Regulation has been central to ICAEW’s work for more than 130 years.
Since our Royal Charter was granted in 1880, we have been responsible for maintaining the highest professional standards as well as delivering technical excellence in the public interest.
ICAEW members, students, affiliates, employees of member firms and, where applicable, member firms, in all of their professional and business activities, whether remunerated or voluntary must comply with our bye-laws and regulations and the ICAEW Code of Ethics.
We pioneered the principles-based threats and safeguards approach to codes of ethics in the accountancy profession internationally. Ethics is more than merely complying with laws, rules and regulations; it’s about doing the right thing in the circumstances. This is fundamental to establishing trust – the complexity of the work our members and firms do means that they must be trusted by their clients and anyone else who could reasonably be expected to rely on their work.
Over the last 25 years, our regulatory role has been enhanced by the addition of statutory regulatory roles in the areas of audit, anti-money laundering, insolvency, investment business and probate.
*Dates correct as at end of 2017.
Our work in these regulated areas is overseen by a number of oversight bodies. In the same way as we monitor the work of our members, students, affiliate and firms, these oversight bodies monitor our work to ensure we maintain the highest standards in our regulation.
We regularly review our regulatory governance processes to make sure ICAEW remains at the forefront of regulation. As a result of the latest independent review carried out at ICAEW’s request by Sir Christopher Kelly, we created a clearer distinction between ICAEW’s representative and regulatory functions. This was achieved through two main changes;
These changes were made to ensure that we can continue to carry out our role of maintaining the highest professional and ethical standards within the accountancy profession in a proportionate, accountable, consistent, transparent and focussed manner, in the current environment.
To support the ICAEW commitment to continuously raise the standards of our members and member firms for audit and tax work, we have developed training films to help firms make the right decisions about ethical issues and to avoid potential issues and complaints. To date, over 250,000 people have been training using ICAEW films throughout the world.
If you are seeking accountancy advice, you want to be reassured your accountant has the appropriate education, experience and qualifications (see Professional services), to provide high quality independent advice and services – after all, you wouldn’t go to an unqualified or unregulated doctor for medical advice. If you select an unqualified or unregulated accountant to handle your finances or tax work, you may have nowhere to turn if there are problems with the quality of their advice, their conduct or their standards of service. This is where ICAEW, ICAEW Chartered Accountants and ICAEW firms can help.