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December 2021

Disciplinary update: December 2021
Since the last update 2 appeal committee orders have been published, as well as 7 tribunal findings, 1 disciplinary settlement, 9 consent orders issued by the Investigation Committee and 2 fixed penalties

Digging deeper: a more forensic approach to special investigations
The Professional Conduct Department’s (PCD) Special Investigations Team was set up in March 2021 to focus on the most complex and high profile complaints cases. We talk to Nigel Howell, ICAEW’s Head of Investigation, and Sarah Brook, the new team’s Senior Manager, about the need for special investigations, progress so far and why flexibility is so important.

November 2021

Insolvency News, issue 6
Updates from HMRC on their work to improve the customer journey for IPs and reminders to ensure you have carried out your 2021 compliance review before the end of the year.

Audit News, issue 69
New guidance and recordings on reporting matters of material significance to charity regulators, a webinar from QAD on important matters from Q4 and guidance on what a good audit file looks like in the context of going concern. 

Energy supplier insolvencies
With the growing numbers of energy supplier insolvencies, the Insolvency Service is concerned about the treatment of customers, particularly those who had outstanding debts at the time of the insolvency.

The latest update on your audit monitoring visits
As we return to onsite monitoring visits, QAD have provided an update which includes information about the shadowing of some of these visits by the FRC Professional Oversight Team.

What's the fuss about file notes?
During a recent ICAEW Restructuring and Insolvency Roadshow, 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.

Professional Standards update: November 2021
Read the November update from ICAEW Professional Standards.

The IC: ensuring accountants play by the book
ICAEW’s Investigation Committee (IC) 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 on the ground, and the importance of protecting the public interest.

Training day: seeing the big picture
Every year members of all ICAEW’s regulatory and disciplinary committees come together for training. We look at 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.

Disciplinary update: November 2021
Since our October update, there have been no new published outcomes from disciplinary tribunals. However, the following Orders were made by the Investigation Committee and published relating to audit, AML compliance, giving assurances in respect of Practice Assurance, and complying with ethical obligations on client handover.  

October 2021

Charity Commission urges auditors to meet MoMS reporting requirements
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.

Professional Standards update: October 2021
Read the October update from ICAEW Professional Standards.

AMLbites 
Providing you with the basics on popular money laundering topics. Each video lasts around 10 minutes and is freely available for all to view. These videos are aimed at money laundering reporting officers, compliance principals and people in regulatory roles. These could also be used as a training tool for your staff.

Probate regulation: transparency and engagement top the agenda
ICAEW has recently been consulting on its new reserved legal services strategy, and on plans to make service and price transparency mandatory for probate-accredited firms. We talk to the IRB’s alternate chair for legal services, Steve Barrow, and ICAEW’s head of regulatory policy, Peter James, about the importance of transparency and how best to engage stakeholders.   

A cradle to grave service: applying for probate accreditation
In the latest in our series on moving into new regulated areas, we look at what your firm needs to do to start working in probate in England and Wales.

Disciplinary update: October 2021
Read about the latest disciplinary cases, consent orders and fixed penalties.

Back to the office: seize the opportunity to refresh your AML culture
The return to office-based working offers the ideal opportunity for MLROs to reflect on changes to the risk landscape over the past 18 months, check their firms’ AML policies and procedures remain fit for purpose, and refresh staff training. 

September 2021

Disciplinary update: September 2021
Read about the latest disciplinary cases, consent orders and fixed penalties.

Does your firm have the right insurance cover for cyber risks?
Changes to ICAEW’s minimum approved wording for Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII) have clarified the extent to which policies cover cyber-related claims. What do the changes mean, how are cyber risks evolving and what can you do to ensure your firm has the right protection?  

Professional Standards update
Read the September update from ICAEW Professional Standards.

New minimum approved wording policy, effective 1 September 2021
ICAEW’s minimum approved wording policy has been updated. The changes address a regulatory requirement for insurers to clarify the extent of cover for cyber-related claims in policies of insurance. The amendments have been made following a consultation process and took effect on 1 September 2021.

Understanding the charity: the key to independent examinations
This year’s Quality Assurance Department (QAD) monitoring reviews are focusing on assurance reports, including independent examination reports (IERs) on charities. We look at the issues the reviewers are interested in, where the pitfalls lie, and how can you avoid them.

SARs reporting: emerging threats
In the rapidly changing landscape of economic crime, new risks are emerging all the time. In the second part of our interview with Martin Cox of the UK Financial Intelligence Unit (UKFIU), we talk about COVID-19, Fintech, cryptoassets and human trafficking. 

The MLRO in practice: uncovering economic crime 
Being a money laundering reporting officer (MLRO) is about much more than meeting regulatory requirements. We talk to some experienced MLROs and their deputies about what it takes to succeed in the role, how they make a difference, and being brave. 

August 2021

Annual return update
The annual return has been updated. New guidance notes and updated FAQs are available. The changes can be reviewed in this schedule of amendments and relate to the revocation of our Irish recognised accountancy body status, as well as some other small amendments and some clarifications to questions relating to voting rights.

BEIS White Paper response
Read the ICAEW Regulatory Board’s response to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s White Paper on corporate governance and audit reform. In the response, which is the first time the board has replied in its own right to a government consultation, it debunks some myths about current oversight of the accountancy profession and presents the case for continuing its role within the reformed regulatory infrastructure.

Client Due Diligence
Join us for the third in our series of live anti-money laundering webinars to hear from members of ICAEW’s AML supervisory team, AML professionals and MLROs on how Client Due Diligence (CDD) operates in practice. You’ll learn about the key elements of CDD, what your obligations are and will have the opportunity to have your questions answered in our live Q&A session.

Risk management – avoiding a costly PII claim  
No business or individual wants to receive a professional indemnity (PI) claim. But in a hard PI insurance (PII) market, where a claims history can significantly affect renewal terms, reducing the likelihood of receiving a claim is more important than ever.

ICAEW reserved legal services strategy consultation
The IRB is now consulting on its proposed RLS strategy. The strategy supports the Legal Services Board's strategic themes; fairer outcomes, stronger confidence and better services, to strengthen trust and protect the public by enabling, evaluating and enforcing the highest standards in the profession. The consultation is open for six weeks from 9 August 2021 to 20 September 2021.

Independent oversight: the role of lay committee members
In a recent article, we asked accountant members why they sit on ICAEW’s regulatory and disciplinary committees. Here, we talk to lay members about their motivations for serving, what they’ve learned, and why they find it so rewarding.

Mandating transparency disclosures through regulation consultation
We would like to hear your feedback on our decision to mandate transparency measures through the introduction of regulation. This consultation will run for 5 weeks from 9 August 2021, closing at 5pm on Monday 13 September 2021.

Strengthening trust in the profession
Our mission as a world-leading improvement regulator is to strengthen trust and protect the public. We do this by enabling, evaluating, and enforcing the highest standards in the profession.

Insolvency News, issue 5
This issue includes the latest bulletins from HMRC, new Defence Against Money Laundering guidance for insolvency practitioners and a consultation regarding SIP 3.1 (Individual Voluntary Arrangements).

New DAML guidance for IPs
ICAEW and the National Crime Agency have worked together to produce some new guidance on Defence Against Money Laundering (DAML) requests.

SARs reporting: emerging threats
In the rapidly changing landscape of economic crime, new risks are emerging all the time. In the second part of our interview with Martin Cox of the UK Financial Intelligence Unit (UKFIU), we talk about COVID-19, Fintech, cryptoassets and human trafficking.

SIP 3.1 consultation
The Joint Insolvency Committee (JIC) is consulting on changes to Statement of Insolvency Practice 3.1 - Individual Voluntary Arrangements. 

We welcome your views on this consultation which is open from 12 August 2021 until 5 November 2021.

July 2021

BEIS consultation
The ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB) has submitted its response to the UK Government’s White Paper on corporate governance and audit reform. While many of the proposals are welcome, the paper does not sufficiently recognise the significant level of independent oversight already exercised by the IRB over ICAEW member conduct and the disciplinary functions of ICAEW.

Chartered Accountants Compensation Scheme (CACS) Amendments
Amended CACS Regulations take effect on 15 July 2021. View the schedule of amendments.

Professional Standards Update – July 2021
Read the July update from ICAEW Professional Standards.

AML – the essentials, issue 21
This issue contains an invitation to our next live webinar, guidance on court orders (in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police) and an update on improvements to the SARs online portal.

Audit monitoring report: Your thoughts
Every year our quality assurance team looks back at the results of the last 12 months of audit monitoring reviews and identifies areas for improvement and examples of good practice in order to produce the annual Audit Monitoring Report. The next Audit Monitoring Report will be published in Autumn 2021.

To help us produce the next Audit Monitoring Report, please complete this short survey to help us understand the value of the report for your firm and how we can maximise its usefulness.

Face-to-face monitoring: back to business as usual
ICAEW’s Quality Assurance Department is resuming its onsite monitoring reviews. From 1 September, it will be back to business as usual but with all the Covid-secure precautions you’d expect to keep everyone healthy and safe.

A two-way street: reaping the benefits of committee work
Fascinating and fun are not words most of us associate with committee work. But when we talked to some accountant members about what they get out of serving on ICAEW’s regulatory and disciplinary committees these words cropped up more often than you might expect.

Disciplinary update: July 2021
Recent cases include: fabrication of audit evidence by a provisional member; poor audit work; certifying income without verifying it and the failure of a firm to notify ICAEW of changes to their firm’s composition.

PCRT: an ethical reference point
Professional Conduct in Relation to Taxation (PCRT) lies at the heart of ensuring that firms dealing with tax matters work professionally and ethically. But ICAEW’s Practice Assurance monitoring reviews in 2020 showed that while compliance is high, a surprising number of firms have not read PCRT guidance.

The Insolvency Licensing Committee: fit and proper
In the latest in our series on the work of ICAEW’s regulatory and disciplinary committees, we talk to members of the Insolvency Licensing Committee about its role in upholding the public interest, the value of healthy debate, and how insolvency practitioners can avoid coming before the committee.

The role of the MLRO: beyond compliance
Taking on the role of money laundering reporting officer can be daunting, and it isn’t always clear what’s required of you. We talk to ICAEW’s anti-money laundering supervisory team about the legislative background to the role, the importance of an open culture, and the sometimes unexpected skills you’ll need to do the job effectively.

June 2021

Updated anti-money laundering guidance: failure to report
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have updated their guidance on prosecuting standalone cases under s.330 POCA 2002 (failure to report). This new guidance sets out that CPS can prosecute where no suspicious activity report was made, even if it subsequently transpires that the money laundering didn’t occur. We understand that the CPS intends to use this revised guidance in only the most serious of cases.

Consultation: 2022 probate fees. Have your say
To continue to deliver our ongoing programme of activity to fulfil these objectives and respond to the requirements of the Legal Services Act and new governance introduced by the LSB, we propose to increase probate registration fees by 5% for 2022. We welcome your views on this consultation which is open from Friday 25 June to Friday 6 August 2021.

Recent Quality Assurance review?
Don’t forget to complete the feedback survey to help us make continuous improvements.

View from the firms
View the latest quality assurance monitoring results.

Regulatory Applications update
Ensure you use the correct form and allow 8-12 weeks for regulatory applications.

Quality Assurance monitoring
From 1 September 2021, we plan to return to pre-COVID-19 review practices, including onsite reviews.

Regulatory, disciplinary and PII committee vacancies
If you have the experience to help us maintain and support high standards of practice and professional conduct and would like to serve on one of our committees, we’d be delighted to hear from you.

The 2021 Practice Assurance Monitoring Report has been published
Read the report for hints and tips on how to avoid the current, most common issues we see during monitoring reviews.

Insolvency News, issue 4
This issue includes the latest bulletins from HMRC, a new eligibility criterion for Debt Relief Orders and answers to your frequently asked questions relating to the updated SIP 9.

Live AML webinar: DAMLs and Tipping Off
ICAEW's AML supervision team are joined by three MLROs to discuss firm's regulatory obligations in these areas. The webinar will take place on 7 July.

Audit News, issue 68
This issue contains an invite to provide your thoughts and feedback on the Audit Monitoring Report, an update regarding the return to onsite reviews and a new article exploring the hidden risks of professional misconduct in social media.

Professional Standards Update – June 2021 Professional Standards update for June from Chief Officer Duncan Wiggetts.

Stepping into the regulatory sphere
Members setting up in practice for the first time or firms moving into new areas of regulated work need to comply with a range of requirements, rules and regulations.

Disciplinary update June 2021
Examples of some of the outcomes of disciplinary hearings during June 2021. We encourage all our members and firms to review the types of issues we see (and the resulting sanctions) to help them avoid the risk of a committee referral.

PII renewal: start early and prepare well
The hardening market for professional indemnity insurance (PII) has led to significant hikes in premiums, or even refusals of cover, as insurers become increasingly picky about the risks they will insure. What does this mean for renewals and what can you do to secure sufficient cover at a reasonable cost?

SARs making a difference
Submitting a suspicious activity report (SAR) is much more than a routine compliance obligation. We talk to Martin Cox, Head of Engagement, Communications and Risk Management, UK Financial Intelligence Unit (UKFIU), about the critical role ICAEW firms and members play in piecing together information that can protect vulnerable people and bring criminals to justice.

May 2021

COVID-19 Quality assurance monitoring and regulatory support
Latest changes to monitoring procedures and how we can help.

Guidance on the new legislation that requires mandatory scrutiny of pre-pack sales to connected persons
Following the introduction of the Administration (Restrictions on Disposal etc. to Connected Persons) Regulations 2021 on 30 April 2021, the Insolvency Service has issued guidance about the requirement for independent scrutiny of connected party disposals of company assets in an administration.

Professional Standards update
Professional Standards update for May from Chief Officer Duncan Wiggetts.

SIP 9 FAQs
Following a Joint Insolvency Committee (JIC) consultation, changes were made to Statement of Insolvency Practice (SIP) 9 with effect from 1 April 2021.

Disciplinary update: May 2021 newsletter
The Disciplinary Tribunal continues to be busy.

New times – new complaints: digital and ‘me too’
Digital has brought all sorts of opportunities and challenges but, for the ICAEW Investigation Team, the huge shift to digital has meant a whole new range of complaints.

Regulation and conduct through difficult times
The recently published ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB) Annual Report 2020 highlights the hard work and efforts to maintain minimal disruption to ICAEW’s regulatory and disciplinary work, despite the most unusual of years. We talk to Michael Caplan QC, Chair of the IRB about its latest annual report and the role of the IRB.

Social media: the hidden risk of professional misconduct
As the pandemic further blurs the lines between our work and personal lives, how can firms and individuals reap the benefits of social media while ensuring the highest standards of professional conduct?

Take professional scepticism to the next level, Met Police forensic accountant urges
Joanna Bliault, a forensic accountant at the Metropolitan Police, urges accountants to take their professional scepticism to the next level and act on the most common red flags she has encountered in the line of duty.

April 2021

Professional Standards update
Professional Standards update for April from Chief Officer Duncan Wiggetts.

Changes to Statements of Insolvency Practice 16 and 13: Effective 30 April 2021
New regulations which are due to come into effect on 30 April 2021 will impose additional obligations on connected person purchasers in administrations.

The Disciplinary Tribunal continues to be busy
Disciplinary update for April 2021 on recent disciplinary cases heard, including decisions and fines.

Accountants and Diversity
Diversity, breadth, range are all so important in our lives, in our professions and in how we are regulated, that it’s no surprise bringing it to the ICAEW’s Regulatory Board (IRB) is a serious priority. The IRB is committed to taking account of inclusion and diversity in its activities, writes Sara Nathan OBE, Chair of the Regulatory and Conduct Appointment Committee (RACAC).

Investigation committee: avoiding the risk of referral
No one wants to receive a complaint about their professional conduct, let alone have their case end up in front of ICAEW’s Investigation Committee (IC). We talk to Paul Brooks, the Committee’s Chair, about how members and firms can engage more effectively with the process, as well as how best to avoid a referral in the first place.

The ARC: maintaining balance in a complex business
We speak with Rama Krishnan, Chair of the Audit Registration Committee (ARC), about the role the ARC plays in maintaining trust in audit standards.

Virtual reviews: a guide to remote monitoring
“Be prepared” has always been good advice for firms gearing up for a monitoring review by ICAEW’s Quality Assurance Department (QAD). But with remote reviews now the norm under COVID-19 restrictions, this message has never been more relevant.

March 2021

Probate News, issue 16
This issue contains a new document detailing what your probate accreditation fee pays for. It also contains upcoming deadline reminders and information HM Courts and Tribunals Service has asked us to pass on to our firms.

AML – the essentials, issue 20
AML the essentials, issue 20 contains guidance on how to submit good quality SARs, red flag indicators shared by the Metropolitan Police and an invitation to attend an upcoming SARs webinar (which is being jointly hosted by the National Crime Agency).

ICAEW seeks to revoke Irish RAB status
ICAEW intends to seek the revocation of its Recognised Accountancy Body (RAB) status in Ireland with effect from 1 July 2021.

Understanding money laundering risks
3 March 2021: A shared understanding between law enforcement, supervisory bodies and firms of money laundering and terrorist financing risks is crucial to ensuring firms recognise when they are at risk of being used to facilitate money laundering.

Insolvency News, Issue 3 March 2021
This issue includes new guidance on marketing and advertising in the IVA sector, updated SIPs 3.2, 7 and 9 and advance warning that SIP 16 will also be updated soon due to new legislation. 

Professional Standards update – Duncan Wiggetts (March 2021)
One of the important lessons I have learned from the pandemic is the value of regular and effective communications, so I am delighted to share my first monthly update which will also be included in a new monthly e-newsletter. 

February 2021

Disciplinary update: January / February 2021
The Disciplinary Tribunal was busy during Q4 2020 dealing with the backlog of tribunal hearings caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

ARC – what are the issues and how can they be avoided?
ICAEW’s Audit Registration Committee (ARC) undertakes ICAEW’s responsibilities as a recognised supervisory body for audit under the Companies Act 2006. Rama Krishnan, Chair of the ARC reviews the issues that are coming before the committee, largely as a consequence of Quality Assurance monitoring visits.

ICAEW takes the chair at the AML Supervisors Forum
ICAEW continues to be at the forefront of Anti Money Laundering (AML) supervision and now, throughout 2021, ICAEW’s Michelle Giddings, Head of AML, has been elected as Chair of the AML Supervisors Forum, set up by HM Treasury under the 2007 Money Laundering Regulations.

Keeping the Chartered Accountant’s badge shiny
If you or your firm are the subject of a complaint, what should you do? Importantly – don’t panic. Professional Conduct’s Investigation Team takes us through what you should – and should not – do.

Probate News
Issue 15 published.

How we cracked down on money laundering from home
Michelle Giddings, chair of the 2021 AML Supervisors Forum, outlines the measures ICAEW has taken to tackle anti-money laundering compliance during lockdown.

Probate: another string to your bow
Sole practitioner Vanessa Longley aims to increase her wills and probate workload to 70% of her revenue. Could other practitioners do the same?

 

Updates from more than six months ago

 

Useful links

Please make use of the following resources to ensure you are up-to-date with the latest regulatory information and news: