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ICAEW regulatory round-up: January 2022

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 28 Jan 2022

This month’s regulatory content includes the introduction of transparency mandates into the Probate Regulations, an opportunity for you to provide your views on the proposed changes to ICAEW’s disciplinary framework and an anti-money laundering webinar on how and when to perform risk assessments on clients.

Give your view – changes to ICAEW’s Disciplinary Framework: The ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB) wishes to consult on the changes it proposes to make to ICAEW’s disciplinary framework during 2022. The consultation is open from 19 January 2022 to 15 March 2022. It focuses on proposed changes to the Disciplinary Bye-laws and introduction of the Investigation and Disciplinary Regulations. It also explains the proposed changes to the Fitness Committee Regulations.

ICAEW announces new Regulatory Board Chair: The ICAEW Regulatory Board has announced the appointment of Philip Nicol-Gent as its new chair. Philip will begin his role with immediate effect following the resignation of Jenny Watson CBE, who has stepped down for unforeseen personal reasons after just two months in post. The appointment of Philip was approved by the Regulatory and Conduct Appointments Committee.

Watch out for HMRC letters about AML supervision: Some members in practice are being caught out by letters from HMRC asking for confirmation of anti-money laundering supervision by ICAEW. ICAEW’s Tax Faculty explains the process.

Latest audit monitoring report: In our 2020/21 audit monitoring report, we examine the root cause analysis information shared with us by firms on issues identified during file reviews. Share the report with your teams and use it to help maintain and focus on continuous quality improvements for audit work.

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.

Mandatory publication of price and service transparency information: The Legal Services Board has approved ICAEW’s application to update its Probate Regulations to mandate the publication of price and service information. The regulations are in effect now, but firms have until 1 February 2022 to comply.

DPB – 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 when applying for a DPB (Investment Business) licence.

Money laundering risk assessments webinar: What does normal risk look like? Join a panel of speakers including MLROs, AML professionals and the ICAEW supervisory team on 15 February at 2pm. The panel will answer your questions and discuss risk factors to consider, sources of information, red flags, available guidance, and case studies.

Latest insolvency updates

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.

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 need to keep an eye on.

HMRC has published the following bulletins:

Account Manager for insolvency related Customs queries: As part of HMRC’s work to improve the customer journey for IPs, it is introducing a dedicated Account Manager for insolvency related Customs queries. This guidance has been updated to include some background on Customs, its responsibilities, and a list of the taxes/duties it covers.

Insolvency Practitioner appointments: Updated guidance from HMRC for IPs or their agents seeking appointment in insolvency cases where there are no tax compliance issues or active HMRC investigations.

Incorrect treatment of an HMRC claim: HMRC continues to see instances where insolvency practitioners incorrectly deny or reduce HMRC’s claim when considering it for voting purposes in a decision procedure, particularly where the insolvent person or others may dispute the amount due to HMRC.

New video resources

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

Quality Assurance – Audit update (Q4 2021): In case you missed it, here is an update on matters for ICAEW audit-regulated firms including audit work in Ireland, revised ISAs and new resources.

New AMLbites – Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs): A two-part video covering some key topics related to suspicious activity reporting. In part one, we cover the obligations of the accountant, when you need to submit a SAR and what the National Crime Agency term a ‘good quality SAR’. In part two, our quality assurance team covers tipping off, the privilege circumstance reporting exemption and the circumstances when you should submit a Defence Against Money Laundering (DAML) request.

Improvements to the SARs online portal: The way you submit SARs to the NCA is changing. As part of the SARs online programme the NCA are replacing the current SAR online portal. Watch this short video for an online demo of how it will look, the reasons for the changes and how those changes can help improve financial crime intelligence.

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