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 Regulatory Policy Board develops Institute policy with regard to regulatory matters and approves Institute Regulations governing regulation & discipline. The Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board (CARB), oversees and supervises how the Institute fulfils its regulatory and disciplinary remit.

Latest news

Professional Standards

The Joint Insolvency Committee (JIC) is consulting on the operation of Interim STATEMENT OF INSOLVENCY PRACTICE 6 ENGLAND & WALES – DECISION MAKING (SIP 6), published on 10 March 2017 effective from 6 April 2017. The Interim Statement of Insolvency Practice superseded and replaced the following Statements, in England and Wales only, from the effective date: SIP 8 ENGLAND & WALES - SUMMONING AND HOLDING MEETINGS OF CREDITORS CONVENED PURSUANT TO SECTION 98 OF THE INSOLVENCY ACT 1986 (SIP 8) SIP 10 ENGLAND & WALES – PROXY FORMS (SIP 10) SIP 12 ENGLAND & WALES – RECORDS OF MEETINGS IN FORMAL INSOLVENCY PROCEEDINGS (SIP 12) The equivalent SIPs in Scotland and Northern Ireland remain in force. Background Practitioners will be aware of the legislative changes that came into effect on 6 April 2017 with the commencement of the Insolvency (England & Wales) Rules 2016. The consequence of these legislative changes, particularly in relation to the manner in which formal decisions of the creditors are obtained, was that a number of the former Statements of Insolvency Practice (SIPs 8, 10 and 12) were no longer appropriate reflections of expected standards in light of the new legislation, and in some instances would have conflicted with the new legislative provisions. The Interim SIP 6 was developed by a working party of the Joint Insolvency Committee comprising insolvency practitioners and representatives of HMRC and the Insolvency Service and approved by the authorising bodies on an interim basis, without the usual public consultation. The decision to do this was taken because of the time constraints of the Rules implementation and the need to ensure that practitioners continued to have an appropriate regulatory framework in which to work, concurrently with the implementation date of the new Rules. Therefore, the SIP was issued on an interim basis, with the intention that it will be consulted upon, reviewed and amended (if necessary) and thereafter issued in its final form on or around 31 December 2017. The following approach was used in revising the SIP The SIP adopts the principles and key compliance standards format used for all new SIPs; The SIP applies to all office holders in all forms of insolvency proceedings, when obtaining a formal decision of the creditors via a deemed consent process or a qualifying decision procedure; The SIP additionally applies when assisting directors in their obtaining a decision of the creditors for the voluntary winding up of a company; SIP 10 and SIP 12 were largely superseded by specific provision within the new Rules. To the extent that regulatory provision was considered necessary in addition to the legislative requirements, this was incorporated into the principles and key compliance standards within SIP 6. The former SIP 8 required significant amount of information to be provided to the meeting of creditors held under s.98 of the Insolvency Act. Given that, in most instances, there is no longer be a physical meeting of the creditors for this purpose (appointment will usually be by deemed consent or virtual meeting), consideration was given to what information creditors might reasonably expect in order to make an informed decision and when that information ought reasonably to be provided. Consequently, elements of the information previously required by SIP 8 were retained in paragraph 12, but in a less prescriptive manner. The SIP provides that this information should be available to creditors not later than the business day prior to the decision date, where they request it. This was intended to be a proportionate provision, the operation of which is now being specifically reviewed in the below consultation at Question 5. JIC is also interested in feedback as to whether the interim SIP prevents innovative practices in decision making or fails to prevent other inappropriate practice. Question 8 is intended to capture respondents’ views on either of these topics. Consultation This consultation is issued on 1 September 2017 and will run for a period of 6 weeks, closing on 13 October 2017. Thereafter, consultation responses will be reviewed with a view to making any necessary amendments to the Interim SIP which, once approved by the authorising bodies, will be issued providing the customary notice period of one month prior to its effective date. Link to Consultation Questionnaire Link to Interim SIP 6 FINAL

Aug 31, 2017
Professional Standards

In April 2013, the insolvency authorising bodies issued guidance on the treatment of PPI claims in personal insolvency (“PPI Guidance”). That guidance was subsequently subject to minor revision in respect of notification to HMRC. A recent review of the current PPI Guidance by those issuing this guidance indicates that its provisions are unaffected by the decision in Green v Wright.  This updated guidance note is supplemental to the PPI Guidance and intended to provide clarification in respect of individual voluntary arrangements only.

Aug 17, 2017
Anti-money Laundering

Chartered Accountants Ireland (‘the Institute’) has today argued that new measures aimed at harmonising how professional bodies supervise compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) requirements represent only a “job half done”. The UK Government is proposing the establishment of a new State supervisory body – OPBAS ( Office for Professional Body Anti-money laundering Supervision) - which will be tasked with supervising how the twenty two professional bodies, including the legal and conveyancing professions, referenced in new anti-money laundering legislation supervise how their members in public practice – accountants, lawyers, insolvency professionals – comply with the new UK AML regime which took effect from June of this year. Commenting on the establishment of OPBAS, Aidan Lambe, Director, Professional Standards at Chartered Accountants Ireland said: “The Institute, in common with all of the professional bodies within the scope of these new proposals, recognises the important role that our professions have in the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. We are also supportive of the key purpose for the establishment of OPBAS as we believe strongly in a supervisory regime that is consistent, fair, proportionate and risk based, having regard to the public interest.  However, the current approach is unlikely to achieve this, at least within the accountancy sector, as it ignores AML supervision of those ‘accountants’ who do not belong to a particular professional accountancy body. While such accountants are subject to supervision by HMRC for AML compliance, they are not required to comply with the same rigorous technical, ethical and general practice standards required by professional accountancy bodies.  And since HMRC supervision is outside the scope of OPBAS, there is a real risk of the emergence of regulatory arbitrage and supervision shopping. The potential for resulting inconsistencies in how the accounting profession is supervised and the standards to which its members are held defeats one of the original underlying reasons for the establishment of OPBAS in the first place.  The Institute’s submission on the establishment of OPBAS also raises concerns on the absence of any detailed information on how its funding costs will be met and identifies further concerns expressed by smaller accounting firms in particular. Mr Lambe commented: “The regulated accounting profession is being asked to fund a supervisory mechanism that is not fit for purpose and which will drive inconsistent supervision. Government therefore should give further thought to this and bring forward an alternative model that will address this concern. “For the most part, we believe that the susceptibility of our practising firms to being used as a front for criminal activity is low.  However, we are concerned that the expectations of regulators such as OPBAS regarding the implementation and application of the new UK AML provisions may have a disproportionate impact on small accounting firms. It is incumbent on all supervisory and regulatory agencies to have regard to the proportionality provisions that exist within AML legislation.” ENDS REF:  Aidan Lambe, Director of Professional Standards, Chartered Accountants Ireland, M:  +353 87 2445102. NOTE TO EDITORS: Chartered Accountants Ireland is Ireland's largest and longest established professional body of accountants founded in 1888. The Institute currently represents 25,500 members around the world and over 4,000 members in Northern Ireland.

Aug 17, 2017

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