Professional Standards

What we do

The Professional Standards Department of Chartered Accountants Ireland, along with relevant compliance and disciplinary committees, is responsible for the delivery of the Institute's regulatory and disciplinary obligations which derive both from statute and its own Bye-Laws and Regulations.
The Professional Standards Board develops Institute Policy with regard to regulatory matters and approves Institute Regulations governing regulation and discipline. It also oversees PSD in its delivery of the Institute’s regulatory and disciplinary functions.

Latest news

Professional Standards

Chartered Accountants Ireland (‘the Institute’) is recognised under various statutes in Ireland and the UK as having specific supervisory and regulatory obligations in respect of its membership, particularly those in public practice.  The Professional Standards Department of the Institute is responsible for the exercise of its regulatory functions through a regime that includes regulatory and disciplinary committees and bodies comprising accountants and non-accountants.  Due to a number of retirements, the Institute is seeking to recruit for a number of positions on these committees.  At present, we are interested in hearing from both members and non-accountants who may be interested in these roles. If you would like to know more about these roles, please click CAI committee member recruitment- Info pack for applicants for further information. If you would like to request an application form please email: committeerecruitment@charteredaccountants.ie. Alternatively, if you would like to speak with someone please contact Aidan Lambe, Director, Professional Standards by email or telephone 00353 1 6377307. The closing date for applications will be 31 January 2021.

Dec 03, 2020
Professional Standards

As the end of the Brexit transition period approaches on 31 December 2020, clarity is finally emerging in relation to the implications for audit registration in Ireland and the UK after the transition period. The important news for auditors and audit firms registered by the Institute is that the status quo will continue for the majority of firms in both Ireland and the UK after 1 January 2021. Irish audit registration – after the Brexit transition period Since 2018 Brexit has cast uncertainty over the position of ‘UK-based’ (however interpreted) auditors registered by the Institute vis-à-vis eligibility to audit Irish entities post Brexit.  The Institute has kept members informed of any developments in this regard and has outlined our position that there is no basis for the Institute to remove its ‘UK-based’ auditors from the Irish audit register as a consequence of Brexit unless there is a change in Irish company law or a formal direction from IAASA to the Institute.    Recent engagement with IAASA has confirmed that there will not be any legislative change or regulatory direction in this regard. Therefore the status quo will continue in Ireland from 1 January 2021 for the Institute’s UK-based auditors and audit firms, as long as those individuals and firms continue to meet the eligibility criteria (unchanged) set out in the Institute’s Audit Regulations and the Companies Act 2014.  The Professional Standards department will be writing to audit compliance principals of statutory audit firms in more detail in the coming weeks. It is welcome news for the auditors and audit firms registered by the Institute in Ireland and based outside of the jurisdiction, that there will be no change to their status on the Irish audit register from January 2021. In the longer term, however, Brexit may impact on the number of UK-based firms on the Irish audit register as the audit regulatory requirements in Ireland and the UK continue to diverge over time.   Audit firms who are registered in Ireland but do not have any Irish audit clients may find that the burden of complying with distinctly Irish regulatory requirements is no longer worthwhile and may choose to cease their Irish audit registration. Related Matters regarding Irish audit registration While not of direct relevance to Institute members and audit firms, it is worth mentioning that Irish company law provides a mechanism for approval of third country auditors in Ireland.  From 1 January 2021 auditors based in the UK who are not a member of the Institute or another Recognised Accountancy Body would have to avail of this mechanism if they want to be eligible to audit Irish entities. The Companies Act 2014 in Ireland provides for the approval of third country auditors as Irish statutory auditors where certain criteria are met.  These criteria include the existence of reciprocal arrangements regarding auditor approval between Ireland and the third country concerned as well as the completion of an aptitude test by the third country auditor.  The Companies Act 2014 also allows for exemption from that aptitude test to be granted in certain circumstances.  We understand that IAASA and the Financial Reporting Council (‘FRC’) in the UK are working on developing reciprocal arrangements which would support the operation of a regime in Ireland for approving third country auditors from the UK.   The Institute currently administers an aptitude test for third country auditors and is engaging with IAASA in relation to guidelines for granting exemptions from the aptitude test. UK audit registration – after the Brexit transition period After 31 December 2020, audit registration in the UK will continue without interruption for individual statutory auditors (responsible individuals) registered by Chartered Accountants Ireland given the status of the Institute as a Recognised Supervisory Body (‘RSB’) in the UK, regardless of whether the responsible individual is based in the UK or Ireland.  There will be no change to the UK audit registration of the majority of audit firms registered in the UK by Chartered Accountants Ireland regardless of whether the audit firm is based in Ireland or in the UK.  Audit firms currently registered in the UK by the Institute can retain UK audit registration after 31 December 2020 if the UK firm ownership rules are met.  The ownership rules for a UK registered audit firm after 31 December 2020 will require that the majority of the voting rights on the ownership body and management body of the firm are held by: Individuals holding an audit qualification from a UK RSB (including Chartered Accountants Ireland) Audit firms approved by a UK RSB (including Chartered Accountants Ireland) Individuals who hold EEA qualifications, who have passed or applied to sit a relevant aptitude test by 31 December 2020. The change in the ownership rules impacts firms who count EEA qualified auditors (who are not qualified by a UK RSB) and EEA audit firms in their majority of qualified owners and managers.  From 1 January 2021 the qualified majority of owners and managers can only include EEA auditors (who are not qualified by a UK RSB) if the EEA auditors have applied for, or passed, a relevant aptitude test before 31 December 2020. This change may affect a small number of firms.  

Dec 03, 2020
Professional Standards

The UK Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has produced 3 Podcasts on SARS and these are available free online.  We strongly encourage you to take time to listen to these useful and informative podcasts. Podcast 1: SARs Frequently asked Questions Podcast 2: How SARs reporters can help combat Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking Podcast 3: What makes a good quality SAR?

Nov 26, 2020