News 2018

Professional Standards

Please note we have recently issued our first and second reminder letters and emails regarding the Individual Annual Returns (IAR) for 2018.  Submission of the IAR is required in accordance with the CPD Regulations and the Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) may take action against any member that does not comply.  To avoid referral to the QAC please complete and submit your return as soon as possible and certainly no later than 4 January 2019. We look forward to your cooperation in this matter.

Dec 07, 2018
Professional Standards

We have recently updated you on information that has become available regarding audit registration status for those firms holding audit registration from Chartered Accountants Ireland (‘the Institute’) in the event of a ‘no-deal Brexit’.    You can see that information at this link. https://www.charteredaccountants.ie/Professional-Standards/Public-Information/News/2017/Articles/important-information-re-implications-for-audit-registration-of-a-no-deal-brexit In that update we referred to the announcement, in late October, from the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (‘IAASA’) that, in the absence of any transitional arrangements that might be contained in any withdrawal agreement, and based on advice received from Ireland’s Attorney General, UK-based audit firms would no longer meet the eligibility criteria for approval as EU statutory auditors and therefore would not be entitled to hold audit appointments for Irish companies post Brexit.  After 29th March, therefore, UK-based auditors would be unable to sign audit reports on Irish entities and as such, will no longer be eligible for inclusion on the Irish audit register.  This situation would apply to all UK-based auditors regardless of which recognised accountancy body the firm is a member of.   While it is hoped that the above scenario can be avoided by virtue of appropriate transitional arrangements, we are engaging with the Irish authorities to understand the implications of a no-deal Brexit for our members who are UK-based firms.  We have raised a range of questions with IAASA in that regard, including those set out below.  We understand that these will be discussed with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.  The Institute will keep you informed as we get any further clarifications.   If you have any additional questions in relation to the possible implications of a no-deal Brexit for your firm please share them with us at professionalstandards@charteredaccountants.ie. You can read our key questions here.

Nov 29, 2018
Brexit

We would like to update you, our members, on information that has recently become available regarding audit registration status for those firms holding audit registration from Chartered Accountants Ireland (‘the Institute’) in the event of a ‘no-deal Brexit’.  At present, the audit regulatory framework that exists between the UK and Ireland is such that firms holding audit registration from the Institute are able to hold audit appointments in respect of both UK and Irish entities.  In simple terms, for example, this has enabled statutory audit firms ‘located’ in  Northern Ireland or Great Britain to audit Irish registered entities while statutory audit firms ‘located’ in Ireland have been able to audit UK-registered entities.   In recent weeks, both the UK and Ireland have provided further information in respect of the recognition of statutory audit firms post Brexit.  As regards the UK, the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (‘BEIS’) has confirmed that in the UK, the status quo will remain, deal or no-deal, at least until December 2020.    However, in late October the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (‘IAASA’) announced that, in the absence of any transitional arrangements that might be contained in any withdrawal agreement, and based on advice received from Ireland’s Attorney General, UK-based audit firms would no longer meet the eligibility criteria for approval as EU statutory auditors and therefore would not be entitled to hold audit appointments for Irish companies post Brexit.  After 29th March, therefore, UK-based auditors would be unable to sign audit reports on Irish entities and as such, will no longer be eligible for inclusion on the Irish audit register.   Irish company law does, of course, make provision for the recognition of statutory auditors from a ‘Third Country’, which is what the UK will become post-Brexit.  However, such recognition is subject to appropriate regulatory arrangements being established between Third Country jurisdictions and Ireland (IAASA) which would include equivalence/reciprocity regimes etc.  In spite of the existing arrangements essentially reflecting such a regime, formalising such new arrangements will take time and unlikely to meet the 29 March 2019 deadline.   While it is hoped that the above scenario can be avoided by virtue of appropriate transitional arrangements, I believe it is appropriate, and as counselled by IAASA, to advise those firms (UK-based) who may be impacted by the above to consider what action they may need to take as regards audit appointments of Irish companies they may have.   Specific issues firms will need to consider will include:   The need to make contingencies as regards the audits of Irish entities in the event of a no-deal Brexit – e.g. advising clients of this possibility and the logistics of the client identifying an alternative auditor located in Ireland; Whether it might be possible to undertake and complete statutory audits of Irish entities, including signing the audit reports before 29th March 2019, having due regard to audit quality;  Whether the audit firm has an office ‘located’ in Ireland to which the audit appointment might be reassigned, or whether within the network of which the audit firm might be a member, there is an Irish located firm to which the appointment might be transferred. Note that there is at present no clarity or certainty to this particular point.This is one of a number of matters that have been raised with regulatory bodies. Further information on the respective UK and Irish positions regarding statutory audit can be found:    Accounting and Audit if there is No-Brexit Deal; and IAASA Breakfast Briefing Summary  The Institute continues to engage with relevant regulatory bodies and Governments on this issue and related issues with a view to obtaining further clarifications and explanations.  In this regard, specifically, we have provided a series of questions and scenarios to IAASA. We shall keep you advised of additional information as it becomes known. You can read our key questions here.   While the above is likely to arise only in the event of no ‘withdrawal agreement’ between the UK and the EU, it is important that firms be aware of the possible outcomes if such occurs. If there is anyone with any queries or concerns, please contact Aidan Lambe, Director of Professional Standards, Chartered Accountants Ireland. Aidan.lambe@charteredaccountants.ie

Nov 27, 2018
Professional Standards

Chartered Accountants Ireland as a member of the Accountants Affinity Group, is working in partnership with the Home Office and National Crime Agency to tackle the serious threat of money laundering to our industry. The Flag It Up! campaign can help you to protect yourself and your business reputation from money launderers. For more information see https://flagitup.campaign.gov.uk/.

Nov 14, 2018
Professional Standards

The Investment Business Regulations have been amended to reflect the transposition of the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) into Irish Legislation by the European Union (Insurance Distribution) Regulations 2018.  We have previously notified firms of these developments in May 2018, July 2018 and September 2018.  This information is available in the professional standards news section. The European Union (Insurance Distribution) Regulations basically remove all insurance activities from the Approved Professional Body regime.  Firms providing such activities have to be authorised directly by Central Bank of Ireland (CBI).  The CBI has also advised that the activity of purely acting as an introducer or referrer to a third party would no longer be an activity requiring authorisation. The majority of the amendments to the Investment Business Regulations relate to the transposition of the IDD but we have also taken this opportunity to tidy up other conforming amendments such as the removal of the term Multi-Agency Intermediaries as such entities are no longer recognised by CBI.

Nov 12, 2018
Professional Standards

Please note we have recently issued our first reminder letters and emails regarding the Individual Annual Returns (IAR) for 2018.  Submission of the IAR is required in accordance with the CPD Regulations and the QAC may take action against any member that does not comply. We look forward to your cooperation in this matter.

Nov 07, 2018
Professional Standards

Firms authorised by the Institute under the Investment Intermediaries Act, 1995 have been advised previously of a significant change to the scope of investment business activities that may be carried on under the Institute’s Investment Business Regulations.  The EU (Insurance Distribution) Regulations 2018 take effect from 1 October 2018.  One consequence of this is to remove from the scope of the Investment Business Regulations the provision of advice on insurance or insurance based products (including insurance based pensions products).  Firms wishing to engage in this activity will require separate authorisation by the Central Bank, details of which were previously advised to firms and may be found here (included in May circular).  From 1 October, firms may not conduct such activity under their Institute investment business authorisation. Firms should also note that the activity of simply referring a client to a third party for advice on insurance products (where the firm has no further role or involvement) no longer requires any form of authorisation. The Institute can continue to authorise firms to conduct the remaining activities set out in the Investment Business Regulations.  Revised regulations reflecting these changes will be issued shortly.

Sep 28, 2018
Professional Standards

Following the introduction of “Regulatory Objectives” for Recognised Professional Bodies (RPBs) in October 2015, the Insolvency Service has undertaken a number of reviews to assess the effectiveness of the regulatory regime. As part of the reviews, the Insolvency Service visited each RPB to assess how they carry out their monitoring and regulatory functions and have also undertaken a themed review on how insolvency practitioners (IPs) working at volume Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) providers are regulated. The Review of the monitoring and regulation of insolvency practitioners represents a summary of the findings to date. We are pleased to note that the conclusion of the review of Chartered Accountants Ireland stated ‘the review found that CAI is operating effectively when exercising monitoring and regulatory activities and no issues of concern were noted’. The Insolvency Service will be continuing their oversight activities in the coming months, as they move towards making a decision on whether to introduce a single regulator, as provided for in the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015.

Sep 26, 2018
Professional Standards

Your Individual Annual Return 2018 is available for completion online.  Please ensure it is submitted by 31 October 2018. Click here for your Individual Annual Return.

Sep 10, 2018
Professional Standards

Implementing the Insurance Distribution Directive Legislative changes that implement the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) in the UK come into effect on 1 October 2018. The DPB Handbook has been updated to incorporate these changes and will be effective from 1 October 2018. The IDD aims to ensure harmonisation of insurance regulation across the EU, creating a consistent regulatory framework to raise conduct standards and improve consumer protection. The IDD applies to insurers, insurance intermediaries, price comparison websites/aggregators and ancillary insurance intermediaries. The full requirements of IDD place significant additional burden on FCA authorised firms. However Chartered Accountants Ireland, together with, ICAEW and ICAS, has chosen to implement the IDD via the ancillary insurance intermediary (AII) route. This means that our DPB licensed firms may only act as ancillary insurance intermediaries as defined within the legislation. This approach minimises the additional burden of regulation and reflects the nature of the insurance distribution activities carried out by our DPB licensed firms. The DPB Regime allows an activity to be complementary or to arise out of a professional service. Firms need to be aware that the scope for acting as an ancillary insurance intermediary under the IDD is narrower and only permits the distribution of complementary insurance products whose cover complements the good or service. It will enable DPB licensed firms to continue to offer common products such as tax fee protection insurance, but will prevent them from engaging in any regulated activities relating to insurance based investment products (IBIPs) and products relating to large risks from 1 October 2018. The majority of the changes to the handbook only apply to firms which provide insurance distribution activities. However, some of the changes needed to implement the IDD will have implications for all DPB licensed firms. This is all discussed in more detail below. Revised DPB Handbook - effective date 1 October 2018 Changes that impact all DPB licensed firms Further changes relevant to DPB licensed firms that distribute insurance Schedule of Amendments

Sep 06, 2018

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