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The Professional Standards Department January update

Author: ICAEW

Published: 17 Jan 2022

This month we launch our disciplinary framework consultation, announce a new Chair of the ICAEW Regulatory Board and feature articles on the benefits of a DPB (Investment Business) licence and the importance of the right to appeal. We are also delighted to announce the forthcoming launch of our new anti-money laundering film which has been produced in conjunction with HMRC. We invite you to join two live webinars, read the latest disciplinary update and access other key reminders including recent changes to the Probate Regulations and a request to check your inbox for your 2022 fee renewal notices if you haven’t yet organised payment.

Changes to ICAEW’s disciplinary framework: give your view

The ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB) wishes to consult on the changes it proposes to make to ICAEW’s disciplinary framework during 2022.

The documents which are the subject of this public consultation are the product of a two-year project overseen by the IRB with the following objectives:

  • To update and simplify the current disciplinary scheme to make it more accessible and understandable to all users.
  • To separate the obligations and duties of all ICAEW members, affiliates, students and firms from the provisions which set out the processes to be followed.
  • To make improvements to aspects of the current process to ensure that the disciplinary process works more efficiently and effectively, and continues to operate in the public interest.

Stage 1 of this consultation is open for eight weeks from 17 January 2022 to 13 March 2022. It focuses on proposed changes to the Disciplinary Bye-laws and introduction of the Investigation and Disciplinary Regulations. It also explains the proposed changes to the Fitness Committee Regulations.

Stage 2 will focus on consequential changes that need to be made. Please continue to check our website and communications for further information on stage 2.

ICAEW Regulatory Board appoints new chair

The ICAEW Regulatory Board has announced the appointment of
Philip Nicol-Gent as its new chair.

Philip will begin his role with immediate effect following the resignation of Jenny Watson CBE, who has stepped down for unforeseen personal reasons after just two months in post.

The appointment of Philip was approved by the Regulatory and Conduct Appointments Committee.

Find out what is discussed at ICAEW Regulatory Board meetings

The ICAEW Regulatory Board aims to be as open and transparent as possible. It is now publishing its meeting minutes and papers for your review.

New anti-money laundering film

We are pleased to announce the forthcoming launch of our new anti-money laundering film, All Too Familiar. The film has been created by ICAEW in collaboration with HMRC which explores the degree of trust still placed in personal and professional relationships and whether enough scepticism is being used in the fight against economic crime.

All Too Familiar will be made available without charge to all ICAEW and HMRC supervised firms. The film will launch in March 2022.

DPB: Expanding your services

Investment business covers a wide range of activities that accountancy firms might carry out as part of their broader client services. In the latest in our series on moving into new regulated areas, we look at what your firm needs to do when applying for a DPB (Investment Business) licence.

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.

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.

HMRC bulletins for insolvency practitioners

HMRC has recently published the following bulletins (note two of these are updates to existing bulletins):

Account Manager for insolvency related Customs queries

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

Insolvency Practitioner appointments

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

Incorrect treatment of an HMRC claim

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

All of HMRC’s bulletins are available at icaew.com/talkinsolvency

Live insolvency webinar: Dealing with employees, their claims and interactions with Redundancy Payments Service

Amidst a raft of legislative and regulatory matters with which to comply, dealing with employees as a major stakeholder in many insolvencies, is a critical part of an IP’s role.

Join this webinar to hear the key requirements when dealing with employees and the RPS.

Live webinar: money laundering risk assessments

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

Update for sole practitioners

Our Quality Assurance team highlight the key issues identified during recent Practice Assurance monitoring reviews.

Audit Monitoring Report 2020/21

In our 2020/21 audit monitoring report, we examine the root cause analysis information shared with us by firms on issues identified during file reviews.

Share the report with your teams and use it to help maintain and focus on continuous quality improvements for audit work.

Mandatory publication of price and service transparency information

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

2022 fee renewals

Fee renewal notices have been sent by email this year. Please check your inbox if you have not yet organised payment.

The latest following the return to face-to-face monitoring 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 and enable the visit to be conducted in the most proportionate and effective manner for all those involved. However, if your firm is not yet equipped to accommodate visitors, we can discuss this, and in some circumstances we may still be able to conduct a remote visit if there is no other safe alternative.

In order for the visit to run as smoothly as possible, it is important for the key principals and staff at the firm to be present during the visit and that all of the information requested is available. The quality assurance reviewer will discuss this with you in advance of the visit to set out expectations and address any concerns.

Please contact qadfaqs@icaew.com if you have questions about your monitoring visit.

January disciplinary update

The January disciplinary update is now available and we recommend reading the update to familiarise yourself with the latest cases we are seeing.