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Practice helpsheets

Helpsheets prepared by ICAEW Technical Advisory Services to assist you in your day-to-day work. We offer practical advice, respond to frequently asked questions and highlight the issues you may need to consider.

Browse more helpsheets and guidance by topic. If you cannot find the answer to your specific question, please contact the Technical Advisory helpline on +44 (0)1908 248 250.

Withholding signature or service

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Helpsheet providing information on the legal and practical considerations when deciding whether to withhold signature or service.

Bribery Act 2010: Practical summary

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Find out how the Bribery Act could affect your organisation and avoid potentially costly problems. This helpsheet, prepared by ICAEW Ethics Advisory Service, offers a summary of the offences, penalties, Ministry of Justice guidance and procedures you should implement.

Can an entity become audit registered?

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Technical helpsheet providing guidance in the form of a flowchart to help determine whether a firm is eligible to apply for registered auditor status.

Corporate practice

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Technical helpsheet reviewing the major issues for consideration when practising or contemplating practising within a corporate structure. It also examines the specific requirements of the ICAEW on members practising in a corporate practice.

Client’s money regulations

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Practice helpsheet outlining the regulations governing the handling, banking and return of money held on behalf of clients, and provides a useful summary of the most commonly encountered problems and how to deal with them. It does not cover the requirements of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Clients’ Money Sourcebook.

Decision to accept appointment

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This helpsheet provides a pro forma checklist to form the basis of a critical assessment of a proposed engagement ahead of accepting or declining an appointment.

Data Protection

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This helpsheet outlines the requirements of the Act as they relate to the accountancy profession, and in particular highlights the distinction between data controlling and data processing and aims to assist you in deciding whether you are acting as a data controller and/or a data processor. It highlights the eight guiding principles of the Act and outlines your obligations as an accountant.

Clients’ money regulations compliance review

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Technical helpsheet providing a compliance review programme covering the Clients’ Money Regulations that came into force on 1 January 2004. It does not cover the requirements of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (‘FCA’) Clients’ Money Sourcebook.

Auditor Liability Limitation Agreements

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This helpsheet explains the background to and purpose of auditor liability limitation agreements (LLAs) and what procedures need to be followed.

Changes in the composition of a firm

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This helpsheet outlines the considerations to be addressed when a significant change is made to the composition of a firm, such as the arrival or departure of a principal.

Change of appointment

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This helpsheet outlines the duties and responsibilities which exist when clients transfer their relationship from one accountant to another.

DPB compliance review

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This helpsheet provides a checklist of matters firms need to address when they conduct an annual compliance review in accordance with ICAEW’s DPB (Investment Business) Handbook for licensed firms.

Employing a subcontractor

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This helpsheet covers the circumstances under which you may employ a subcontractor and the responsibilities you have when doing so.

Disengagement letters

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This helpsheet provides advice and sample structure and content to help members develop effective, comprehensive disengagement letters.

Disengagement checklist

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This checklist will help you assess and record the reasons underlying the client disengagement, highlighting any issues requiring further clarification or action and help you to establish procedures to mitigate any risk of subsequent complaint.

Disclosure of confidential information

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This helpsheet explains the circumstances under which members have a right or duty to disclose confidential information.

New client information

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This helpsheet provides a pro forma information sheet print out for gathering new client details.

Services directive

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This helpsheet gives guidance on the requirements of the Provision of Services Regulations. It deals with the information that the regulations require accountancy firms to provide to clients (and those wishing to use the firm's services) and the additional information that must be provided if requested.

Acting as a subcontractor

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This helpsheet covers the circumstances under which you may find yourself working as a subcontractor and the responsibilities you have when doing so.

Whole firm audit compliance review

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This helpsheet provides a checklist of matters to be addressed when conducting a whole firm audit compliance review in accordance with the Audit Regulations and Guidance and International Standard on Quality Control (UK and Ireland) (ISQC 1) for a Registered Auditor regulated by ICAEW.

Practice insurances

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This helpsheet provides a tool for reviewing your practice insurance requirements and establishing a comprehensive record of the cover held.

Practice Assurance compliance review

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The helpsheet provides a commentary on issues arising from the application of the Practice Assurance Standards, and in particular those which we find on reviews. It includes points that may help you assess the effectiveness of your procedures.

Practice names and letterheads

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Outlining the legal requirements and guidance for naming and describing practices and for the content of the practice's letterhead.

Purchase of fees

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This helpsheet identifies various issues in connection with the purchase of a block of fees relating to the provision of accounting services.

Engagement letters

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This helpsheet explains the importance of engagement letters and provides a series of sample wordings to help you draft engagement letters for a variety of typical engagements for both corporate and non-corporate clients.

Consultation arrangements

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Helpsheet aimed at assisting firms, particularly smaller practices, in establishing procedures for consultation.

Cold file audit compliance review

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This helpsheet provides a checklist of matters to be addressed when conducting an audit compliance cold file review in accordance with the Audit Regulations and Guidance for Registered Auditors regulated by the ICAEW and the International Standard on Quality Control (UK & Ireland) (ISQC 1).

Fit and proper declaration

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This helpsheet provides a pro forma annual fit and proper, independence and confidentiality declaration ready for copying and completion by principals and personnel.

Fee protection insurance

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This helpsheet provides guidance regarding fee protection insurance.

Letters of representation

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This helpsheet explains the reasons for using letters of representation, and includes a pro forma letter of representation.

IT systems compliance review

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The aim of this checklist is to assist firms in reviewing their IT systems, and the policies and procedures around those systems. The checklist provides guidance, and due consideration needs to be given to what is appropriate to your firm.

Managing the professional liability of accountants: Illustrative wordings

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This helpsheet provides illustrative wordings in a limited number of cases for consideration by members in practice seeking to manage their risk of potential liability because of an act or omission resulting in financial loss.

Email footers and disclaimers

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Helpsheet providing advice regarding the mandatory legal requirements for an email footer in the UK.

Wrongful trading

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Helpsheet outlining the background to the development of the wrongful trading charge; explains the basic principles established by court action; and identifies those who may be liable in the event of a company insolvency.

Employment references

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This helpsheet provides guidance on taking up and giving employment references.

Partnership agreements PAS1/HS10

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This helpsheet is designed to provide a simple aide-memoire for practitioners about the content and the value of such agreements in respect of professional partnerships.

Arrangements of alternates

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Helpsheet regarding support in the event of death or incapacity of sole principals (sole practitioners) in the UK.

Credit control procedures

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This helpsheet contains practical tips on credit control procedures at key stages of the transaction.

Contracts of employment

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This helpsheet is designed to provide a simple aide memoir for practitioners about the content and the value of such agreements in respect of professional partnerships.