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Working in the regulated area of audit

Firms working in the regulated area of audit are required to comply with the audit regulations and guidance. On this page, you'll find links to advice and guidance to help your firm remain compliant.

Audit Essentials 2015 is now available. The latest guidance on the areas for improvement and the support available for our audit firms.

Help with CPD

To help you plan your CPD, we've produced an aide memoire (PDF download) of recent audit-related technical changes.

Audit News

Keep up to date with the latest audit news. The latest issue and previous issues are available here. All our audit compliance principals and responsible individuals are sent a copy by email.

Annual return

All firms registered for audit with ICAEW are required to complete an annual return.

Audit monitoring

We conduct monitoring visits to firms registered for audit with ICAEW. Our monitoring visits contribute to ICAEW’s objective of maintaining the highest standards among our member firms.

During your visit, we will review and assess your firm’s procedures, processes and controls to make sure that audits comply with professional standards and your firm meets the requirements of the audit regulations.

All ICAEW registered auditors are included in the scope of our audit monitoring. Since April 2004, the Financial Reporting Council has been responsible for monitoring all fully listed and certain other public interest audits.

We monitor all other statutory audits conducted by ICAEW registered firms on a six-year cycle. Firms with listed clients are selected on a three-year cycle and we visit the largest audit firms every year.

Both the Financial Reporting Council and the monitoring team report their visit results and findings to ICAEW's Audit Registration Committee. 

Usually, we carry out our audit visits separately from visits for Practice Assurance, DPB and probate. However, in some cases, it's more practical to cover more than one area. Our booklet, Practice Assurance visits, gives more information on what to expect from visits covering areas other than audit.

Information and guidance for ICAEW audit firms

We have a range of resources available to support our audit firms and your monitoring visits.

Audit regulations and guidance

Revised Audit Regulations and Guidance came into effect on 6 April 2008, when the relevant sections of the Companies Act 2006 came into force. Periodically, changes are made to the regulations and we publish an updated version.

Model articles

The audit regulations require a registered auditor to be controlled in a certain way (see Chapter 2 of the Audit Regulations and Guidance).

If the registered auditor is a company, it's possible that persons other than the named shareholder may have interests in the company’s shares. This could mean that the company is no longer controlled in accordance with the audit regulations.

The directors therefore need the appropriate powers to call for information about interests in shares, and disenfranchise shares if necessary, so that the registered auditor would continue to be controlled in accordance with the audit regulations.

The following model articles have been drafted to help a firm include special provisions within its articles of association.

Audit in Ireland

Although this mainly concerns corporate audit firms, we suggest that all firms that undertake audits of Irish entities read this note which draws attention to a few matters unique to the Irish jurisdiction.

Audit Regulations and Guidance in Ireland

The Audit regulations and guidance were updated in June 2012 to cover both Ireland and the UK as explained in Audit News 51. Most of the regulations are the same for both countries, but there are some minor differences. Regulations unique to Ireland or which do not apply in Ireland are set out in this schedule of changes.

Audit requirements in the Crown Dependencies of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man
Special arrangements apply to firms that audit companies incorporated in one of the Crown Dependencies which have 'transferable securities' admitted to trading on a 'regulated market' in the EU. The requirements apply even if the firm or company is not operating in a Crown Dependency.
Auditor cessation statements
To help registered auditors with the notification requirements when an auditor ceases to hold office, a flowchart and guidance notes set out the process.
Audit Regulation 3.09

Access to audit papers on change of audit appointments after 6 April 2008

For financial years starting on or after 6 April 2008, when an auditor ceases to hold an audit appointment, the successor auditor can look at the working papers of the predecessor auditor. For the avoidance of doubt, although this regulation places an obligation on the 'predecessor' auditor, the appointment referred to in the regulation and at the end of the related guidance is that of the 'successor' auditor. It is irrelevant when the predecessor was appointed. (Note, in the article in Audit News 45, about the implementation of audit regulation 3.09, the reference to 'an accounting period' in the penultimate sentence should be to 'a new appointment'.)

There is additional guidance for both predecessor and successor auditors on the provision of access to information (including example letters to use).

Audit Regulation 3.13 – Access to audit working papers
To help registered auditors with AR 3.13, we've produced some guidance on Audit Regulation 3.13.