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ICAEW regulatory round-up: November 2021

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 29 Nov 2021

This month’s round-up from the Professional Standards Department includes new guidance from the Charity Commission on reporting matters of material significance, the latest updates from the Quality Assurance Team and a new article from the Insolvency Service urging for the considerate treatment of customers following the growing number of energy supplier insolvencies.

Reporting Matters of Material Significance to charity regulators

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. 

We have also worked closely with the Charity Commission to provide guidance for auditors and independent examiners on their duty to report matters of material significance, including what should always be considered reportable and the expectations of UK charity regulators as to when a report needs to be made.

The Investigation Committee: ensuring accountants play by the book 

ICAEW’s Investigation Committee 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, and the importance of protecting the public interest. 

Make the most of your probate licence 

Make the most of your probate licence and explore ways to boost your practice with ICAEW’s host of resources including practical hints and tips on marketing your firm and success stories from other firms. 

Training day: seeing the bigger picture 

Every year, members of all ICAEW’s regulatory and disciplinary committees come together for training. Find out 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. 

Independent governance: what is discussed at ICAEW Regulatory Board? 

The ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB) is now publishing its meeting minutes and papers for you to review. 

Updates from ICAEW’s Quality Assurance Team 

Independent examinations of charities 

This new video from ICAEW’s Quality Assurance Team (QAD) will help you assess if a charity is eligible for an independent examination (IE), the general approach to undertaking an IE and some of the practical aspects. It also highlights some of the statutory duties and overall quality control measures that are required to help you ensure the work is carried out to a high standard.

The latest on the return to face-to-face audit monitoring visits

As we return to onsite monitoring visits, QAD provides an update that includes information about the shadowing of some of these visits by the FRC Professional Oversight Team. The FRC has also provided a reminder to audit firms that they are entitled to ask for any information or access any information if it is considered necessary for inspecting or investigating statutory audit work even though the audit monitoring work is carried out by ICAEW.

2020/21 AML supervision report 

Read the latest AML supervision report to understand the current top findings from our monitoring visits and how to avoid them.

Latest AML supervision results 

ICAEW is the largest accountancy professional body supervisor for anti-money laundering in the UK. Our strategy is to provide robust AML supervision through a risk-based regime. We focus our efforts on firms where the risk that they will be used to enable money laundering is highest. View the latest AML supervision results for the third quarter of the year. 

View from the firms

As a world-leading improvement regulator, we supervise and monitor over 12,000 ICAEW firms and insolvency practitioners (IPs), holding them, and all ICAEW members and students, to the highest standards of professional competence and conduct. After each monitoring review, firms are asked to complete a feedback survey. View the latest feedback results following our return to onsite reviews. 

Insolvency practitioner updates 

Update from HMRC’s VAT426 Team on service levels

At the start of October, HMRC advised us that its VAT426 team was testing a solution that would allow it to significantly increase the number of payments that it could make, enabling it to progress cases and payments to IPs. 

Since then, HMRC has confirmed that the team has not only been able to reduce its backlogs to within Service Level Agreements, but has gone beyond that, and is now working on current cases. There remain a few hundred cases that are more complex and require further intervention so IPs will be contacted by the team to resolve these, rather than just having them rejected. 

Over the next few weeks, IPs should start to see payments coming out as its finance teams are now processing several hundred payments per day. 

We would like to hear from IPs whether they feel there has been an improvement with the speed their cases and payments are being processed please notify us by filling this form out.

Cancelling your VAT registration form – form VAT7 

IPs are sending HMRC numerous different versions of the VAT7 postal form, which has been causing problems. HMRC has provided guidance on which form you should be using and what you should be doing with the form. 

New account manager and mailbox for insolvency-related queries

As part of HMRC’s work to improve the customer journey for IPs, it is introducing an account manager and dedicated mailbox for insolvency-related queries. 

ICAEW restructuring and insolvency roadshows 

During our recent roadshows, 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. ICAEW’s Quality Assurance team also discussed the welcome return of face-to-face monitoring and some of the key compliance topics insolvency practitioners need to keep an eye on. 

Energy supplier insolvencies

With the growing numbers of energy supplier insolvencies, the Insolvency Service wants to support and encourage the flexible and considerate treatment of customers, particularly those who had outstanding debts at the time of the insolvency. Read more

Disciplinary update 

As usual, we strongly recommend that you familiarise yourself with the latest disciplinary cases to ensure your firm isn’t making any of the common mistakes that we see. 

This month’s update contains a variety of cases including a firm that was fined £17,750 for a breach of the International Standard on Auditing (UK) 700 ‘The independent auditor’s report on financial statements and the International standard on Auditing 570 (UK) ‘Going Concern’. An ICAEW member was also fined £19,600 and required to pay costs as a result of issuing audit reports in the name of his firm in respect of 11 years financial statements of one client when the firm was not a registered auditor. 

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