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IAASA announces first sanctions imposed on audit firm

IAASA imposes sanctions on EisnerAmper Audit Limited

Following audit quality inspections undertaken by IAASA and an investigation under section 934 of the Companies Act 2014, EisnerAmper Audit Limited and two individuals have agreed to the imposition of fines and costs totaling €122,000 and other sanctions. The details are as follows:

EisnerAmper Audit Limited

A fine of €40,500, incorporating an early settlement discount of 10%. The firm will also pay a sum of €50,000 as an appropriate contribution to the costs of and incidental to the investigation;

Ronan Murphy

Affiliate status with Chartered Accountants Ireland to be suspended for a period of one year from the date of the Agreement (27 July 2020) and a fine of €22,500, incorporating an early settlement discount of 10%. The effect of withdrawal of affiliate status is that Mr Murphy will not be registered as a statutory auditor with Chartered Accountants Ireland for that period;

Engagement Quality Control Reviewer

A Severe Reprimand and a fine of €9,000, incorporating an early settlement discount of 10%.

The contraventions identified included matters related to:-

  1. the modification of audit working papers subsequent to the notification of the inspection by IAASA, and in one case the modification of the electronic time stamp to make a document appear as if it had been created on a different date;
  2. contraventions of auditing standards on audit evidence, auditing of accounting estimates including fair value estimates, and audit documentation;
  3. requirements for appropriate quality control in firms that perform audits.

Further details on the contraventions are set out in the Public Notice available here.

IAASA Chief Executive Kevin Prendergast said:

“This is the first investigation the Authority has concluded since it commenced its direct inspection of firms who audit public interest entities. Maintaining high standards in audit quality is the primary focus of the Authority. The conclusion of this investigation and the sanctions handed down send out a clear message that significant failures will be addressed robustly.”