Update on UK audit registration – after the Brexit transition period

Nov 18, 2020

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. This is 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 of the UK.  Audit firms currently registered in the UK by Chartered Accountants Ireland 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.