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The Professional Standards May update

Author: Professional Standards Department

Published: 18 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.

In this issue:

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.

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.

CCAB Guidance 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.

The guidance was initially updated in September 2020 to reflect amendments made to the UK Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Regulations 2017 ('the 2017 Regulations'). These regulations were amended in January 2020 to reflect the Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) from the EU.

The main changes from the draft guidance are:

  • Timeframe to report PSC discrepancies reduced to within 15 working days (previously 30 days).
  • Strengthening from ‘should’ to ‘must’ for a short list of requirements.
  • Update to the legislation referenced in the guidance following the UK leaving the EU.
  • Clarified wording around enhanced due diligence for an occasional transaction where there are connections to a high-risk third country.

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. 

Do you have a background in investment business?

We currently have vacancies on the Chartered Accountants Compensation Scheme Committee. The committee is recruiting for the following roles:

  • Chartered Accountants Compensation Scheme Committee Chair
  • Chartered Accountants Compensation Scheme Committee Member

Board papers and minutes

Find out what was discussed at recent meetings of the ICAEW Regulatory Board.

IRB's Legal Services Strategy

Final call for responses to the IRB's updated Reserved Legal Services Strategy. The deadline is 23 May 2022.

All Too Familiar: call for case studies

To help us secure future funding for further public interest films, we are developing case studies about how firms are using All Too Familiar and the benefits of film as a format for training staff. We anticipate that we will need approximately 30-45 minutes of your time / members of your team to join a telephone call to talk about your experiences.

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.

AML webinar: How to verify your client

ICAEW’s AML supervision team and a panel of AML professionals return with the next in this popular series of webinars.

Restructuring & Insolvency Conference

Bringing you the latest insight, knowledge and thought leadership. Join our free of charge virtual conference on 28 & 29 June.

Auditor resignation statements

ICAEW has responded to Brydon criticism aimed squarely at the quality of auditor resignation statements with guidance on making them more informative for stakeholders.

Ban on use of UK accountants by Russian businesses

Russian businesses have been banned from using UK accountants and other professional services including management consulting and PR, in the latest raft of sanctions announced by the UK government.

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