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:
- the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement; and
- if the person/firm is a member of an accountancy body, the accountancy body in question.