Accounting, auditing & liquidator requirements in Ireland
A one stop shop for Irish requirements.
Audit Regulations applicable in Ireland
- The Audit Regulations set out the regulatory requirements that all ICAS audit registered firms must comply with.
- The Audit Regulations apply to UK and Irish audit registered firms.
- They can be accessed in the Charter, Rules and Regulations section of our website.
New Audit Regulations came into effect on 1 January 2020. Amendments were largely to align the joint UK and Ireland regulations to the Companies Act 2014 (as amended) (‘CA 2014’) in Ireland following the commencement, in September 2018, of the Companies (Statutory Audits) Act 2018. A copy of the Regulations can be found on the ICAS website.
It is likely that there will be further changes to the regulations to reflect the impact of Brexit and further divergence between UK and Ireland audit arrangements.
Under the new regulations, UK firms were required to apply separately to be registered for Irish audits, and all ICAS audit firms were contacted in this regard. This deadline for registration has now passed and any firm who has not applied will not be eligible to conduct audit work in Ireland going forward. If your firm is no longer on the register, you will require to update your website and letterhead accordingly.
Irish Auditing Standards
- On 15 June 2016, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation signed the European Union (Statutory Audits) (Directive 2006/43/EC, as amended by Directive 2014/56/EU, And Regulation (EU) No 537/2014) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 312 of 2016) which came into operation on the 17 June 2016. One of the impacts of the Regulations is that IAASA is now responsible for the adoption of the auditing framework in Ireland.
- The Companies (Statutory Audits) Act 2018 was signed into law on 25 July 2018, with a commencement date of 21 September 2018. The act built on the 2006 EU audit directive and introduced significant reforms to the regulation and oversight of statutory auditors. Note that the 2018 Act only amends the Companies Act 2014 and other enactments, and does not include any stand-alone provisions, so the 2014 Act is referred to as the “Companies Act 2014”, rather than being collectively cited with the 2018 Act.
- Audit and assurance pronouncements issued by the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) include:
- Quality control standards for firms that perform audits of financial statements or other public interest assurance engagements;
- Ethical and engagement standards for audits of financial statements, and
- Guidance for auditors of financial statements and auditors involved in other public interest assurance engagements.
- IAASA may issue further standards and guidance relating to assurance engagements other than financial statement audits when it considers it appropriate to do so in the public interest and to fulfil its functions as defined in statute, including that of promoting adherence to high professional standards in the auditing profession.
The Irish Auditing Standards can be accessed on the standards section of the IAASA website.
The Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA)
- a Prescribed Accountancy Body; and
- a Recognised Accountancy Body (i.e. a body
in Ireland and is subject to IAASA supervision.
The Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) is the independent body in Ireland responsible for the:
- examination and enforcement of certain listed entities’ periodic financial reporting;
- supervision of the regulatory functions of the Prescribed Accountancy Bodies ('PABs'); and
- the inspection and promotion of improvements in the quality of auditing of Public Interest Entities (‘PIEs’).
For more information on IAASA please visit IAASA’s website.
The main financial reporting frameworks in use in Ireland are IFRS (as endorsed by the EU), issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and Irish GAAP, issued by the Financial Reporting Council in the UK (FRC) and promulgated for use in Ireland by Chartered Accountants Ireland.
More information on Financial Reporting please refer to the related links below.
Companies (Accounting) Act 2017
- The Companies (Accounting) Act 2017 was signed into law on 17 May 2017, and generally takes effect from 9 June 2017, with some exemptions.
- The main purpose of the Act was to transpose the EU Accounting Directive 2013/34/EU into Irish law, amending the Companies Act 2014 to give effect to the provisions in the Accounting Directive relating to the statutory financial statements and related reports of companies.
Among the key changes are the introduction of an optional, simplified regime for certain micro and small companies, and increased small and medium size thresholds for companies and groups.
European Union (Qualifying Partnerships: Accounting and Auditing) Regulations 2019
- The European Union (Qualifying Partnerships: Accounting and Auditing) Regulations 2019 (The 2019 Regulations) extend the requirement to prepare and file annual returns and financial statements with the Companies Registration Office (CRO) to a broader range of partnerships and limited partnerships. The 2019 Regulations apply to financial years commencing on or after 1 January 2020 and are considered sufficiently broad to capture all types of partnerships and limited partnerships with corporate members where all the ultimate corporate members have limited liability. Further information can be found on the CRO website.
- ICAS registered auditors will have to consider whether Irish partnership / limited partnership clients that did not previously fall under Companies Act 2014 requirements will now be required to comply with the laws applicable to Irish limited companies on financial statements, annual returns and audits.
Liquidators - PC requirements
- The Companies Act 2014 S 633 and S 634 (which came into force on 1 June 2015) sets out the qualification requirements for liquidators in Ireland.
- S 633, in relation to ICAS members, requires that the liquidator must be:
- a member of a prescribed accountancy body, within the meaning of Part 15, being a person who holds a current practising certificate issued by that body; and
- is not prohibited by virtue of rules of that body or a direction, ruling or decision of that body, or any disciplinary or professional practice committee of it, from acting as a liquidator.
- ICAS is a Prescribed Accountancy Body in Ireland and requires all Members to hold a Practising Certificate for any Irish insolvency appointments, not just liquidations. For more information please see the Practising Certificate section of our website
Liquidators - PII requirements
- S 634 of the Companies Act 2014 requires that professional indemnity insurance is held.
- IAASA has published the Companies Act 2014 (Professional Indemnity Insurance) (Liquidators) Regulations 2016 (“the Regulations”) setting out the Professional Indemnity cover requirements for liquidators in Ireland.
- The Regulations came into effect on 1 June 2016.
- A minimum level of cover of €1,500,000 is required for each and every claim with defence costs in addition.
- Anyone acting or intending to act as a liquidator to a company in Ireland should ensure that their professional indemnity insurance satisfies the requirements of the Regulations in addition to the ICAS PII Regulations.
The following editions of Audit News, provide updates on Irish requirements:
- Audit News 74: New Audit Regulations – January 2020
- Audit News 71: Eligibility requirements – the ‘audit qualification’
- Audit News 69: IAASA – Brexit and its potential impact on audit and accountancy
- Audit News 67: Updates to the small company regime in Ireland as a result of the triennial review
- Audit News 65: Companies (Accounting) Act 2017 (Republic of Ireland)
- Audit News 63: Audit Regulations updated for Irish changes
- Audit News 62: Changes re Irish Auditing Standards