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March 2022

Audit guidance in response to the Ukraine crisis
No one can fail to be appalled by the actions of the Russian Government and the awful situation for Ukraine and its people. Although insignificant in comparison, many ICAEW regulated audit firms will face some challenges and difficult decisions as a result.

Professional Standards Update: March 2022 
Read the March update from ICAEW Professional Standards. 

Investment business: keeping on the right side of compliance
Complying with the requirements of your firm’s DPB (Investment Business) licence needn’t be onerous if you follow some simple good practices. 

Audit monitoring: telling the story 
ICAEW’s audit monitoring report for 2020/21 shows most firms reached a good standard. But it also flags areas for improvement, highlights how root cause analysis can boost performance, and urges firms to tell an audit story.

An opportunity to contribute
The ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB) is currently recruiting new members. We talk to existing board members about their background, why they decided to serve, the benefits and challenges, and the need for a blend of skills. 

Changes to UK sanctions in response to developments in Ukraine
Frequently asked questions about changes to UK sanctions against Russia, in response to the conflict in Ukraine.

CCAB publishes joint guidance on Russia sanctions
The Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies has issued joint guidance for the profession on the situation in Ukraine.

Disciplinary update: March 2022
The March disciplinary update is now available, and we recommend reading the update to familiarise yourself with the latest cases we are seeing.

Investment business: keeping on the right side of compliance
Complying with the DPB (Investment Business) licence requirements needn’t be onerous if you follow some simple good practices. We look at the common problems that come up during ICAEW quality assurance monitoring visits, and offer tips to make sure your firm doesn’t make the same mistakes.

ICAEW Disciplinary Framework consultation: have your say before the deadline
The ICAEW Regulatory Board’s consultation on proposed changes to the disciplinary framework closes later this month. The proposals aim to simplify it and make it more accessible to users.

February 2022

Audit monitoring: telling the story
ICAEW’s audit monitoring report for 2020/21 shows most firms reached a good standard. But it also flags areas for improvement, highlights how root cause analysis can boost performance, and urges firms to tell an audit story.

Third country audit registration in EU
Firms seeking to secure the audit of an entity with an overseas listing that involves registration for the first time with a particular EU state need to allow the necessary timescales to get this through for their reporting period.

Professional Standards Update: February 2022
Read the February update from ICAEW Professional Standards.

Be prepared for Quality Management standards
Even the smallest firm needs to ensure it is prepared for compliance with the new standards from December 2022.

Please plan ahead: regulatory applications and firm structure changes
ICAEW is implementing a new records management system this spring. As the new system goes live, there may be some disruption to our usual processing times, particularly during March and April. If you or your firm is considering a new regulatory application or change (e.g., to the structure of your firm or to your own registration record), please contact regulatorysupport@icaew.com at the earliest opportunity. Please note, you must notify us of any changes to the structure of your firm within 10 business days of the change. Read more information about maintaining your firm’s record is.

An opportunity to contribute
The ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB) is currently recruiting new members. We talk to existing board members about their background, why they decided to serve, the benefits and challenges, and the need for a blend of skills.

The IRB: building a board for the future
The ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB) is at a critical point in its development. It recently announced the appointment of a new chair and is currently recruiting new members. We talk to serving board members and the chair of the independent Regulatory and Conduct Appointments Committee about what makes an effective board, why diversity – in all its forms – is so important, and what qualities prospective members could bring to the mix.

Is trust enough? AML and professional scepticism
ICAEW’s latest educational drama film, All Too Familiar, examines the role of professional scepticism in the fight against economic crime. Produced in collaboration with HMRC, the film looks at a real life scenario of how firms and individuals may inadvertently become ‘professional enablers’ for criminals involved in everything from financial fraud to modern slavery and terrorism.

COVID-support fraud: staying vigilant on the frontline
Fraudsters have been targeting COVID-19 business support schemes since their inception. And although the key programmes ended during 2021, the issue has not gone away. For accountancy firms now preparing year-end accounts, staying alert to COVID-related fraud is more important than ever.

Disciplinary update: February 2022
Since our last update, 3 tribunal findings and a settlement order have been published as well as 14 consent orders issued by the Investigation Committee.

January 2022

AML monitoring
View ICAEW’s latest AML supervisory activity.

View from the firms
View the latest quality assurance monitoring results.

IRB appoints new Chair
The IRB has announced the appointment of its new Chair, Philip Nicol-Gent.

Changes to ICAEW’s disciplinary framework: give your view
The IRB wishes to consult on changes it proposes to make to ICAEW’s disciplinary framework. The consultation is open from 19 January 2022.

Professional Standards Update: January 2022
Read the January update from ICAEW Professional Standards.

Investment business licensing: expanding your services
Investment business covers a wide range of activities that accountancy firms might carry out as part of their broader client services. In the latest in our series on moving into new regulated areas, we look at what your firm needs to do to get a DPB (Investment Business) licence.

Upholding the right to appeal
In the latest in our series looking at the work of ICAEW’s regulatory and disciplinary committees, we talk to Angus Withington QC, chair of the Appeal Committee, about its role and responsibilities, and why a final right of appeal is so important. 

Disciplinary update: January 2022
Since the last disciplinary update, one appeal committee order has been published, as well as nine tribunal findings, eight consent orders (issued by the Investigation Committee) and six fixed penalties.

December 2021

Updated Probate Regulations
Following a consultation process, we applied to the Legal Services Board to update the Probate Regulations to mandate price and service transparency. The changes have been approved and new regulations are now in effect. ICAEW probate accredited firms have until 1 February 2022 to comply.

Insolvency reform overdue but regulator proposals “potentially damaging”
ICAEW has welcomed government plans to modernise regulation of the insolvency sector but raised concerns about the transfer of responsibilities from professional bodies to a new single regulator.

Audit monitoring report 2020/21
The 2020/21 Audit monitoring report is now available. Use the report to help maintain and focus on continuous quality improvements for audit work.

Update for sole practitioners
Our Quality Assurance team highlight the key issues identified during recent Practice Assurance monitoring reviews.

AML – the essentials, issue 23
AML the essentials, issue 23 contains useful information on HMRC Agent accounts, the SARs online portal and Government’s Annual Report on AML supervision.

AMLbites: New videos available
Two new bitesize videos focussing on suspicious activity reporting have been launched as part of our AMLbites series.

Reissued Traffic Light Guide to investment business activity
Use the guide to identify whether a DPB (Investment Business) licence or FCA authorisation is needed to undertake a particular investment activity. The guide also gives examples of activity that does not require authorisation under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

Quality Assurance monitoring – updated December 2021
We have returned to our pre-COVID-19 review practices, including onsite reviews. When our scheduling team contacts you to confirm the review date, they will tell you whether the review will be onsite or desk-based. If an onsite visit is not possible, our scheduling team will discuss alternatives with you.

Professional Standards update: December 2021
Read the December update from ICAEW Professional Standards.

Disciplinary update: December 2021
Since the last update 2 appeal committee orders have been published, as well as 7 tribunal findings, 1 disciplinary settlement, 9 consent orders issued by the Investigation Committee and 2 fixed penalties

Digging deeper: a more forensic approach to special investigations
The Professional Conduct Department’s (PCD) Special Investigations Team was set up in March 2021 to focus on the most complex and high profile complaints cases. We talk to Nigel Howell, ICAEW’s Head of Investigation, and Sarah Brook, the new team’s Senior Manager, about the need for special investigations, progress so far and why flexibility is so important.

November 2021

Thematic review: Trust and company service providers
Use this new guidance to identify the money laundering risks that are linked to offering trust and company services, and understand how to mitigate and avoid these risks.

Insolvency monitoring visits a year in review
A recent ICAEW Restructuring and Insolvency Roadshow looked at the welcome return of face-to-face monitoring and discussed some of the key compliance topics insolvency practitioners (IPs) need to keep an eye on.

Insolvency News, issue 6
Updates from HMRC on their work to improve the customer journey for IPs and reminders to ensure you have carried out your 2021 compliance review before the end of the year.

Audit News, issue 69
New guidance and recordings on reporting matters of material significance to charity regulators, a webinar from QAD on important matters from Q4 and guidance on what a good audit file looks like in the context of going concern. 

Energy supplier insolvencies
With the growing numbers of energy supplier insolvencies, the Insolvency Service is concerned about the treatment of customers, particularly those who had outstanding debts at the time of the insolvency.

The latest update on your audit monitoring visits
As we return to onsite monitoring visits, QAD have provided an update which includes information about the shadowing of some of these visits by the FRC Professional Oversight Team.

What's the fuss about file notes?
During a recent ICAEW Restructuring and Insolvency Roadshow, Michelle Butler, partner at The Compliance Alliance, talked about why file notes are so important, how timing is everything, and the need to create a culture of documentation.

Professional Standards update: November 2021
Read the November update from ICAEW Professional Standards.

The IC: ensuring accountants play by the book
ICAEW’s Investigation Committee (IC) plays a critical role in upholding the highest standards of practice and professional conduct. We look at the wide range of issues the committee deals with, how it functions on the ground, and the importance of protecting the public interest.

Training day: seeing the big picture
Every year members of all ICAEW’s regulatory and disciplinary committees come together for training. We look at why these training days are so important, and how the skills members take away enhance not only their committee work but also their wider professional and personal lives.

Disciplinary update: November 2021
Since our October update, there have been no new published outcomes from disciplinary tribunals. However, the following Orders were made by the Investigation Committee and published relating to audit, AML compliance, giving assurances in respect of Practice Assurance, and complying with ethical obligations on client handover.  

October 2021

Charity Commission urges auditors to meet MoMS reporting requirements
The Charity Commission for England and Wales wants to see ICAEW audit firms do better at meeting their duty to report matters of material significance including modified audit opinions for charities. In this article, we look at why these reports are so important, and what firms can do more widely to improve their reporting of matters of material significance.

Professional Standards update: October 2021
Read the October update from ICAEW Professional Standards.

AMLbites  Providing you with the basics on popular money laundering topics. Each video lasts around 10 minutes and is freely available for all to view. These videos are aimed at money laundering reporting officers, compliance principals and people in regulatory roles. These could also be used as a training tool for your staff.

Probate regulation: transparency and engagement top the agenda
ICAEW has recently been consulting on its new reserved legal services strategy, and on plans to make service and price transparency mandatory for probate-accredited firms. We talk to the IRB’s alternate chair for legal services, Steve Barrow, and ICAEW’s head of regulatory policy, Peter James, about the importance of transparency and how best to engage stakeholders.   

A cradle to grave service: applying for probate accreditation
In the latest in our series on moving into new regulated areas, we look at what your firm needs to do to start working in probate in England and Wales.

Disciplinary update: October 2021
Read about the latest disciplinary cases, consent orders and fixed penalties.

Back to the office: seize the opportunity to refresh your AML culture
The return to office-based working offers the ideal opportunity for MLROs to reflect on changes to the risk landscape over the past 18 months, check their firms’ AML policies and procedures remain fit for purpose, and refresh staff training. 

More than six months ago


Useful links

Please make use of the following resources to ensure you are up-to-date with the latest regulatory information and news: