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Practice helpsheets

Helpsheets prepared by ICAEW Technical Advisory Services to assist you in your day-to-day work. We offer practical advice, respond to frequently asked questions and highlight the issues you may need to consider.

Browse all of our helpsheets and guidance by topic. If you cannot find the answer to your specific question, please contact the Technical Advisory helpline.

A

ATOL cold file compliance review checklist

Technical helpsheet providing a checklist of matters firms need to address when they conduct an annual compliance review in accordance with ICAEW’s Licensed Practice Handbook for Licensed firms.

ATOL whole firm compliance review checklist

Technical helpsheet providing a checklist of matters firms need to address when they conduct an annual compliance review in accordance with ICAEW’s Licensed Practice Handbook for Licensed firms.

Are you ready to go into practice checklist

Technical helpsheet checklist produced to help members satisfy themselves that they are ready to go into practice and that it is the right decision for them.

Arrangements of alternates

Helpsheet regarding support in the event of death or incapacity of sole principals (sole practitioners) in the UK.

Auditor Liability Limitation Agreements

Technical helpsheet issued to help ICAEW members understand the background to, and purpose of, auditor liability limitation agreements and the procedures that need to be followed.

B

Bribery Act 2010: Practical summary

Find out how the Bribery Act could affect your organisation and avoid potentially costly problems. This helpsheet, prepared by ICAEW Ethics Advisory Service, offers a summary of the offences, penalties, Ministry of Justice guidance and procedures you should implement.

Buying and selling fees

Technical helpsheet to help ICAEW members in practice to identify various issues in connection with the purchase or sale of a block of fees of a practice.

C

Change of professional appointment - client acceptance

Technical helpsheet issued to help ICAEW members capture information about a prospective client and form their decision on whether or not to accept appointment for a potential engagement. It offers a non-exhaustive list of considerations to act as a starting point for firms in making a client acceptance decision.

Change of professional appointment - outgoing accountant

Technical helpsheet issued to help ICAEW members understand their responsibilities when existing clients wish to transfer their relationship to a new accountant.

Change of professional appointment – incoming accountant

Technical helpsheet issued to help ICAEW members understand their responsibilities when approached by a prospective client.

Changes in the composition of a firm

This helpsheet outlines the considerations to be addressed when a significant change is made to the composition of a firm, such as the arrival or departure of a principal.

Clients' money regulations

Practice helpsheet outlining the regulations governing the handling, banking and return of money held on behalf of clients.

Clients’ Money Regulations compliance review

Technical helpsheet providing a compliance review programme covering the Clients’ Money Regulations that came into force on 1 January 2004. It does not cover the requirements of the Financial Conduct Authority’s (‘FCA’) Clients’ Money Sourcebook.

Cold file audit compliance review

This helpsheet provides a checklist of matters to be addressed when conducting an audit compliance cold file review in accordance with the Audit Regulations and Guidance for Registered Auditors regulated by the ICAEW and the International Standard on Quality Control (UK & Ireland) (ISQC 1).

Consultation arrangements

Helpsheet aimed at assisting firms, particularly smaller practices, in establishing procedures for consultation.

Coronavirus business support summary (England)

A wide range of coronavirus support measures have been made available to UK businesses by the government. This guide highlights key features of the support available as well as providing links further guidance (including eligibility criteria).

D

DPB compliance review

This helpsheet provides a checklist of matters firms need to address when they conduct an annual compliance review in accordance with ICAEW’s DPB (Investment Business) Handbook for licensed firms.

Disengagement checklist

This checklist will help you assess and record the reasons underlying the client disengagement, highlighting any issues requiring further clarification or action and help you to establish procedures to mitigate any risk of subsequent complaint.

Disengagement letters

This helpsheet provides advice and sample structure and content to help members develop effective, comprehensive disengagement letters.

E

Email footers and disclaimers

Helpsheet providing advice regarding the mandatory legal requirements for an email footer in the UK.

Engagement letters and privacy notices

ICAEW has developed guidance for practice firms on what to include in engagement letters. This page provides a series of sample wordings to help you draft your own engagement letters.

F

Fee protection insurance

Technical helpsheet issued to help ICAEW members understand the options available to a firm wishing to provide access to fee protection insurance.

Fit and proper declaration

Technical helpsheet providing ICAEW members with a pro forma annual fit and proper, independence and confidentiality declaration ready for copying and completion by principals and personnel.

G

GDPR – Client files

Helpsheet issued by ICAEW’s Technical Advisory Service to help ICAEW members to understand the requirements of the GDPR as it relates to client files applied to common situations experienced by a member.

GDPR – Communicating safely with clients

Helpsheet issued by ICAEW’s Technical Advisory Service to help ICAEW members to understand the requirements of the GDPR in relation to communicating safely with clients.

GDPR – Data Breaches

Technical helpsheet issued to help ICAEW members understand the requirements of the GDPR in relation to a data breach. Detailed guidance is available from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

GDPR – Data mapping and documentation

Helpsheet issued by ICAEW’s Technical Advisory Service to help ICAEW members to understand how data mapping and documentation can assist in meeting the requirements of the GDPR.

GDPR – Data processor or data controller?

Helpsheet issued by ICAEW’s Technical Advisory Service to help ICAEW members to make their own assessment whether they act as a data processor or data controller under the GDPR.

GDPR – Lawful basis for processing

Helpsheet issued by ICAEW’s Technical Advisory Service to help ICAEW members to understand the requirements of the GDPR in relation to lawful basis for processing.

GDPR – Rights of an individual

Helpsheet issued by ICAEW’s Technical Advisory Service to help ICAEW members to understand the requirements of the GDPR in relation to the rights of an individual.

H

I

Is an entity a member firm and can it use the description 'Chartered Accountant'?

Links to information and flow charts to help you determine whether an entity qualifies to use the description ‘Chartered Accountant’.

J

K

L

Letters of representation

Technical helpsheet to help ICAEW members to understand the need for letters of representation in the context of auditing and to consider other situations where a letter of representation may be useful. To assist members in the preparation of letters of representation, this helpsheet also includes an example letter.

Limited company example letter

Example letter template to help you to satisfy yourself that your letterhead meets the ICAEW guidance and legal requirements.

Limited company letterhead checklist

Checklist is to help you to satisfy yourself that your letterhead meets the ICAEW guidance and legal requirements, read in conjunction with: The names and letterheads of practising firms helpsheet.

Limited liability partnership example letter

Example letter template to help you to satisfy yourself that your letterhead meets the ICAEW guidance and legal requirements.

Limited liability partnership letterhead checklist

Checklist is to help you to satisfy yourself that your letterhead meets the ICAEW guidance and legal requirements, read in conjunction with: The names and letterheads of practising firms helpsheet.

M

Making tax digital for VAT - A starting point for members in practice

Technical helpsheet to help members in practice with implementing Making Tax Digital for VAT. It gives a breakdown of the key dates and next steps on keeping digital records, setting up an HMRC Agent Services Account, preparing clients for MTD, and using MTD compliant software.

Making tax digital for VAT: Systems software and schemes

Technical helpsheet to help members in practice with implementing Making Tax Digital for VAT. It focuses on the systems, software and schemes practitioners will need in order to file clients' MTD for VAT returns digitally.

Managing the professional liability of accountants: Illustrative wordings

Technical helpsheet providing illustrative wordings in a limited number of cases for consideration by members in practice seeking to manage their risk of potential liability because of an act or omission resulting in financial loss.

N

O

P

Partnership agreements

This helpsheet is designed to provide a simple aide-memoire for practitioners about the content and the value of such agreements in respect of professional partnerships.

Partnerships example letter

Example letter template to help you to satisfy yourself that your letterhead meets the ICAEW guidance and legal requirements.

Partnerships letterhead checklist

Checklist is to help you to satisfy yourself that your letterhead meets the ICAEW guidance and legal requirements, read in conjunction with: The names and letterheads of practising firms helpsheet.

Practice Assurance compliance review

Technical helpsheet and checklist designed to help firms to carry out a compliance review, ensuring a quality output with effective risk management.

Practice insurances

This helpsheet provides a tool for reviewing your practice insurance requirements and establishing a comprehensive record of the cover held.

Practice names and letterheads

Outlining the legal requirements and guidance for naming and describing practices and for the content of the practice's letterhead.

Q

R

S

Services directive

This helpsheet gives guidance on the requirements of the Provision of Services Regulations. It deals with the information that the regulations require accountancy firms to provide to clients (and those wishing to use the firm's services) and the additional information that must be provided if requested.

Sole practitioner example letter

Example letter template to help you to satisfy yourself that your letterhead meets the ICAEW guidance and legal requirements.

Sole practitioner letterhead checklist

Checklist is to help you to satisfy yourself that your letterhead meets the ICAEW guidance and legal requirements, read in conjunction with: The names and letterheads of practising firms helpsheet.

Subcontracting accountancy services

This helpsheet covers the circumstances under which you may find yourself working as a subcontractor and the responsibilities you have when doing so.

T

U

Use of 'chartered accountant'

This helpsheet outlines the conditions and restrictions governing the use of the title ‘chartered accountants’ by firms.

V-Z

Whole firm audit compliance review

This helpsheet provides a checklist of matters to be addressed when conducting a whole firm audit compliance review in accordance with the Audit Regulations and Guidance and International Standard on Quality Control (UK) and (Ireland) (ISQC 1) for a Registered Auditor regulated by ICAEW.

Withholding signature or service

Helpsheet providing information on the legal and practical considerations when deciding whether to withhold signature or service.

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