Overview of Third Country Audit Entity Registration
The Companies Act 2014 designates the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (‘IAASA/the Authority’) as the competent authority for the oversight of third country auditors in accordance with the European Union (Statutory Audits) (Directive 2006/43/EC, as amended by Directive 2014/56/EU, and Regulation (EU) No 537/2014) Regulations (‘Regulations’). Under the Regulations, third country auditors or audit entities which audit the annual or consolidated accounts of certain companies must register with IAASA for their audit report to have legal validity in the State. The relevant companies are ones which are incorporated outside the European Union/European Economic Area (‘EU/EEA’) whose transferable securities are admitted to trading on a regulated market in Ireland. Please see the Form B “Frequently Asked Questions”, in particular FAQ 3 for the definition of a “Relevant Audit Client”.
Under the Regulations, the Authority will provide certain specified information, relating to registered third country auditors/audit entities, to the Companies Registration Office (‘CRO’) for inclusion on the Register of Auditors. The CRO’s Auditor Search Facility can be accessed here.
Transitional Registration - Commission Decision 2011/30/EU amended by Commission Decision 2016/1223 EU
The Companies Act 2014 designates IAASA as a competent authority for the purposes of third country auditors subject to certain third country public oversight, quality assurance, investigation and penalty systems with a transitional status, given effect to European Commission Decision 2011/30/EU (amended by Commission Decision 2016/1223 EU) (‘Transitional Regulations’).
Under the Transitional Regulations, auditors and audit entities from certain third countries (i.e. certain non-EU Member States) may continue to issue audit opinions that are valid under EU law for a transitional period provided that they first provide the Authority with certain specified information.
Under the Transitional Regulations, the Authority shall (i) make public the names and addresses of such third country auditors and audit entities; and (ii) draw attention to the fact that the third counties concerned have not yet been recognised as equivalent under the Directive 2006/43/EC (as amended by Directive 2014/56/EU, and Regulation (EU) No 537/2014) (i.e. equivalent in terms of the requirements of Article 45 of Directive 2006/43/EC).