Conditional welcome for white collar crime package – Chartered Accountants Ireland

Nov 02, 2017

Institute cautions appropriate resources and expertise required to effect change

Chartered Accountants Ireland (‘the Institute’) has today welcomed the forthcoming publication of the Companies (Statutory Audits) Bill, 2017 as the final piece in the regulatory framework for supervising statutory auditors, particularly auditors of so-called ‘public interest entities’. The Bill forms part of the Government’s package of reforms aimed at combatting ‘white collar’ crime. The new Bill originates from EU legislation introduced in 2014 and which was partially implemented in Ireland in mid-2016. 

The Bill contains measures aimed at underpinning the Irish Auditing and Accounting Authority (‘IAASA’) as the single competent authority in the State for the regulation and supervision of statutory audit and auditors while at the same time, overseeing how the Recognised Accountancy Bodies (‘RABs’) discharge those obligations conferred on them by the new legislation. 

Commenting on the proposed legislation, Aidan Lambe, Director, Professional Standards at the Institute said:

“The Institute and IAASA share a common interest in ensuring public confidence in statutory audit and in the conduct of statutory audit firms. In that regard, it is imperative that the legislation is clear as regards the respective roles and responsibilities of IAASA and the RABs and that the structures it establishes provide appropriate public confidence. The Institute will be examining the legislation against this benchmark and commenting to DBEI in due course. However, critical to its effectiveness will be a commitment by all relevant parties to ensuring appropriate resources and expertise are made available to fulfil a complex and challenging function.”

Commenting on the wider package, Mr Lambe said:

“The Institute has long argued that Ireland’s laws regarding white collar crime and corruption are unduly complex and spread over too wide a range of different pieces of legislation including company law, criminal justice legislation, financial services legislation and tax law. The number of government departments and agencies party to today’s announcement demonstrates this. Creating a future joined up approach, while very much welcome, represents a significant challenge for legislators which should not be underestimated. The future success of this initiative will depend on the commitment of adequate resources to allow for the building out of relevant knowledge and expertise at an appropriately high level and also the ability of the range of government departments and agencies involved to work together and avoid any potential for interdepartmental rivalries.”

See original release

ENDS

For reference: Karen Jones, Gibney Communications, 01 661 0402 / 086 8664501

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