News 2021

Professional Standards

Changes to SIP 16 and SIP 13 – Effective Date 30 April 2021 The Administration (Restrictions on Disposal etc. to Connected Persons) Regulations 2021 (the Regulations) come into effect on 30 April 2021. The Regulations impose additional obligations on connected person purchasers in administrations. Equivalent legislation is not yet in force in Northern Ireland. SIP Changes These legislative changes mean that it has been necessary to make changes to Statement of Insolvency Practice 16 (pre packaged sales in administrations) and Statement of Insolvency Practice 13 (disposal of assets to connected parties in an insolvency process) to align the content of the SIPs with the law. No changes have been made to the SIPs other than those required by the change in the law. The revised SIPs are SIP 16 - pre packaged sales in administrations (England and Wales) SIP 16 - pre packaged sales in administrations (Scotland) SIP 13 - disposal of assets to connected parties in an insolvency process (England and Wales) SIP 13 - disposal of assets to connected parties in an insolvency process (Scotland) The Joint Insolvency Committee has amended SIP 16 to remove references to the Pre Pack Pool and to replace these with reference to the statutory obligation placed on a connected person purchaser to obtain the opinion of an evaluator. The Regulations apply to transactions that take place within 8 weeks of the appointment of an administrator. This extends the scope of the Regulations beyond pre pack administrations to all administrations within that time frame. That means equivalent changes had to be made to SIP 13 as it applies to any connected party transaction in an insolvency process. Effective Date The new SIPs will be effective from 30 April 2021. IPs should take care to familiarise themselves with the Regulations and the new SIPs prior to that date. No changes in Northern Ireland at this time Northern Ireland has yet to enact equivalent legislation, though it is expected to adopt similar requirements by 29 June 2021. Until that time, the changes to SIP 16 and SIP 13 will only apply in England and Wales and Scotland. Statement of Insolvency Practice 4 - disqualification of directors When new legislative provisions for the reporting obligations of insolvency office holders on the conduct of those who formerly controlled a company came into effect from 6 April 2016 it was intended that Statement of Insolvency Practice 4 (SIP 4) - disqualification of directors would be withdrawn. However, there were still some ongoing cases where an office holder was able to submit a paper conduct return rather than use the online reporting tool. The Insolvency Service has informed the Joint Insolvency Committee that all such cases should now be complete. SIP 4 will therefore be withdrawn effective 30 April 2021

Apr 14, 2021
Professional Standards

Professional Standards Department has just published Issue 28 of the Regulatory Bulletin. Click on the link provided to access this publication.

Mar 25, 2021
Professional Standards

Regulatory Fee invoices for 2021 are available online at the Myaccount portal of the website. If you are having any problems or difficulty accessing these or making payment, please contact Sam Smiley, Professional Standards Dept.

Mar 25, 2021
Professional Standards

The UK Financial Intelligence Unit (UKFIU) in conjunction with the Office for Professional Body AML Supervision (OPBAS) has issued Guidance on how to submit better quality suspicious activity reports (SARs). This document aims to provide AML supervisors, including the Professional Body Supervisors with guidance on how they and their supervised populations should submit better quality SARs to the National Crime Agency (NCA). This Guidance explains what information should be included within the SAR and provides examples of good practice.

Mar 22, 2021
Professional Standards

Upcoming SARs webinar (UK) – 27 April (12-1.30) You are invited to a webinar on SARs for the accountancy sector, with presentations from MLROs from the larger UK firms and the UKFIU. The webinar is aimed at MLROs to help them understand their obligations. The webinar will cover the following topics: The key money laundering risks in the accountancy sector; The role and responsibilities of the MLRO and Nominated Officer; What constitutes suspicion, what is a Defence Against Money Laundering (DAML) and a practical explanation of the relevant legislation; Real-life examples and case studies; Top tips on filing a good SAR and a reminder on how to report one externally to the NCA; 30 minutes Q&A The webinar is free and firms can sign up at the link below (ICAEW offered to run the event and give behind-the-scenes support): Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) and the accountancy sector (icaew.com)

Mar 05, 2021
Professional Standards

Following a Joint Insolvency Committee consultation changes are being made to three Statements of Insolvency Practice. The changes will take effect from the 1st April 2021. The updated SIPs are: SIP 3.2 Company Voluntary Arrangements SIP 7 Presentation of financial information in insolvency proceedings SIP 9 Payments to insolvency office holders and their associates from an estate (Northern Ireland) SIP 9 Payments to insolvency office holders and their associates from an estate (England)  SIP 9 Payments to insolvency office holders and their associates from an estate (Scotland) Insolvency Practitioners should familiarise themselves with the new SIPs prior to their effective date of commencement.  These SIPs were issued for consultation in May 2020 and detailed background information is available here.

Feb 22, 2021
Professional Standards

Professional Standards recently attended a presentation by the Metropolitan Police on key crime indicators within the accountancy sector. The information was based on real-life investigations and focussed on red flags that accountants may come across when reviewing accounting records which may in certain circumstances raise suspicion, including: Lack of sales records Income received at odd times of day Lack of assets Lack of staff costs Loans For more information click here. If you have knowledge or suspicion of money laundering this should be reported to the firm’s MLRO who will consider whether a Suspicious Activity Report needs to be made to the National Crime Agency.

Feb 09, 2021
Professional Standards

The Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 (as amended) require firms to take the appropriate steps to identify and assess the risk that they could be used for money laundering, including terrorist financing. The Accountancy AML Supervisors Group (AASG) in the UK has identified those circumstances where there might be a high risk of money laundering or terrorist financing in the accountancy sector. This Guidance also reflects the key risks and threats highlighted within the UK’s National Risk Assessment 2020.

Jan 22, 2021
Professional Standards

From 1 January 2021 separate Audit Regulations and Guidance for the UK have been introduced.  UK specific Audit Regulations and Guidance are necessary to reflect the new relationship between the UK and EU as a consequence of Brexit.  The draft UK Audit Regulations have been published on the Institute’s website and are applicable from 1 January 2021.  Approval of the final UK Audit Regulations and Guidance is pending. From 1 January 2021, firms and individuals registered by the Institute as statutory audit firms and statutory auditors in the UK will comply with the new UK Audit Regulations and Guidance.   The Institute’s Audit Regulations and Guidance effective from 1 January 2020 continues to apply in the Republic of Ireland (‘ROI’) but will no longer apply in respect of the UK after 31 December 2020.    From 1 January 2021 an audit firm registered by the Institute in both ROI and the UK will have to ensure compliance with two sets of Audit Regulations. The UK Audit Regulations and Guidance do not bring significant changes for UK registered audit firms. The main change for firms pertains to the eligibility of EEA auditors and EEA audit firms for inclusion in the majority of owners and managers of a UK audit firm.  We consider that this change is unlikely to have an impact on firms currently registered by the Institute for audit purposes in the UK.  The ownership rules for a UK registered audit firm from 1 January 2021 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. Until 31 December 2020 EEA auditors and EEA audit firms could also be counted towards the majority of owners and managers in a UK audit firm.  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 passed, or applied for, or passed, a relevant aptitude test before 31 December 2020.

Jan 08, 2021

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