Governance, Risk and Legal

Are you a member of a Board or do you report directly to a Board or a Board Committee? If YES, then please respond to this invitation to participate in a focus group discussion about organisational culture. Focus groups will take place across the Island of Ireland (East to West, North to South). The purpose is to gain insights from leaders in the public, private, state and not for profit/charity sectors on how boards engage with and evaluate culture at board and organisation level. We are also keen to get perspectives on the meaning of organisational culture and the relevance of emphasis and actions in relation to it. The Focus Groups will be facilitated by governance experts and offer a safe, relaxed and anything goes environment for participants to voice their views. In addition to getting the opportunity to both share and absorb insights and opinions, you will play an important role in informing a free but valuable resource for organisations across the island of Ireland.   Please contact the Head of Ethics and Governance at: ethicsgov@charteredaccountants.ie  

Mar 20, 2019
Ethics

Feargal McCormack, President of Chartered Accountants Ireland. From 12 to the 18 November 2018, Chartered Accountants Ireland marks Trustees' Week to acknowledge the work of charity trustees. Chartered Accountants Ireland is pleased to add our voice to others involved and supporting the charity and not-for-profit sector, including The Charities Regulator and The Charities Commission for Northern Ireland. It also gives our profession the chance to recognise and express our gratitude to all those who volunteer their time as trustees across the island of Ireland. The week ahead will see some fantastic initiatives from a number of organisations that will showcase the work of charity trustees. Foremost amongst these will be the Good Governance Awards in Dublin on 15 November, and the 2018 Leadership & Good Governance Awards takes place on 22 November in Stormont. Also, this week the Institute notes and welcomes the launch of the Charities Governance Code by the Charities Regulator in the Republic of Ireland. The Code, available here, aims to be proportionate (therefore relevant for every charity operating in Ireland) and to facilitate the better administration, management and governance of charitable organisations. It is important to recognise good governance and more importantly to recognise the people that are responsible for putting it into practice. Chartered Accountants Ireland led with our own Good Governance Conference 'Charities and not-for-profit boards – Inspiring ethics and governance' in Dublin and Belfast in September this year, when we had the opportunity to meet over 200 professionals working in, for, or as a trustee in this important sector. Importance of Good Governance In 2018, Chartered Accountants Ireland produced its own publication, 'Concise Guide of Ethics and Governance for the charity and not-for-profit sector', which is available to download from our Ethics Resource Centre here. One of the core messages of our guide is that a good governance framework in a charity or not-for-profit organisation promotes the organisations purpose while emphasising transparency and accountability. While laws, regulations and standards command basic governance requirements, it is in the organisation’s interests to ensure that their governance framework is effective and fit for purpose. When reflecting on the governance framework of your organisation, the guide advises that trustees and others have regard to the following: To ensure sufficient independent oversight, is there a clear delineation between the governance of the organisation, i.e. the trustees, and management of the organisation? Is there a clear and transparent organisational structure that is publically available, including short bio and background on trustees and senior management? Regardless of level of simplicity or complexity, are there transparent procedures in relation to selection and appointment of trustees? Is there some form of evaluation of trustees and senior management in the organisation in addition to evaluation of the overall board? Is there a mechanism for identifying, responding to and recording risks affecting the organisation? Are there mechanisms to ensure the flow of information to and from the board and adequate controls to ensure the integrity of this information? What are the internal and external financial reporting milestones and are there any independent audit or other assurance requirements? Role of Chartered Accountants Ireland in the charity and not-for-profit sector Members of our profession are held in high regard by charity and not-for-profit boards and evidence suggests that there is a demand for those with accounting and governance expertise.  Therefore, with Trustees' Week in mind, we encourage members with this expertise and an interest in the sector, to get involved and make a difference. Members of our profession have always been accountable and are held to a high standard in application of their professional knowledge. On that basis we are proud of our members who commit their time to promote good ethics and governance as trustee of a charity and not-for-profit organisation. We would like to remind members that Chartered Accountants Ireland is here to support you in your role with various expert publications including books, guides, as well as toolkits used by accounting practices and advisors to the sector, in addition to courses and member support services such as enquiry helplines etc. Finally, on behalf of Council, Chief Executive and staff, we congratulate all involved in Trustees' week and for the great work that takes place in this sector all year round. 

Nov 08, 2018
Ethics

Ireland’s leading accountancy body, Chartered Accountants Ireland today (Wednesday, 12 Sept 2018) announced the launch of a new “Concise Guide of Ethics and Governance for the Charity and Not-for-Profit Sector” at its annual ‘Good Governance’ conference in Dublin. Today’s conference was attended by over 100 people working in and for the charity and not-for-profit sector including regulators, advisors, directors and leading charity representatives. The Institute’s free guide, the first of its kind compiled in Ireland, received support from the Irish Charities Regulator and the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, and will be an essential primer for anyone currently a trustee or aspiring to hold such a position in the future.  Attendees at today’s conference heard from speakers including Tom Ryan (Director General, GAA), Tom Malone (Head of Compliance, Charities Regulator), Shauna Greely (Past President, Chartered Accountants Ireland), Stephanie Manahan (CEO, CRC), and a panel of experienced leaders in the charity and not-for-profit sector. Welcoming the launch of the Ethics Guide at today’s conference, Institute President Feargal McCormack said: “Charities and not-for-profit organisations have a profound social and economic impact on the fabric of our lives in Ireland. For example, in relation to charities alone, according to 2018 statistics from the Irish Charity Regulator, registered Irish charities have an income of €14.5 billion, directly employ 189,000 people and are supported by 300,000 volunteers. In relation to not-for-profit organisations we only have to look to our own local communities to identify the sporting organisations, the drama societies and the many other organisations that serve to provide an important outlet or promote a cultural activity to society. “The Irish charity and not-for-profit sector has been subject to criticism over recent years, where the failures of a few have damaged the many thousands of fine charities that adhere to high standards. Thanks to the combined efforts of trustees, volunteers, government and regulators, governance standards are improving and trust is being restored, with a renewed commitment to the highest levels of ethical behaviour. “Chartered Accountants Ireland are proud of today’s publication and consider it an important resource upon which trustees, leaders and financial custodians can reference as an everyday tool. Níall Fitzgerald, Head of Ethics and Governance, Chartered Accountants Ireland said: “In order to run effectively and ethically, charities and not-for-profit organisations need the right people to step-up and become volunteer board members. It is vital for the sector that its trustees are as diverse as the organisations they manage. This involves the recruitment of trustees of all age groups, genders and backgrounds getting involved in order to refresh the membership of committees and boards of trustees. The Irish Charities Regulator welcomed Chartered Accountants Ireland’s initiative to produce this guide aimed at encouraging and supporting current and aspiring trustees.  Tom Malone, Head of Compliance, Charities Regulator said: “Charity trustees are the gatekeepers of governance and integrity in the sector. The clearer trustees are about their duties and the better guidance and support that they receive, the greater the sector will benefit. We believe trustees who are well-intentioned and well-informed, are key to increasing public trust and confidence in the sector.” The Concise Guide of Ethics and Governance for the Charity and Not-For-Profit Sector published by Chartered Accountants Ireland is available to download here. ENDS Reference:  Bryan Rankin, Marketing Manager, Chartered Accountants Ireland T: 01 637 7268 Note to editors:  Chartered Accountants Ireland is Ireland’s biggest and fastest growing professional accountancy body, with 26,500 members across the globe. It is the voice of the accountancy profession in Ireland.

Sep 13, 2018
Governance, Risk and Legal

Chartered Accountants Ireland aims to provide meaningful value to our members involved, or thinking about getting involved, in the charities and not-for-profit sector (‘the sector’) in a non-executive/trustee capacity. Of course, you do not need to be a Chartered Accountant to benefit from the contents and therefore we encourage our members to share this guide with their own network.  The guide assumes a certain pre-existing understanding of technical knowledge as well as ethics and governance standards. Production of the guide was largely informed by research conducted within the sector resulting in some useful practical advice and useful insights. Whilst not a comprehensive deep dive, we hope it provides you with a good steer. The guide is available here: Concise guide of ethics and governance

Sep 12, 2018
Governance, Risk and Legal

Chartered Accountants Ireland are delighted to announce the launch of this year’s governance conference which will focus on ethics and governance in the charity and not for profit sector. Amongst other items, the conference will also exclusively present insights and findings arising from the recent research conducted by Chartered Accountants Ireland in production of the forthcoming “Concise Guide of Ethics and Governance for the Charity and Not for Profit Sector”.  To recognise the dedication of those involved in this important sector and encourage leadership in ethics and governance, the event is being hosted and sponsored by Chartered Accountants Ireland, free to attend, in Dublin on 12th September (click here for more details) and Belfast on 26th September (click here for more details).

Jul 20, 2018
Governance, Risk and Legal

Chartered Accountants Ireland – Leinster Society in conjunction with Glennon Insurance Brokers cordially invite you to attend a breakfast briefing on Tuesday, May 15th in Chartered Accountants House, Pearse Street Dublin 2.  Registration and light breakfast from 7:30am. Session starts at 8am and will finish no later than 9am. The briefing is relevant to Chartered Accountants in both practice and in industry irrespective of size of organisation and is designed to help you better understand the management and mitigation of business risk and the role insurance can play to better preserve stakeholder value especially in crisis situations.  This session will address 4 key questions – (1) what you need to know about risk, (2) how you can assess your own business risk and the business risk of those you are advising, (3) what actions can be taken to mitigate risk and (4) how to measure and quantify risks. The session will be delivered by Stephen Byrne who is a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute and is a Director of Glennon Insurance. Stephen has 40 years’ experience in the risk and insurance industry. He has a wide knowledge of many business sectors and has advised many organisations on their operational risk exposures. He is acknowledged as one of the most highly qualified and experienced practitioners in the insurance industry. Book here: https://bit.ly/2rdsZ7d 

May 01, 2018
Business law

Jeremy Twomey writes.. Billed as the most important change in data privacy regulation in over 20 years, and with its enforcement deadline of 25 May 2018 fast approaching, ensuring General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance has become a top priority for the majority of Irish businesses.   Over the last year, the Institute has been helping its members to prepare for GDPR in a number of ways. For example, we have provided guidance via articles in recent issues of Accountancy Ireland, while in the last few weeks we have run a series of half day roadshows and courses in a number of towns and cities across Ireland. In addition, the Practice Consulting team has been busy preparing detailed practical guidance in this area, explaining what the changes resulting from GDPR will mean for accountants and their clients. This guidance will be available under the Knowledge Centre section of the Institute website, and is designed to answer the GDPR-related questions that members have contacted us on over recent months.   While preparing this guidance, it became evident that a number of “myths” have developed over the last couple of years surrounding the implementation of GDPR. In this article, I am going to address a few of these and try to help you ensure that you do not fall foul of these, as you prepare to achieve GDPR compliance at your firm.   Myth 1 - GDPR Compliance is a once off project to be achieved by 25 May With so much hype surrounding the regulation, one should remember it is not a once off event or test for compliance. Unlike planning for the Y2K deadline in 1999, GDPR preparation doesn’t end on 25 May; it requires ongoing effort. It’s an evolutionary process for organisations; 25 May is the date that GDPR will be enforced but no business stands still. You will be expected to continue to identify and address emerging privacy and security risks in the weeks, months and years beyond May of this year. GDPR will require ongoing governance of data, as organisations migrate to new systems or apply their customer data to new markets and trends. Initial compliance is the first heavy lift, but ongoing governance is the long-term reality!   All entities falling under GDPR should endeavour to be fully compliant by the implementation day, although this may not be possible in all instances. In such circumstances it is important that you address the essential elements of compliance at your firm as soon as possible, and can demonstrate your ongoing efforts in this regard in a comprehensive documented plan of work.   Myth 2 - GDPR is only for large firms, a small accountancy practice or company is not expected to have the time or resources to achieve compliance You will have to comply with GDPR, regardless of your size, if you process personal data. Small accountancy practices do not escape the demands of compliance. GDPR needs to be prioritised by all firms, regardless of size.   The vast majority of businesses across Ireland are small businesses and it is important to remember these firms often process a lot of personal data, and their data protection reputation and liability risks are just as real as for larger entities.   Myth 3 - With Brexit, entities located in the UK, including Northern Ireland, will not have to comply with GDPR GDPR will apply to all EEA countries and any individual or organisations trading with them. As it comes into force on 25 May 2018 (before the UK is due to leave the EU), UK individuals & organisations must ensure compliance with the new regime by then. The British government has confirmed that the UK’s decision to leave the EU following Brexit will not affect the commencement of GDPR. Post Brexit, it is envisaged that if a UK organisation or individual processes personal data, then they will have to do this in accordance with GDPR. To ensure that the UK will be GDPR-compliant post Brexit, the new Data Protection Bill (currently going through Parliament in London) incorporates all of the GDPR.   Myth 4 - GDPR is a completely new approach to Data Protection It is vital to remember that GDPR builds upon the existing legislation in this area. It is an update, not a wholesale revision, to meet the changes in technology and data use over the last twenty years or so. As a result of these changes, consumers’ privacy and data were not by now as well protected as they could be. GDPR rectifies this by increasing the responsibility on organisations to use personal data appropriately and to hold it securely.   Although GDPR is not a completely new approach, it is more stringent in its application and the fines for non-compliance have been considerably increased. This means that doing nothing is not an option, although GDPR does allow organisations to take a risk based approach, based on your size and circumstances.   Many organisations struggle to assess where they should start in preparing for GDPR. It is helpful to remember that we have had data protection legislation in both the UK and the Republic of Ireland for a number of decades and therefore, firms who have taken data protection compliance seriously are already in good shape for beginning to meet GDPR’s increased compliance standards.   Myth 5 - GDPR is just more bureaucracy and work for small firms, with no potential benefits When legislation of this nature is announced, one can take either a positive or negative view of the task at hand. If you take a negative view, you will see GDPR as more bureaucracy and cost to your firm. If you take a positive view, on the other hand, you will view GDPR as a necessary strengthening of the rights of individuals, and indeed a potential opportunity.   As accountants position themselves as strategic advisers to clients, GDPR is also an opportunity for firms to demonstrate to clients that they can securely hold and process information in accordance with data requirements, and that protection of client data is a priority for the practice. As a result, clients are likely to see their accountants as trusted professionals with whom they can partner to drive their business forward. Therefore, being a leader in this area may enhance your practice and its reputation.   In addition, as trusted business advisors to your clients, you must have sufficient knowledge of this new legislation to be able to provide sound advice. SMEs need to be ready when the new law comes into force, but they may struggle to know where to start. Chartered Accountants in practice can help these small businesses bridge the gap to GDPR compliance and, in the process, win new business.   Myth 6 - Outsourcing GDPR compliance will be a quick fix for me and my firm There is no quick fix to GDPR compliance. No one piece of software or outsourced service provider is going to provide everything you need to comply with GDPR. For accountancy practices, GDPR will impact on how you manage and store data across your entire firm (e.g. client, prospective client, contact, supplier and staff data). You cannot outsource your responsibility for this information, and compliance with GDPR will require considerable time and preparation from all levels within your practice. With the implementation date of 25 May approaching quickly, it is important to start sooner rather than later on this.   Myth 7 - GDPR only applies to Digital Processing Under GDPR, data processing covers both automated personal data and manual filing systems. Manual/paper records are included if they are part of a ‘relevant filing system’. This means papers stored systematically, for example, in a filing cabinet are probably included, but ad hoc paper files may not be.   Members should ensure that they apply the same levels of diligence to paper records as they do digital records and that any decisions made regarding the lawful basis for processing, adhering to data protection principles and upholding data subjects’ rights include paper records held.   Myth 8 - Under GDPR, accountants will only be seen as Data Processors and hence avoid much of the responsibility that falls on Data Controllers in this new regulation   The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has previously advised that it considers that an accountancy firm providing accountancy services acts as a data controller. The firm’s status as a data controller in relation to clients arises because the firm has flexibility over the manner in which it provides services to its clients and will not be simply acting on their instructions. In addition to this, the firm has its own professional responsibilities regarding record-keeping and confidentiality. Therefore, because an accountant “determines what information to obtain and process in order to do the work”, firms act as “controllers in common” with clients. Under GDPR, member firms will also be data controllers with regard to their firm data (e.g. employee information). If there is any doubt regarding your status as a processor or controller in relation to your firm’s activities, you should take legal advice. Going forward, firms will need to ensure that client terms and conditions reflect this reality, potentially extending engagement terms as appropriate.   No doubt, for many accounting practitioners, much work remains to be done to fully meet GDPR compliance requirements. Between now and the end of May, firms new to the process will need to examine their existing data processing, review their data protection policies, procedures & controls, and identify any gaps that need to be addressed. Following on from this, firms will need to implement any changes required in a structured documented manner to meet the needs of GDPR and continue to show full compliance long after the implementation date.   The Institute will continue to assist members on your GDPR compliance journey, with ongoing updates to our available guidance in this area and, should you have a specific query in this area, please feel free to contact the Practice Consulting Team.

Apr 19, 2018
Governance, Risk and Legal

With the GDPR deadline fast approaching, organisations should step up their efforts to ensure compliance writes Peter Bolger.   It is now eight weeks until the General Data Protection Regulation comes into force and it will have to be implemented by all businesses within the EU. Many companies have already taken steps to comply with the principles of this regulation but those who have not yet done so should urgently consider implementing GDPR strategies. Chartered Accountants need to incorporate new changes in their businesses, be it in private practice or in-house, in order to be GDPR compliant. GDPR was passed by EU legislators in 2016. Following this, there was a two-year lead-in period so that awareness could be raised about the changes GDPR will make to privacy law. This period, ending on 25 May 2018, also allows businesses to take the time to ensure they are compliant. This involves reviewing and updating any policies or practices on processing personal data. It is of utmost importance that businesses are compliant, insofar as possible, by this date. The Data Protection Bill 2018 has recently been published and is as important as GDPR. The Bill incorporates Ireland’s national implementing measures and also creates a new regulatory framework for enforcing data protection laws in Ireland. The Bill establishes the enforcement and administrative powers that are necessary to give effect to the intention of GDPR. Data protection officers In certain instances, it will be mandatory to appoint a data protection officer (DPO). This person will be responsible for advising the company on compliance with GDPR and will also act as a point of contact for data protection authorities and data subjects. Businesses must check whether or not they will need a DPO. Under GDPR, a DPO is required where the organisation is a public body; carries out large scale regular and systematic monitoring of individuals; or carries out large scale processing of special categories or data relating to criminal convictions and offences. The Article 29 Working Party has issued guidelines on DPOs. The guidelines note that managers and those who work in IT cannot assume this role. Fines It is extremely important to note that fines under GDPR are substantial. While the maximum penalty under the current regime is €100,000, fines under GDPR are much greater. Depending upon the nature of the breach, either the lower or higher threshold of fines will be imposed. The lower threshold of fines is up to 2% of an undertaking’s global turnover in the previous year or €10 million, whichever is higher. The higher threshold is up to 4% of an undertaking’s global turnover in the previous year or €20 million, whichever is higher. The Data Protection Bill provides that a decision of the Data Protection Commissioner to impose a fine can be appealed to the Circuit Court or the High Court. It should also be noted that under the Bill, most public bodies are exempt from administrative fines.  Data Protection Impact Assessments Data Protection Impact Assessments (DPIAs) will be mandatory under GDPR where high-risk processing is contemplated. High-risk processing may involve profiling, large scale processing of special categories of personal data or large scale processing of public areas. DPIAs are only mandatory where the processing of data is “likely to result in high risk to the rights and freedoms of natural persons”. The Article 29 Working Party has issued guidelines on DPIAs and states that the rights and freedoms in question may also involve freedom of speech, thought, movement, prohibition of discrimination and rights to liberty, conscience and religion. These rights could also trigger an obligation to carry out a DPIA. New data subject rights Data subjects have increased rights under GDPR. Organisations must learn how to comply with these new rights and it is likely that privacy policies will have to be reviewed and updated. GDPR introduces the right to data portability, the right to erasure and the right to object to profiling. Certain rights have been modified, such as the data subject access right (SAR). This gives an individual the right to receive a copy of his or her personal data, which the controller holds. The already tight timeframe of 40 calendar days has been reduced to within one month of receiving a valid access request. It is therefore essential that organisations have an efficient and correct procedure in place to comply with any SARs received. Consent GDPR increases the obligations on data processors and controllers to obtain an individual’s consent prior to processing any personal data. Consent forms will therefore also need to be reviewed and updated. Data subjects must be informed of their right to withdraw their consent to processing at any time. For consent to be valid under GDPR, it must be “freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous”. Consent to process data must be entirely separate from other consents related to the firm’s business. The Article 29 Working Party in its guidelines on consent pointed out that in the case of employment, where the employer is the data controller, an employee (i.e. the data subject) is rarely in a position to give free consent. This issue was also raised by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner. Organisations must have the resources in place, should a data subject wish to retract consent. It must be as easy to withdraw consent as it is to give it. Therefore, many companies are now assessing whether to rely on consent or another GDPR-compliant basis for their processing. Under the Data Protection Bill, Ireland has lowered the age of digital consent to 13.  Accountability Accountability is one of the main principles of GDPR. Organisations must assess whether they have a sufficient data protection programme in place. They must also provide evidence of how it complies with GDPR. This could be done by showing that it has implemented data protection policies through regular checks and testing. A significant amount of Irish companies are now carrying out GDPR compliance programmes to ensure that they are in a position to demonstrate this compliance. Data breaches GDPR will change the notification requirements in the event of a personal data breach. Organisations must put data breach policies in place and internal registers of breaches must be available for inspection. Data controllers will therefore need to document incidents of data breaches and remedial action taken. The Data Protection Commissioner will need to be notified where a breach is likely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals. In cases of high risks for the data subjects, data subjects generally must also be notified. In its guidelines on determining whether processing is “likely to results in a high risk”, the Article 29 Working Party stated that this risk exists where the breach may lead to physical, material or non-material damage to the data subject. The Data Protection Bill permits not-for-profit bodies to lodge complaints with the Data Protection Commissioner on behalf of data subjects in the event of a data breach. They are also permitted to bring a civil claim. Conclusion  The sooner preparation for GDPR begins, the more risks will be minimised and – importantly – the likelihood of fines being imposed. Becoming GDPR-compliant is a large undertaking for all organisations. Once the time is taken to put the proper policies and procedures in place, compliance will not be so difficult to achieve.   Peter Bolger is the Head of Intellectual Property, Technology and Privacy at LK Shields.

Mar 29, 2018
Governance, Risk and Legal

In 2017 the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) commissioned ComRes to undertake a survey of stakeholder views on all aspects of its work, including corporate governance and reporting as well as its effectiveness as a regulator. The results of the survey (PDF) are encouraging but also highlight areas where respondents felt the FRC can improve. There are high levels of confidence in corporate governance and reporting amongst key practitioners and market participants.   All respondents indicated they want the FRC to be more focused on outcomes. In 2017 the FRC updated its mission to promote transparency and integrity in business, and made changes to its governance structure to improve processes, including publication of a register of interests. The FRC website was redesigned to be more accessible and easier to navigate. Investors want the FRC to be more stringent in the way it enforces standards. Following an independent review of sanctions, a new regime will be implemented that strikes a balance between enforcing standards and encouraging businesses to improve the quality of their audit processes and corporate reporting. The FRC has invested to enhance its Enforcement division. As part of its review of corporate governance the FRC will consider whether there is a case for shortening corporate reports. Changes to the Stewardship Code and other measures will help achieve a step-change in the quality of engagement between corporates and investors

Jan 11, 2018
Thought leadership

By Níall Fitzgerald, Head of Ethics and Governance, Chartered Accountants Ireland Members may be aware that this week, 13th to 17th of November 2017, is Trustees' week.  Chartered Accountants Ireland is pleased to join with the Charities Regulatory Authority, the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland and other associations in using this week to highlight the merits of charity trusteeship. This is particularly relevant for our profession, given the number of members involved with charities across the island.  Through Trustees' Week, new and existing resources have been released by the regulator and various organisations to enable and support trustees in performance of their important role. Also congratulations to the winners of and all those involved in the Community, Voluntary and Charitable organisations Good Governance Awards in Republic of Ireland last night and best of luck to all those involved in the upcoming Third Sector Leadership and Good Governance awards in Northern Ireland. Recognising Trustees On behalf of the Institute, I would like to join in the appreciation of the work of trustees and volunteers who get involved in good causes. We especially extend our gratitude and admiration to all our members who get involved and acknowledge the valuable contribution they make in applying their professional skills and integrity as individuals and as Chartered Accountants.  Indeed, we at the Institute see Trustees' Week as a fit time to thank and pay tribute to the hundreds of volunteers on committees, societies, special interest groups as well as elected members of council for their commitment to our very own not for profit organisation, Chartered Accountants Ireland.  Without your support we could not function. Proportionate regulation There can be no doubting the important role our profession plays from a governance, ethics, financial reporting and auditing perspective to ensure confidence in the charity/not-for-profit sector and support accountability to donors, beneficiaries and other stakeholders. Chartered Accountants Ireland will continue to support initiatives and resources that empower charitable and not for profit organisations to achieve their charitable purpose effectively with integrity, transparency and efficiency. We are supportive of sensible and measured regulation in this sector including guidance and events that facilitate the efficient and effective implementation of suitable (and proportionate) compliance measures for organisations of all sizes in the sector. Supporting our trustees Over recent years, the Institute has placed more emphasis on supporting our members involved as trustees / directors of charities / not-for-profits, and have more resources available to help them be as effective as possible.  Relevant initiatives include: The Ethics and Governance Committee in Chartered Accountants Ireland is active in directing a number of projects that will support ethical decision making and good governance across all sectors including charities and not-for-profits. For example, this week the Institute is in Cork, Dublin and Galway to complete the last of our Focus groups on Ethics and Governance in the sector.  I would like to thank all members of boards and executives of charitable and not-for-profit organisations (members and non-members) across the island of Ireland who volunteered to participate and share their insights. The next edition of Accountancy Ireland will have an Ethics and Governance focus with a piece on Charities and not-for-profits. The Trustees of Chartered Accountants Ireland Educational Trust funded research that led to recent production of a book entitled “Charity Accounting and Reporting” by Hyndman et al and published by Chartered Accountants Ireland. The Practice Consulting team in the Institute are very active providing support to Chartered Accountant firms, including production of Procedures for Quality Audit (PQAs) for Charities across the island.Range of CPD events relevant for the sector The Chartered Accountants Ireland’s Charity and not–for-profit Group consistently provides support, guidance and advice. How you can help We would like to further support our members who are involved as trustees/directors on boards of charity and not-for-profit organisations (of all sizes) across the country. We would be delighted to hear from you and if you would join our mailing list please complete your details in the webform here. Finally, on behalf of the President of Chartered Accountants Ireland, Council, Chief Executive and staff, we say well done to all involved in Trustees' week and for the great work that takes place in this sector all year round.  Níall Fitzgerald, Head of Ethics and Governance

Nov 17, 2017
Financial Reporting

EFRAG has issued a draft endorsement advice letter and a separate invitation to comment relating to the endorsement for use in the EU of Amendments to IFRS 4: Applying IFRS 9 Financial Instruments with IFRS 4 Insurance Contracts Please click here for further details and relevant links.

Nov 17, 2016
Governance, Risk and Legal

Good corporate governance, by its nature, demands effective systems of internal control. Shareholders expect those charged with governance of the company to manage the risks the company faces and to put controls in place to deal with such risks. The UK Corporate Governance Code and Internal Control A principle of the UK Corporate Governance Code is that a company's board should "maintain sound risk management and internal control systems". The Code requires that the board monitors the company's risk management and internal control systems and, at least annually, carry out a review of their effectiveness, and report on that review in the annual report.    Other International Frameworks on Internal Control US Committee of Sponsoring Organisations of the Treadway Commission, US (COSO) COSO Internal Control - Integrated Framework (2013) COSO Entreprise Risk Management - Integrated Framework (2004) Hong-Kong Internal Control and Risk Management - A Basic Framework (2005) Further Reading on Internal Control Improving Organisational Performance and Governance - How the COSO Frameworks can Help,  COSO, February 2014 Evaluating and Improving Internal Control in Organisations, International Good Practice Guidance published by IFAC, June 2012. Internal Control from a Risk-Based Perspective - August 2007, IFAC Internal Controls - A Review of Current Developments - August 2006, IFAC  

Apr 15, 2016