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General

What is the role of the Authority?

  • The principal objectives of the Authority, which are set out in section 904 of the Companies Act 2014, are:

    • To supervise how the prescribed accountancy bodies regulate and monitor their members;
    • To promote adherence to high professional standards in the auditing and accountancy profession;
    • To monitor whether the accounts of certain classes of companies and other undertakings comply with the Companies Acts and, where applicable, Article 4 of the IAS Regulation; and
    • To act as a specialist source of advice to the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation on auditing and accounting matters.

    Further details on the Authority’s role, functions and powers can be found here

How is the Authority funded?

  • General Funding

    As provided for by its founding legislation (for further details click here), 40% of IAASA’S funding is provided by the Exchequer (via the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation). The remaining 60% is provided jointly by the prescribed accountancy bodies, way of a mandatory annual levy. The size of the levy allocated to each individual prescribed accountancy body is determined by an apportionment model agreed by the bodies and approved by the Board of the Authority and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation respectively.

    Reserve Fund

    The Authority is required to maintain a Reserve Fund for the purposes of funding certain investigative and/or enforcement actions should the need arise. The Reserve Fund is funded by the Exchequer and by the levies on the prescribed accountancy bodies outlined above. In addition, fine income is credited to the Reserve Fund.

    EU responsibilities.

    Under the Transparency (Directive 2004/109/EC) Regulations, IAASA has been designated as the competent authority for the purposes of Article 24(4)(h) of the EU Transparency Directive.  This makes IAASA  responsible for monitoring the periodic financial reporting of certain entitles whose securities are listed on a regulated market in the EU and for taking appropriate enforcement action in cases of infringement.  This function is fully Exchequer funded (via the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation).

    Obligations under the Statutory Audits Directive (S.I. 312 of 2016 - European Union (Statutory Audits) (Directive 2006/43/EC, as amended by  Directive 2014/56/EU, and Regulation (EU) No 537/2014) Regulations 2016) are funded by way of levy on firms provided audit services to Public Interest Entities ('PIE Audit Firms').   The size of the levy allocated to each PIE Audit Firm is determined by an apportionment model agreed by the firms and approved by the Board of the Authority and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation respectively.

What is the Authority's relationship with the State?

  • IAASA is a State body by virtue of having been established by an Act of the Oireachtas (the Irish parliament), i.e., the Companies (Auditing and Accounting) Act 2003.  The provisions of this Act are now incorporated into the Companies Act 2014

    Notwithstanding its status as a State body, the Authority’s independence in the discharge of its functions is protected by legislation and it operates as a company limited by guarantee. Section 910 of the 2014 Act provides that the Minister shall not give direction to IAASA concerning the discharge of its work programme. 

     

What is a Prescribed Accountancy Body (‘PAB’)?

  • A Prescribed Accountancy Body (‘PAB’) is any accountancy body that comes within the supervisory remit of IAASA under the Act. There are currently nine PABs each of which has its own formal system for dealing with complaints relating to its members/member firms, including, where necessary an investigation and disciplinary process. The nine PABs and the designatory letters for their members are:

     

    Accountancy Body Full Name Designatory Letters
    ACCA Association of Chartered Certified Accountants ACCA or FCCA
    AIA Association of International Accountants AAIA or FAIA
    CIMA Chartered Institute of Management Accountants ACMA or FCMA
    CIPFA Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy CPFA
    ICAEW Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales ACA or FCA
    ICAI Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland ACA or FCA
    ICAS Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland CA
    ICPAI Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland CPA or FCPA
    IIPA Institute of Incorporated Public Accountants AIPA or FIPA

     

What is the difference between a ‘Prescribed’ accountancy body and a ‘Recognised’ accountancy body?

  • (i) Prescribed Accountancy Body

    A Prescribed Accountancy Body is any accountancy body that comes within the supervisory remit of the Authority. There are currently nine prescribed bodies:

    • ACCA - Association of Chartered Certified Accountants;
    • AIA - Association of International Accountants;
    • CIMA - Chartered Institute of Management Accountants;
    • CIPFA - Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy;
    • ICAEW - Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales;
    • ICAI - Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland;
    • ICAS - Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland;
    • ICPAI - Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland; and
    • IIPA - Institute of Incorporated Public Accountants

    Links to the prescribed accountancy bodies’ websites can be found here.

    (ii) Recognised Accountancy Body

    A Recognised Accountancy Body is an accountancy body that has been granted recognition under section 930 of the Companies Act 2014. A recognised accountancy body is permitted to authorise its members and/or member firms to perform statutory audits and to register firms from other EU Member States to perform audits under the Companies Act, provided that they satisfy certain additional conditions. There are currently six recognised bodies:

    • ACCA - Association of Chartered Certified Accountants; 
    • ICAEW - Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales;
    • ICAI - Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland;
    • ICAS - Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland;
    • ICPAI - Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland; and
    • IIPA- Institute of Incorporated Public Accountants 
     

How should I select an Accountant or Auditor?

  • IAASA on occasion receives queries from members of the public in relation to selecting an accountant or auditor.

    IAASA recommends selecting an individual who is a full member of a body which comes within the supervisory remit of IAASA.  These bodies fall into two categories, Prescribed Accountancy Bodies (PABs) and Recognised Accountancy Bodies (RABs). Individuals who are not full members of these bodies do not come under the remit of IAASA and are accordingly not required to meet the requisite professional standards and other standards set out in law.

    Prescribed Accountancy Body (accountants)

    Nine accountancy bodies have been granted PAB status in Ireland and therefore come under IAASA’s supervision. Individuals who are members of a PAB and who wish to practice as an accountant must obtain approval, usually in the form of a practising certificate from the relevant PAB.

    Recognised Accountancy Body (accountants and auditors)

    Of the nine PABs, six have also been granted RAB status. Only the RABs may train, authorise and regulate their members to act as statutory auditors in Ireland. Therefore, only a suitably qualified member of a RAB who has been authorised as an auditor can be selected to undertake audits required under Irish legislation. Details of such auditors are listed on the Auditor Register, which is available on the Companies Registration Office website https://search.cro.ie/auditors/

    A list of the nine PABs and six RABs and the designatory letters in order to identify their full members are outlined below:

     

    Accountancy Body

    Full Name

    Designatory Letters

    PAB / PAB & RAB

     

    ACCA

    Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

    ACCA or FCCA

    PAB & RAB

    AIA

    Association of International Accountants

    AAIA or FAIA

    PAB

    CIMA

    Chartered Institute of Management Accountants

    ACMA or FCMA

    PAB

    CIPFA

    Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy

    CPFA

    PAB

    ICAEW

    Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales

    ACA or FCA

    PAB & RAB

    ICAI

    Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland

    ACA or FCA

    PAB & RAB

    ICAS

    Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland

    CA

    PAB & RAB

    ICPAI

    Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland

    CPA or FCPA

    PAB & RAB

    IIPA

    Institute of Incorporated Public Accountants

    AIPA or FIPA

    PAB & RAB

    Contact details for each of the nine PABS are available here.

How can I satisfy myself that a person and/or firm is properly qualified to provide auditing services to the public?

  • In order to legitimately act as an auditor under the Companies Acts (i.e. to audit the financial statements of an entity), a person/firm must be a Registered Auditor. To become a registered auditor, a person/firm must:

    • Be a member of a recognised accountancy body; and have been authorised by that body to act as an auditor i.e. hold a valid practising/audit certificate; or
    • EU member firm recognised for the purpose of statutory audit by a recognised accountancy body.

    The Companies Registration Office (CRO) maintains a register of all persons entitled to act as auditors and enquiries can be directed to that Office.

    Alternatively, enquiries as to whether an individual/firm is qualified to act as an auditor can be directed to the recognised body in question.  Some accountancy bodies also provide detailed information on their websites. Contact details for each recognised accountancy body can be obtained here.

    Acting as an auditor while not qualified to do so is a serious criminal offence. In the event that a member of the public has reason to believe that a person/firm is acting, or has acted, as an auditor without being properly qualified to do so, the matter should be brought to the attention of: