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Professional Standards update July 2021

Author: Professional Standards Department

Published: 07 Jul 2021

Read the July update from ICAEW Professional Standards.

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.

New disciplinary framework

Changes to the Disciplinary Bye-laws (DBLs) were approved at the AGM. As a reminder, we are updating the DBLs for two main reasons:

  • Lack of clarity/accessibility

The current DBLs are being reduced from 49 to 16 and improved for clarity and consistency.

  • Lack of agility to make changes to the disciplinary process.

The lack of agility is being addressed by separating out the regulations relating purely to process and moving these into new Investigations and Disciplinary Regulations (IDRs). The IRB will be able to approve changes to the IDRs. (Currently, as these process regulations are embedded within the DBLs, even small changes must go through many sign off stages before they can be implemented.)

The changes will bring our disciplinary framework much more into line with those of other accountancy bodies such as the ACCA and ICAS. You can read more about the reasons for the changes in Duncan Wiggetts’ May update.

We expect the new framework will come into effect in the spring of 2022. Look out for further information later in the year.

More information on the return to onsite reviews

Last month, we informed you of our intention to return to face-to-face monitoring visits from September. Following on from the announcement, Dean Neaves from our monitoring team provides further information on what to expect if you are due a review this autumn.

A two-way street: reaping the benefits of committee work

ICAEW’s regulatory and disciplinary committees rely on a broad mix of members, both accountant and lay. We have a number of vacancies for 2022 and this article highlights the benefits of getting involved.

Our committee members told us ‘serving on committees was always something other people did’ until colleagues suggested they apply. The message they wanted to get across to other accountants was ‘just to stop and consider it’ if it’s something you have never entertained before.

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. Our anti-money laundering supervisory team discuss 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. Read the article

Insolvency Licensing Committee: fit and proper

Following on from our invitation to apply for a role on our committees, the latest in our series of articles focusing on the work of our committees looks at the Insolvency Licensing Committee, its role and the kinds of issues it is seeing. Particularly if you are an insolvency practitioner and/or if you are thinking of applying to serve on the ILC, I recommend taking a minute to find out more about the committee. Read the article.

Professional Conduct Relating to Taxation

In this year’s Practice Assurance monitoring report we focused on Professional Conduct Relating to Taxation (PCRT) and found a high number of firms had not read the guidance. Our Quality Assurance team highlight the importance of doing so in this article which features the view from the ICAEW-supervised firm Azets on PCRT in practice.

Probate fees consultation: closing date

Probate firms have been invited to give their feedback on a proposed 5% increase to probate registration fees. If you haven’t responded yet, you can access our 2022 legal services budget, strategy and consultation here.

Revocation of recognised accountancy body status in Ireland

ICAEW will cease its status as a recognised accountancy body in Ireland with effect from 21 July 2021.

More information about the decision is available here.


We recommend you read this month’s disciplinary update to familiarise yourself with the issues we are seeing at disciplinary hearings.

If you have any comments or if there is anything you’d like to see included in a future issue of Regulatory & Conduct News or on our new Regulation & Conduct LinkedIn page, we welcome your feedback.

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