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November 2022

Tax clearance requests in Members Voluntary Liquidations
HMRC guidance to avoid further delays in getting tax clearance in MVL cases.

How accountancy firms are helping to detect COVID fraud
ICAEW firms are playing a key role in identifying and dealing with COVID fraud. We talk to Michelle Giddings, ICAEW’s Head of AML, about a recent survey that shows how firms are encouraging clients to pay back ineligible claims, and supporting law enforcement by reporting fraudulent activities.

Professional Standards update: November 2022
In this month's update we share: examples of good practice that have been identified during recent monitoring visits to audit firms; the results of our recent AML thematic reviews focusing on COVID support schemes and sanctions; and the findings of the Quality Assurance public sector monitoring activity in 2021-22. We also look at the difference between independent and restricted financial advisers, issue clarification regarding the Insolvency Code of Ethics' and highlight the latest disciplinary cases.

Good practice when taking on new audits
Recent intelligence shows that there are significant numbers of UK companies seeking new auditors and that the audit tender market is buoyant. ICAEW’s Quality Assurance Department share examples of good practice that has been identified during recent calls and visits to audit firms.

Disciplinary update: November 2022
Take note of the latest disciplinary cases to ensure you or your firm are not making similar mistakes.

PIE audits: new registration requirements
The regulatory regime for firms auditing Public Interest Entities (PIEs) is changing. We look at new FRC registration requirements, plans to expand the definition of a PIE, and what audit firms need to consider now and in future.

Insolvency Code of Ethics – Internal Audit
Read clarification issued by the Recognised Professional Bodies regarding the Insolvency Code of Ethics' reference to 'audit related work'.

Enhanced ICAEW membership
From January 2023, all ICAEW members will have access to additional content from the faculties and communities as part of their ICAEW membership. ICAEW licensed insolvency practitioners will continue to have access to all the resources from the Restructuring and Insolvency Community and ICAEW affiliates will continue to receive access to all the same resources as currently.

OFSI issue general licence to permit the payment of legal fees to designated persons
As a result of the increasing number of new designations under the Russia and Belarus regimes, and the correlating increase in the number of those seeking a licence from OFSI for the payment of legal fees, OFSI has issued a general licence to permit the payment of legal fees owed by individuals and entities designated under either of these regimes. The licence was issued on 28 October 2022.

Hitting the mark
Read how Gibson Appleby, a small firm of chartered accountants based near Brighton in Sussex, used All Too Familiar to engage partners and other staff, and build on its existing anti-money laundering (AML) training resources.

October 2022

Local audit quality inspection results published
88% of financial audit reviews carried out by ICAEW’s Quality Assurance Department (QAD) in 2021-22 were graded good or generally acceptable. The results of these reviews form part of the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) summary report on 2021/22 local audit inspections. Overall, the FRC rated 70% of local audits as good or only requiring limited improvements.

Watch our short video which summarises the findings of QAD’s public sector monitoring activity in 2021-22.

Trevor Smith, Director, Quality Assurance said “While recognising there are areas for improvement, we are pleased to see that the number of audits categorised as good or requiring limited improvements has remained consistent with 2020/21.”

As the sole Recognised Supervisory Body (RSB) for local audit, ICAEW is responsible for the licensing, registering and monitoring of auditors who carry out audits of relevant authorities, as defined in schedule 2 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.

Quality Assurance monitoring feedback results
Find out what our firms thought of the monitoring review process in Q3 2022.

Our role as an anti-money laundering (AML) supervisor
226 AML monitoring reviews were carried out with ICAEW AML supervised firms in Q3 2022. 38.5% were at high or high-medium risk of being used to enable money laundering. Read more about our latest work as the UK’s largest accountancy professional body supervisor for anti-money laundering.

Know your client
ICAEW’s AML educational drama All Too Familiar is designed to engage staff and support in-house training. We talk to Sophie Parkhouse at Albert Goodman about how she used the film to stimulate discussions around AML culture. She also offers some tips on making the most of the film’s content across different service lines.

Does your firm automatically sanction screen clients?
The pace of change and the volume of sanctions imposed in 2022 has increased the risk of ICAEW supervised firms inadvertently enabling sanctions evasion. As part of our work as an anti-money laundering supervisor, we recognised the need to perform monitoring activity to identify and mitigate the risks. The results of the ICAEW Sanctions Thematic Review 2022 indicate firms have increased the intensity and frequency of their existing sanctions screening procedures. Use this review to benchmark your firm’s policies and procedures for screening clients, to assess the level of risk to which your firm may be exposed and to mitigate these risks by implementing the policies and procedures outlined in this review.

Putting AML in perspective
Hear from Seymour Taylor, one of the longest established accountancy practices in High Wycombe and the Thames Valley who used All Too Familiar to 'improve people's perception of how important anti-money laundering requirements are'.

Training film wins awards for ICAEW and HMRC
An anti-money laundering educational drama film, produced by ICAEW in collaboration with HMRC, has won three awards at the 2022 Association Excellence Awards.

Referrals to financial advisers: staying compliant
When accountancy firms refer clients to financial advisers, they need to consider a range of regulatory and ethical issues. We look at the difference between independent and restricted advisers, and discuss how you can ensure you stay compliant with ICAEW’s Code of Ethics and legal requirements.

Professional Standards update: October 2022
This month we focus on compliance reviews, how to make the most of the process and what are the common problems firms can easily avoid. We also look at trends in the types of complaints we are receiving and the reasons for those trends. Our Audit Risk Manager has issued a reminder about your responsibilities when issuing cessation statements, following a sharp increase in the number of firms seeking new auditors, there are invitations to two live insolvency webinars and a reminder that firms will need to take part in the biennial probate diversity survey next spring. Finally don’t miss the opportunity to apply for remunerated roles on the ICAEW Regulatory Board and our regulatory and disciplinary committees.

Insolvency News, Issue 11 October 2022
In this issue of Insolvency News, the Insolvency Service confirms work it is undertaking to support you in relation to Bounce Back Loans, HMRC issues new updates including one regarding Director’s Loan Accounts and there is an opportunity to sign up for two live insolvency webinars. We also invite you to apply for a remunerated role on our Insolvency Licensing Committee and highlight two recent articles from our series on the Future of Insolvency.

Calling out unprofessional behaviour
ICAEW’s Code of Ethics outlines the standards of behaviour expected of chartered accountants and affiliates including those we regulate for reserved activities. We look at recent trends in ethics complaints received by ICAEW, and ask what firms and individuals can do to prevent and report problems. The Code of Ethics applies to all ICAEW members and ICAEW member firms and requires them to adhere to five fundamental principles: integrity, objectivity, professional competence and due care, confidentiality, and professional behaviour.

Compliance reviews: a positive learning experience
Annual compliance reviews help firms and individuals ensure they continue to meet their regulatory obligations. Whether your reviews are mandatory or good practice, experts from ICAEW’s Quality Assurance Department (QAD) offer some advice on how to make the most of the process.

Disciplinary update: October 2022
Take note of the latest disciplinary cases to ensure you or your firm are not making similar mistakes. Since the last update four tribunal orders have been published. Seven consent orders and three fixed penalty orders have also been issued by the Investigation Committee.

Auditor resignations: your responsibilities
The number of UK companies seeking new auditors has risen sharply in the last couple of years. This has shined a spotlight on the resigning auditors’ responsibilities to issue cessation statements under section 519 of the Companies Act 2006. ICAEW’s Quality Assurance Department would like to remind audit firms of their responsibilities in this area.

Changes to ICAEW CPD Policy
In July 2022, following approval from Council, ICAEW announced changes to its CPD policy which will apply to all ICAEW members, ICAEW member and regulated firms, and non-members who are registered with ICAEW for a regulated activity. We would like your input to help shape the policy.

The consultation is open from 29 September – 27 October.

Process for DLAs written off as part of corporate insolvency procedures
HMRC has designed a new voluntary process to allow a more data driven and targeted approach to the issue of Director’s Loan Accounts (DLAs).
This specifically applies in situations where DLAs are written off as part of a corporate insolvency procedure because the debtor cannot afford to repay the loan to the company.
The process is entirely voluntary, and insolvency practitioners don’t need to use it if they don’t wish to.

Cryptoassets webinar recording: how to spot money laundering red flags 
Our expert panel help you understand what is meant by cryptoassets, how crypto can be abused by criminals and what the warning signs or risk factors might be. They also discuss case studies and provide the view of a money laundering reporting officer. 

You can also listen again to any of the other webinars presented by our AML supervision team.

ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB) – vacancy for an ICAEW member
The IRB is looking to appoint an ICAEW chartered accountant member (non lay) to join the IRB. From 1 January 2023, all IRB members will be eligible to receive a fee of £385 per meeting, with pro rata payments for other commitments. Expenses are reimbursed in line with ICAEW policy.

September 2022

Apply to serve on a regulatory or disciplinary committee
We are recruiting for various roles across our regulatory and disciplinary committees. All significant decisions on regulatory and conduct matters are made by ICAEW regulatory and disciplinary committees. These committees operate independently from ICAEW staff and comprise of a parity of lay and chartered accountants with a lay chair who has a casting vote. Find out more about the expertise we are looking for, remuneration rates for accountant and lay members and how to apply.

Professional Standards Update: September 2022
Read the September update from ICAEW Professional Standards.

Creditor bankruptcy and liquidation petition deposits to rise
The Insolvency Service is introducing changes to the deposits paid to initiate creditor bankruptcies and compulsory liquidations. The petition deposit, the amount that needs to be paid up-front to seek an order, will be increasing in all cases where a petition is filed at court on or after 1 November 2022.

Access the stakeholder briefing pack and  details on these changes.

ISQM1: three months to complete development of your system of quality management

There are about three months to go before audit firms need to comply with the International Standard on Quality Management 1 (ISQM1) from 15 December 2022. The ICAEW Quality Assurance Department (QAD) expects that all active audit firms will now, as a minimum, have a proper plan to ensure that their system of quality management (SoQM) will be operational from the implementation date. This update provides guidance on what is required.

Creating a buzz around AML
In our latest article on how firms are using ICAEW’s AML educational drama All Too Familiar, we talk to a money laundering reporting officer about why the film engaged staff in a way he had found difficult with more conventional approaches to training.

Taking risks with PII run-off is a false economy
Run-off cover for your professional indemnity insurance (PII) is critical to protect your clients, your firm and yourself. We look at why this cover is so important, and how ignoring the issue could put you at financial and compliance risk.

Payroll processing: stop and think about AML
Firms are using ICAEW’s AML educational drama All Too Familiar to support in-house training in a variety of ways. Caroline Wheeler, partner at Bevan Buckland LLP, tells us how the film helped staff in her firm’s payroll department when they took on an unusual number of new clients. 

Disciplinary update: September 2022
Since the last update, two disciplinary tribunal orders have been published. Four consent orders and one fixed penalty orders have also been issued by the Investigation Committee.

Risk alert for new audit tenders
As ICAEW registered auditors will be aware, in response to changes in the audit market, the growth of challenger firms and some more complex audits moving away from the largest audit firms, we have increased our activities to monitor the audits undertaken across firms registered for audit with ICAEW. Our monitoring of auditor cessations and other recent intelligence information shows that there are significant numbers of UK companies seeking new auditors.

HMRC guidance: Tax Clearance Requests in Members Voluntary Liquidations
HMRC has changed its process for giving tax clearance in MVL cases. From 12 September 2022 you’ll no longer need to post these requests to two separate areas of HMRC.

Fresh perspectives
The ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB) ensures ICAEW’s regulatory and disciplinary work promotes and maintains the highest professional standards. We talk to Claire McManus, one of the board’s newest members, about why a people-focused approach is close to her heart, how the wider environment influences professional conduct, and her interest in ‘left field’ questions.

August 2022

2022 Practice Assurance Monitoring Report
Read our 2022 Practice Assurance Monitoring Report to understand our most common findings and to access resources to support compliance at your firm. The report includes the top 10 issues we see and you should share these results with your staff to ensure you and your firm are not making the same mistakes.

The results of our 2021 monitoring activity also include a focus on assurance and other reports such as:

  • Independent Examination Reports on Charities
  • Solicitors Regulation Authority Accounts Rules
  • Service Charge Accounts
  • Assurance reports on Client Assets to the Financial Conduct Authority

Probate News, issue 19
The latest issue of Probate News includes an invitation to respond to our 2023 probate fees consultation, reminders of key guidance and resources such as a list of common inadvertent breaches of the Probate Regulations and an article that highlights the benefits of carrying out client satisfaction surveys.

Insolvency news, Issue 10
This issue includes guidance on insolvency compliance reviews and how to avoid a breach of the ICAEW Insolvency Licensing Regulations, access to updated checklists for personal and corporate casework, invitations to join us for the Restructuring & Insolvency Community autumn roadshows and a pension scheme matters for insolvency professionals’ webinar.

Dealing with vulnerable clients guidance
ICAEW guide to dealing with vulnerable clients, in accordance with the regulatory objectives of the Legal Services Act 2007.

Pension issues for insolvency practitioners
This webinar will guide you through practical issues faced with company pension schemes and address statutory requirements and common issues such as working with Auto Enrolment providers, calculating unpaid pension contribution claims and determining which pension liabilities transfer under TUPE.

Guidance on the UK's ban of the provision of accountancy services to Russia
The government has published the statutory instrument imposing a ban on accountancy and other services. The legislation came into effect from midnight on the 21 July 2022.

Professional Standards update: August 2022
In this month’s regulatory update we highlight new AML resources such as the 2021/22 AML supervision report and a new AMLbites video on politicially exposed persons. We give an update on the PII market, and invite you to feedback on a proposed probate fee increase for 2023. We also highlight new guidance for auditors from the FRC and changes to The Money Laundering Regulations which are due to take effect in October. There are also reminders of webinars which are taking place in September including one for insolvency practitioners on the topic of pension issues.

An easy sell for AML
Firms of all sizes are using ICAEW’s AML educational drama All Too Familiar as a way of supporting in-house training. In our latest case study, we find out how the film has helped to strengthen and underpin the AML culture at BHP, one of the largest independent firms of chartered accountants in the north of England. 

PII market update: COVID, sanctions and cyber
In our latest update on professional indemnity insurance (PII), we look at the continuing hard market and how some key issues – from COVID-19 and Russian sanctions to the ever-present risk of cyber attacks – could affect the renewal process.

How satisfied are your clients?
Finding out what clients think about your firm helps you improve your services, address any problems early on, and build better relationships. One way of doing this is to carry out regular client satisfaction surveys. We look at why client feedback is so important and provide some tips on how to gather useful data.   

New insolvency practitioners webinar
Insolvency practitioners who are newly licensed by ICAEW should watch this webinar to understand the regulatory framework, for information around how we monitor our insolvency practitioners and for a list of useful resources.

Quality Assurance monitoring feedback results
Find out what our firms thought of the monitoring review process. (These results are from reviews undertaken during the first half of 2022.

August disciplinary update
Take note of the latest disciplinary cases to ensure you or your firm are not making similar mistakes.

July 2022

Our role as an AML supervisor
347 AML monitoring reviews were carried out with firms in Q2 2022. 39% were at high or high-medium risk of being used to enable money laundering. Read more about our latest work as the UK’s largest accountancy professional body supervisor for anti-money laundering.

2023 Probate fees consultation

As an approved regulator and licensing authority for probate services, our activities are guided by and support the Legal Services Board (LSB) 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.

Recognising inflationary pressures and to continue to deliver our ongoing programme of activity to fulfil these objectives and those of the Legal Services Act, we propose to increase probate registration fees by 7% for 2023.

2021/2022 AML supervision report
Read our 2021/22 Anti-money Laundering Supervision Report for the results of our monitoring visits, the outcomes of those visits and enforcement action taken. This report also summarises all of our anti-money laundering supervisory activity during the period. Firms should pay particular attention to the most common issues we see section which includes links to resources to support compliance.

ICAEW announces new CPD policy from November 2023
From November next year, ICAEW will be introducing a new policy that will give members greater clarity when it comes to Continuing Professional Development.

AMLbites: Politically exposed persons
This short video from ICAEW's quality assurance team summarises why politically exposed persons - or PEPs - and their relatives can be a money laundering risk, what the regulations say, how a PEP is defined and what other risk factors might increase the risk profile of the PEP.

July 2022 Statutory Instrument to amend Money Laundering Regulations

 The government has published its response to the HMT consultation entitled: Amendments to the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 Statutory Instrument 2022, which concluded in October 2021. The Statutory Instrument has been laid in Parliament.

Our role as the largest insolvency regulator in the UK
Find out more about our role including the support we provide to firms, monitoring reviews and sanctions.

July 2022 statutory instrument to amend Money Laundering Regulations
The government has published its response to the HMT consultation entitled: Amendments to the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017 Statutory Instrument 2022, which concluded in October 2021. The Statutory Instrument has been laid in Parliament. 

Professional Standards Update: July 2022
Read the July update from ICAEW Professional Standards.

AML supervision team webinar: cryptoassets
Join the National Crime Agency and our anti-money laundering professionals on the 21 September for our upcoming AML webinar, as they help you to spot the red flags and the money laundering methodologies.

Locking Russia out of UK accountancy services
UK foreign secretary, Liz Truss, recently announced a ban on providing accountancy services to Russian businesses. As the sector awaits further details and a timetable for implementing these latest sanctions, Michelle Giddings, ICAEW’s Head of AML, outlines the likely implications and what firms can start doing to prepare.

A disciplinary framework fit for the future
ICAEW’s disciplinary framework is being simplified and updated to make it more efficient and accessible. Ahead of the changes, Duncan Wiggetts, ICAEW’s Chief Officer for Professional Standards, explains the rationale behind the reforms and discusses how the revamped framework better meets the needs of a modern regulator.

Disciplinary update: July 2022
Take note of the latest disciplinary cases to ensure your firm is not making similar mistakes.

Russian Export Sanctions Prohibitions (US and EU)
New guidance on the professional services that have been prohibited and the organisations and individuals that are impacted by EU and US export prohibitions.

All Too Familiar: hitting a nerve
All Too Familiar, an educational drama created by ICAEW in collaboration with HMRC, examines the powerful role of professional scepticism in reducing the risk of economic crime. In the first of a series of articles looking at the different ways firms of all sizes are using the film to inform and train staff, we talk to a senior partner in a small independent practice

June 2022

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.

Enforcement Notice: Debt Management Ads by Insolvency Practitioners

The Advertising Standards Agency and the Committee of Advertising Practise have issued an enforcement notice regarding debt management adverts by insolvency practitioners and lead generation companies.

'Insolvency practitioners and lead generation companies which ultimately advertise an IVA/PTD service must be extremely careful to ensure their advertising is responsible and does not mislead.'

Professional Standards Update: June 2022
Read the June update from ICAEW Professional Standards.

Disciplinary update: June 2022
Since the last update, three tribunal orders have been published as well as nine consent orders issued by the Investigation Committee and two fixed penalties.

The Practice Assurance Committee: assuring sustained improvement
ICAEW’s Practice Assurance Committee considers serious or persistent failings identified during Practice Assurance visits. We talk to Louise Silverton, the committee’s lay chair, about the commonalities in regulation across sectors, and how having an inquiring mind and a commitment to process help her to do her job.

Upholding the highest standards
Read more about the oversight of ICAEW’s regulatory and conduct roles and 2021-2022 activities in the recently published ICAEW Regulatory and Conduct Report 2021-2022.

Legal services regulators commit to improving inclusivity
The legal sector acknowledges that it’s still harder to reach senior level as a lawyer if from a diverse background, and sets out new principles similar to ICAEW’s guidance. The Legal Services Board (LSB), eight legal services regulators (including ICAEW through its regulation of probate) and two disciplinary tribunals have all reaffirmed their commitment to taking action to ensure more inclusive workplaces for lawyers and that the profession better reflects the society and consumers it serves.

Sole practitioners: common challenges and avenues of support
There is no such thing as a typical sole practitioner in the accountancy profession. But sole practitioners face some common challenges, especially in the regulatory sphere. We look at how networking, peer support, keeping up with your CPD and planning for the future will help you meet these challenges and stay compliant.

More than six months ago

  • 2022

    May

    CCAB Guidance updated and approved by HM Treasury
    The Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (CCAB) has published the latest version of its Anti-Money Laundering Guidance for the Accountancy Sector, together with the Tax Appendix and the Insolvency Appendix, following the Treasury’s approval of all three documents.

    Professional Standards Update: May 2022
    In this issue we highlight updated CCAB guidance, ask how your firm is using our newest training film, All Too Familiar, hear from the ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB)’s new chair and give an update from our Quality Assurance team following the return to onsite reviews.  

    We have now returned to on-site monitoring visits

    Our quality assurance team has now returned to pre-pandemic ways of working, including on-site visits. For firms and practitioners that are in scope for an on-site visit, we find that they provide the best opportunity for high quality interaction between firms and our reviewers. They also enable the visit to be conducted in the most proportionate and effective manner for all those involved. 

    In order for all visits to run as smoothly as possible, please ensure that key principals and staff at the firm are present during the visit and that all information requested is available. This may require some advanced planning if your firm is now adopting a hybrid working model. It is important that we receive timely responses to our queries whilst on-site, otherwise the process may become protracted and may result in our reviewer needing to return at a later date to complete the visit.

    In the case of unforeseen circumstances in the days leading up to your visit, please tell us by emailing qadvisits@icaew.com and we can agree an appropriate solution. 

    Serving on our regulatory and disciplinary committees
    We currently have vacancies on the Chartered Accountants Compensation Scheme Committee. ICAEW, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland (ICAS) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI) operate a compensation scheme for members of the public who have incurred a financial loss as a result of investment advice given by a firm of chartered accountants which, at the time the advice was given, was authorised or licensed to give such advice by one of the three institutes. The Chartered Accountants Compensation Scheme Committee administers and manages the scheme. It also considers claims arising from investment business conducted by authorised/licensed firm under the investment business rulebooks.  

    AML telephone monitoring reviews: a two-way process
    Reviewers from ICAEW’s Quality Assurance Department (QAD) have introduced monitoring reviews focused solely on anti-money laundering (AML) compliance. We look at why your firm might receive a call, what you can do to prepare, and how to make the most of the advice on offer.

    Leadership, listening and finding a voice
    The ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB) ensures ICAEW’s regulatory and disciplinary work promotes and maintains the highest professional standards. We talk to Philip Nicol-Gent, the board’s new chair, about what being a professional means to him, and how leadership, listening and staying ahead of the curve will ensure the public interest is always at the heart of the IRB’s work.

    HMRC update May 2022: case queries mailbox service
    Due to a significant increase in case queries, there are currently delays to response times. Read the latest advice from HMRC to find out how to help progress your query, including ensuring you have completed the contact form, and what not to do.

    Amendments to Article 89 - Financial Sanctions and Insolvency Practitioners
    The Insolvency Service is aware of some individuals who may be subject to financial sanctions who are seeking to use both solvent and insolvent liquidations to circumvent financial sanctions. Read this update from the Insolvency Service for information about financial sanctions. It also gives details of a free subscription service to identify designated persons, entities or bodies. Insolvency practitioners are encouraged to subscribe to the service.

    April

    FRC seeks to register auditors of public interest entities
    Proposed changes to the registration of auditors of public interest entities will change the routing of AQR reports but will not have a substantive impact on outcomes.

    Professional Standards Update: April 2022
    Read the April update from ICAEW Professional Standards.

    Regulating firms: a game-changer for insolvency regulation
    The ICAEW Regulatory Board has welcomed proposals to widen the regulatory regime for insolvency to include firms as well as individual practitioners. But the board’s response to the government’s consultation on the future of insolvency regulation also argues against the introduction of a single government regulator.

    April 2022: Deemed consent procedures update
    From 1 June 2022, if a company or insolvency practitioner knows HMRC is already dealing with the company on a compliance matter, please send any initial notification of a Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation procedure directly to the HMRC officer handling that correspondence – not to the central mailbox.

    Accountancy AML Supervisors Group (AASG) Risk Outlook 
    The AASG Risk Outlook has been updated.

    Medium term (3 year) legal services strategy consultation
    Some minor amendments have been made to the IRB’s Legal Services Strategy and we now invite your feedback on the updated strategy before we update our Legal services business plan.  The deadline for responses is Monday 23 May 2022.

    Disciplinary update: April 2022
    Since the last disciplinary update two appeal orders have been published as well as five consent orders issued by the Investigation Committee and two fixed penalties.

    AML - the essentials, issue 24
    In this issue, we summarise the resources issued in response to UK sanctions against Russia, highlight the implications of the Economic Crime Act and look at the risks associated with virtual assets in the seventh instalment of AML: The Basics.

    AMLbites: Sanctions
    How sanctions work and apply to ICAEW firms.

    AML webinar: How to verify your client
    Our panel will discuss the stages of client verification and how these should link to your money laundering risk assessment.

    March

    DD requirements: Update to high risk third countries list – UAE now included
    The amended list came into force on 29 March 2022. Enhanced due diligence is required for all business relationships and transactions with a person, or entity, established in a high risk third country. Read HMT’s advisory notice, which provides additional clarification.

    Changes to ICAEW’s CPD Policy: give your view
    ICAEW wishes to consult on changes it proposes to make to ICAEW’s CPD Policy. The consultation is open from 24 March to 18 May 2022

    Economic crime: gatekeeper or enabler?
    With fraud on the rise, we look at how ICAEW is working with other stakeholders to ensure its member firms stay at the forefront of the fight against economic crime, and avoid unwittingly becoming professional enablers.

    Raise an AML concern
    How to raise a concern about a potential breach of the Money Laundering Regulations 2017 by an ICAEW supervised firm.

    Audit guidance in response to the Ukraine crisis
    No one can fail to be appalled by the actions of the Russian Government and the awful situation for Ukraine and its people. Although insignificant in comparison, many ICAEW regulated audit firms will face some challenges and difficult decisions as a result.

    Professional Standards Update: March 2022 
    Read the March update from ICAEW Professional Standards. 

    Investment business: keeping on the right side of compliance
    Complying with the requirements of your firm’s DPB (Investment Business) licence needn’t be onerous if you follow some simple good practices. 

    Audit monitoring: telling the story 
    ICAEW’s audit monitoring report for 2020/21 shows most firms reached a good standard. But it also flags areas for improvement, highlights how root cause analysis can boost performance, and urges firms to tell an audit story.

    An opportunity to contribute
    The ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB) is currently recruiting new members. We talk to existing board members about their background, why they decided to serve, the benefits and challenges, and the need for a blend of skills. 

    Changes to UK sanctions in response to developments in Ukraine
    Frequently asked questions about changes to UK sanctions against Russia, in response to the conflict in Ukraine.

    CCAB publishes joint guidance on Russia sanctions
    The Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies has issued joint guidance for the profession on the situation in Ukraine.

    Disciplinary update: March 2022
    The March disciplinary update is now available, and we recommend reading the update to familiarise yourself with the latest cases we are seeing.

    Investment business: keeping on the right side of compliance
    Complying with the DPB (Investment Business) licence requirements needn’t be onerous if you follow some simple good practices. We look at the common problems that come up during ICAEW quality assurance monitoring visits, and offer tips to make sure your firm doesn’t make the same mistakes.

    ICAEW Disciplinary Framework consultation: have your say before the deadline
    The ICAEW Regulatory Board’s consultation on proposed changes to the disciplinary framework closes later this month. The proposals aim to simplify it and make it more accessible to users.

    February

    Audit monitoring: telling the story
    ICAEW’s audit monitoring report for 2020/21 shows most firms reached a good standard. But it also flags areas for improvement, highlights how root cause analysis can boost performance, and urges firms to tell an audit story.

    Third country audit registration in EU
    Firms seeking to secure the audit of an entity with an overseas listing that involves registration for the first time with a particular EU state need to allow the necessary timescales to get this through for their reporting period.

    Professional Standards Update: February 2022
    Read the February update from ICAEW Professional Standards.

    Be prepared for Quality Management standards
    Even the smallest firm needs to ensure it is prepared for compliance with the new standards from December 2022.

    Please plan ahead: regulatory applications and firm structure changes
    ICAEW is implementing a new records management system this spring. As the new system goes live, there may be some disruption to our usual processing times, particularly during March and April. If you or your firm is considering a new regulatory application or change (e.g., to the structure of your firm or to your own registration record), please contact regulatorysupport@icaew.com at the earliest opportunity. Please note, you must notify us of any changes to the structure of your firm within 10 business days of the change. Read more information about maintaining your firm’s record is.

    An opportunity to contribute
    The ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB) is currently recruiting new members. We talk to existing board members about their background, why they decided to serve, the benefits and challenges, and the need for a blend of skills.

    The IRB: building a board for the future
    The ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB) is at a critical point in its development. It recently announced the appointment of a new chair and is currently recruiting new members. We talk to serving board members and the chair of the independent Regulatory and Conduct Appointments Committee about what makes an effective board, why diversity – in all its forms – is so important, and what qualities prospective members could bring to the mix.

    Is trust enough? AML and professional scepticism
    ICAEW’s latest educational drama film, All Too Familiar, examines the role of professional scepticism in the fight against economic crime. Produced in collaboration with HMRC, the film looks at a real life scenario of how firms and individuals may inadvertently become ‘professional enablers’ for criminals involved in everything from financial fraud to modern slavery and terrorism.

    COVID-support fraud: staying vigilant on the frontline
    Fraudsters have been targeting COVID-19 business support schemes since their inception. And although the key programmes ended during 2021, the issue has not gone away. For accountancy firms now preparing year-end accounts, staying alert to COVID-related fraud is more important than ever.

    Disciplinary update: February 2022
    Since our last update, 3 tribunal findings and a settlement order have been published as well as 14 consent orders issued by the Investigation Committee.

    January

    AML monitoring
    View ICAEW’s latest AML supervisory activity.

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

    IRB appoints new Chair
    The IRB has announced the appointment of its new Chair, Philip Nicol-Gent.

    Changes to ICAEW’s disciplinary framework: give your view
    The IRB wishes to consult on changes it proposes to make to ICAEW’s disciplinary framework. The consultation is open from 19 January 2022.

    Professional Standards Update: January 2022
    Read the January update from ICAEW Professional Standards.

    Investment business licensing: 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 to get a DPB (Investment Business) licence.

    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. 

    Disciplinary update: January 2022
    Since the last disciplinary update, one appeal committee order has been published, as well as nine tribunal findings, eight consent orders (issued by the Investigation Committee) and six fixed penalties.

  • 2021

    December

    Updated Probate Regulations
    Following a consultation process, we applied to the Legal Services Board to update the Probate Regulations to mandate price and service transparency. The changes have been approved and new regulations are now in effect. ICAEW probate accredited firms have until 1 February 2022 to comply.

    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.

    Audit monitoring report 2020/21
    The 2020/21 Audit monitoring report is now available. Use the report to help maintain and focus on continuous quality improvements for audit work.

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

    AML – the essentials, issue 23
    AML the essentials, issue 23 contains useful information on HMRC Agent accounts, the SARs online portal and Government’s Annual Report on AML supervision.

    AMLbites: New videos available
    Two new bitesize videos focussing on suspicious activity reporting have been launched as part of our AMLbites series.

    Reissued Traffic Light Guide to investment business activity
    Use the guide to identify whether a DPB (Investment Business) licence or FCA authorisation is needed to undertake a particular investment activity. The guide also gives examples of activity that does not require authorisation under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

    Quality Assurance monitoring – updated December 2021
    We have returned to our pre-COVID-19 review practices, including onsite reviews. When our scheduling team contacts you to confirm the review date, they will tell you whether the review will be onsite or desk-based. If an onsite visit is not possible, our scheduling team will discuss alternatives with you.

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

    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

    Thematic review: Trust and company service providers
    Use this new guidance to identify the money laundering risks that are linked to offering trust and company services, and understand how to mitigate and avoid these risks.

    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 (IPs) need to keep an eye on.

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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?

    January

    Insolvency practitioners: HMRC helplines currently closed
    Contact ICAEW with your queries.

    Audit News
    Issue 67 published.

    PII, Appeal and Fitness Committee Regulations updated 
    Minor updates to the PII, Appeal and Fitness Committee Regulations took effect on 1 January 2021.

    • The PII Regulations: Guidance for the consideration of dispensation applications by the PII Committee and the requirement for firms to put in place run-off cover on ceasing practice have been updated.
    • Appeal and Fitness Committee Regulations: The updates are to the procedural changes for the committees.

     

    End of the transition period: New Audit Regulations
    In the UK, new January 2021 Audit Regulations are now effective. The major changes involve the qualification of EEA auditors and firms that could affect responsible individual (RI) status and ownership tests. In Ireland the January 2020 regulations continue to apply in respect of Ireland only.

  • 2020

    December

    Remote auditing: a challenge for auditors during the COVID-19 crisis
    Forced into remote working, with little peer support, and unable to visit client sites auditors are facing a new set of challenges.

    Consultation: Proposed guidance for insolvency practitioners
    The Financial Conduct Authority has published a consultation paper proposing guidance for insolvency practitioners on how to approach insolvencies of regulated firms (GC20/5).
    The consultation closes on 18 January 2021.

    Grace period for professional probate applications
    The grace period for professional probate applications to move to HM Courts and Treasury Services' online system has been extended to 11 January.

    November

    Insolvency News
    Issue 2 was published.

    Suspicious Activity Reports – Thematic Review, guidance and information
    Access best practice guidance on procedures for reporting suspicious activities and staff training.

    The ICAEW Regulatory Board is recruiting
    The IRB is looking for one accountant member and two non-accountant members.

    October

    AML - the essentials
    Issue 18 published

    Probate News
    Issue 14 published

    Professional probate applications to be mandated to an online process
    The government has decided to:

    • mandate the use of the online service for grant of probate applications by professional users, with a number of exceptions for more specialised applications
    • continue to allow professional user applications for grants of letters of administration to be made via either the online process or the traditional method of applying via paper.

    The new rules come into force on 2 November 2020.

    Your duty to report misconduct
    Please review the new guidance on your duties to report misconduct

    Why crisis management is vital for all firms

    September

    CCAB Guidance and explanatory notes published
    The Guidance is currently in draft form as it is not yet approved by HM Treasury.

    The 2020 Audit Monitoring Report has been published
    Download the latest advice from our Quality Assurance team.

    Transparency benchmarking summary published
    This summary report aims to help our probate accredited firms identify where they can improve on transparency ahead of our Autumn review.

    The CCAB has published updated guidance for the January 2020 amendments of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017. This guidance has not yet been approved by HM Treasury.

    Professional conduct extends beyond the office

    How ICAEW members can insulate against rising professional indemnity rates in a hardening market

    August

    Practice Assurance and DPB (remote) monitoring guidance update

    Consultation: mandatory online probate applications
    Government has published a consultation paper on changing the non-contentious probate rules to make it mandatory for professional users to use the online process.
    Deadline for responses 10 September.

    Keep ethics front and centre — always
    Ethics underpins the work of Chartered Accountants, both in business and in practice. Keeping up to date with the latest ethical requirements is a vital part of CPD.

    July

    AML, the essentials
    Issue 17 published

    SARs in Action
    The July 2020 edition of the UKFIU's Reporter Booklet has been published.

    How to avoid compliance pitfalls in a post-pandemic world
    Insights article 

    Probate News
    Issue 13 published

    The Legal Services Board has approved changes to ICAEW's regulatory arrangements
    The LSB's approval is a key step to ensure ICAEW's compliance with the Board's revised internal governance rules for regulators of legal services.

    June

    Insolvency News
    Issue 1 published.

    Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 
    The Act came into force on 26 June 2020.

    The 2020 Anti-money Laundering Monitoring Report is published
    Download the latest advice for ICAEW money laundering reporting officers and compliance principals.

    The 2020 Insolvency Monitoring Report is published
    Download the latest advice for ICAEW IPs.

    Updated PII Regulations, effective from 29 May 2020
    Minor changes including a change to the insurer definition.

    May

    May 2020: Suspicious Activity Reporting
    New glossary codes published.

    ICAEW Regulatory Board publishes annual report
    Public interest and transparency remain at the forefront of everything the IRB does.

    Charity Commission review: reporting matters of material significance
    The Charity Commission has confirmed that it will be conducting an ongoing review of the reporting of matters of material significance by auditors and independent examiners.

    Audit News
    Issue 66 published.

    2020 Practice Assurance Monitoring report published

    April

    New eligibility guidance and case studies for probate firms
    Has a change in your firm structure impacted on your eligibility?

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

    COVID-19: Professional conduct and investigation guidance
    Expectations of firms / members and our proportionate approach

    Professional indemnity insurance: advice on the impact of Covid-19
    Key minimum wording clauses and the need to prepare early for renewal.

    New measures to support insolvency practitioners
    Easing the burden during the coronavirus outbreak

    414 AML monitoring review visits were carried out with ICAEW AML firms in Q1 2020
    ICAEW AML supervisory role and activity Q1 2020 published

    New Insolvency Code of Ethics effective from 1 May 2020
    The insolvency Code has been rewritten using the new IESBA methodology of requirements and application material, following the format used in ICAEW’s main Code of Ethics.

    Probate: Statements of truth to be used as an alternative to affidavits
    Authorisation has been given to allow statements of truth for some non-contentious probate processes.

    COVID-19 Guide to client due diligence and other issues to consider
    As COVID-19 continues to disrupt business activity and social distancing becomes widespread, firms may have concerns over how this impacts their ability to comply with the money laundering regulations. ICAEW has issued a guide on how to adapt client take-on procedures to reflect more remote interactions with clients.

    AML – the essentials
    Issue 16 published

    March

    Follow the money: How to combat money laundering 
    Firms need to be alert to the constantly shifting threat of money laundering

    Probate News
    Issue 12 published

    Consultation open: Statements of Insolvency Practice 3.1, 3.2, 7 and 9
    Give your feedback on the proposed changes.

    Automatic registration for Irish audit registration has ceased
    Firms that have not opted-in to the Irish Audit Register are no longer registered to carry out audit work in Ireland.

    Audit News
    Issue 65 published.

    February

    ATOL News
    Issue 3 published.

    DPB Update
    Issue 13 published.

    January

    New ICAEW Code of Ethics
    Effective 1 January 2020

 

Useful links

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