the Minimum Competency Code 2017 and the Minimum Competency Regulations 2017. These amended Investment Business Regulations are effective on 1 February 2018. Background The Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) first introduced Minimum Competency Requirements on 1 January 2007 which established minimum professional standards for principals or employees who provide advice on retail financial products, or arrange, or offer to arrange, retail financial products.  The Minimum Competency Requirements were replaced by the Minimum Competency Code 2011 (MCC 2011).  Since 2011, professional knowledge and competency requirements have been increasingly introduced, or updated, in various EU Directives and guidelines.  The CBI undertook a full review of this. The CBI has now published the Minimum Competency Code 2017 and the Minimum Competency Regulations 2017 which together replace the former Minimum Competency Code 2011 (MCC 2011) as follows: Minimum Competency Code 2017 – replaces Parts 1 (Standards), 3 (Qualification) and Appendices 1-4 of the MCC 2011. Minimum Competency Regulations – replace Part 2 of the MCC 2011 (Requirements on regulated firms). Main Changes The MCC 2011 already imposes staff monitoring requirements on investment business firms in relation to CPD requirements.  The CBI is expanding these requirements to include an annual review which will take account of the personal development and experience needs of staff members, regulatory developments and new retail financial products offered by the firm.  The amendments have been incorporated into the Minimum Competency Regulations. Where required, in order to confirm and evidence a person’s level of experience, the CBI will require that an investment business firm must retain supporting documentation and sign a ‘certificate of experience’ to confirm the relevance and level of the person’s experience.  ‘Grandfathering’ arrangements are only allowable for certain functions and can only be recognised if additional specific conditions in Chapter 1 of the MCC 2017 are met. A Schedule of the Investment Business Regulations affected by these changes is available here. The amended Investment Business Regulations are available here.

Feb 01, 2018

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