The changes keep coming, are you staying on top of these?

Oct 01, 2018

Jeremy Twomey writes:

With autumn’s arrival, it is timely to look back at the key events thus far in 2018 that have impacted accountancy practitioners. As in previous years, regulatory and legislative change has continued apace, including:

  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force across Europe on
    25 May, resulting in the largest change to the Irish & UK Data Privacy regimes in over a generation, with wide ranging effects on all businesses, including accountants; and
  • The Companies (Statutory Audits) Act 2018 was signed into Irish law in late July, with its resulting principal changes for practitioners outlined in a dedicated article in Technical Signpost below.

It is fair to say that achieving compliance with these new requirements presents a challenge for practitioners, especially so soon after the introduction of the Small and
Micro Company regimes in ROI via the Companies (Accounting) Act 2017, as well as the new and separate Auditing Frameworks for Ireland and the UK early last year.

2018 has thus far also been a very busy year for the Institute’s Practice Consulting team, as we work to assist our members across the island in meeting the challenges they face. Our Training courses in the areas of Auditing, Financial Reporting and GDPR are proving particular popular. We have developed these three courses to address the practical needs of our members, providing clear examples of how to address the issues in each respective area that both you and your clients face each day. An example from our Financial Reporting course includes how to meet the various financial statements note disclosure requirements under the Small & Micro Company regimes.

We use the experience that we have gained from numerous compliance assignments at practices over the years, together with the knowledge garnered from developing our practice aids such as Pro Forma Financial Statements, Procedures for Quality Audit (PQAs) and our recent comprehensive GDPR guidance and related templates. Marrying these with insights from the Institute’s Professional Standards Department on key regulatory compliance issues that they see at firms as part of their monitoring role, our courses help to ensure that both you, and your clients, stay ahead of emerging issues and meet your regulatory requirements. Feedback that we have received over recent months on these courses has been very positive and each carries a 3 hours CPD credit.

Looking ahead, our upcoming courses during the autumn months include courses on Auditing and Financial Reporting in five regional centres across the island (Belfast, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Sligo), as well as Dublin. We typically provide both of these courses in one day at each centre, allowing participants to attend both courses, should they wish. Further details on the dates and times during November and December for each course/location, as well as booking details, are available on the Professional Development area of the Institute website.
The option of availing of these three courses in-house at your firm also continues to be very much in demand. This option allows you to tailor a particular course to your firm/staff’s specific needs, while having one of our consultants provide a course at your practice is a particularly cost efficient way to meet CPD requirements for both you and your staff. One very popular example of such an in-house course over recent months is our half day GDPR consultation, where one of our team can visit your firm and offer practical advice and guidance on how to tailor your procedures, make progress on your GDPR journey, and meet key compliance milestones.

Other courses that we are running during October and November at the Institute include two courses focused on regulated areas. The first in late October focuses on Accounting and Auditing for Charities and Not-for-Profit Entities, while the second in late November concentrates on other Regulated Entities such as Insurance Brokers, Auctioneers, Owners’ Management Companies, Occupational Pension Schemes and Solicitors. If you are providing accounting or audit services to any of these organisations, then these courses may be for you, as we provide practical updates on the recent key changes in the standards, regulations and legislation affecting these sectors.

As you prepare for the remaining busy months of the year, and indeed for 2019, it may be worthwhile taking some time now to consider your current CPD requirements and how best to tackle these needs. As ever, my colleague Conal Kennedy and I are available to contact (see contact points below) on any of your practice related training needs over the coming months.