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Thursday, 18th April 2024
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Cautious welcome for legislation proposals Back  
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI) has welcomed the publication of the draft heads of the Companies (Audit and Accountancy) (Amendment) Bill.
Brian Walsh, chief executive of ICAI said ‘The draft Heads reflect the main policy recommendations made by the Review Group on Auditing (RGA) which reported in July 2000 and which we support. We particularly welcome the provision (Head 22) which will give accountancy bodies statutory backing for their disciplinary processes. When the legislation is eventually enacted, we will move to a new model of supervised self-regulation and it is essential that the bodies have all the necessary powers to conduct inquiries.’
‘Overall, we are supportive of this draft legislation and the work which has been done by the Tanaiste’s Department and the Interim Irish Auditing and Accountancy Supervisory Board in progressing the RGA agenda’ added Walsh.
While welcoming the main provisions of the draft legislation the ICAI said there were a number of areas could be improved on, namely: the application of new reporting requirements to SMEs; the ability of IAASA to effectively supervise all ‘accountants’; and the funding of the proposed Financial Reporting Review Panel.
In relation to the application of new reporting requirements to SMEs the ICAI said it was ‘disappointed that the Section requiring a new Directors’ Compliance Statement will apply to SMEs’ because of the increasing burden of regulation already being placed on the sector. The institute was also not convinced that IAASA (Irish Audit and Accounting Standards Authority) would be able to meet its remit and regulate accountants who do not belong to any accountancy body.
The ICAI also expressed concern over how compliance inquiries would be funded. Walsh said ‘The draft heads suggest that the accountancy profession will be asked to contribute to the funding of (compliance of company accounts with Companies Acts) inquiries. While we fully support the carrying out of this function by IAASA we do not believe that it is appropriate to ask the accountancy profession to fund it as the profession will be funding 60 per cent of IAASA and already incurs significant costs in carrying out its own regulation.

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