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CPA president: auditing proposals ‘unworkable’ Back  
The proposal from the Review Group on Auditing that company directors should annually report on the company’s compliance with relevant statutory requirements is ‘patently unworkable and fundamentally anti-business’, according to the president of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Bernadette McGrory-Farrell.

Speaking at UCD recently McGrory-Farrell said, ‘There has been a concerted effort over many years to ease the burden of unnecessary red-tape which was stifling small business. This recommendation flies in the face of all such progress and is fundamentally anti-business. We cannot understand how this recommendation would actually work in practice and what value, if any, it would bring to corporate compliance in Ireland.’

‘This unworkable recommendation carries with it an additional burden for auditors who are asked to report on whether, in their opinion, the Directors’ report of the company’s compliance with its obligations is reasonable. Who can decide where the list of relevant statutory or regulatory requirements ends for business? A positive statement confirming compliance with taxation and company law requirements will be a difficult enough recommendation to introduce, but the additional recommendations are genuinely a step too far and have engendered a very negative reaction from members in business’ she said.

McGrory-Farrell added that feedback received from CPA members throughout the country indicated that the majority of SME company directors are simply not aware of the proposal. She said the onus was on the representative bodies of small and medium enterprises to study the implications and take action to ensure that unnecessary burden was not placed on their members.

The CPA intends to oppose the proposal that accountancy profession fund 60 per cent of the cost of the proposed oversight board.

‘While we recognise the need for ‘oversight’ to restore public confidence in the capacity of the profession to conduct its delegated regulatory role in an open and transparent manner, our members have serious concerns that the level of intervention proposed for the accountancy profession is markedly different than the level of oversight applying to other professions.’

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