Further to our recent bulletin, the Companies (Statutory Audits) Bill 2017, which further transposes the EU statutory audit package and consolidates existing audit legislation into the Companies Act 2014, commenced and completed the Committee Stage in Dáil Eireann yesterday, when the Committee approved the Bill and the various amendments tabled. The amendments which were agreed were mainly technical in nature and did not contain any new key audit reforms.

Next Steps

The Audits Bill will now to be scheduled for Report Stage in Dáil Eireann.

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys, who introduced the Bill, indicated during the Committee meeting that amendments would be tabled in the Report Stage, to streamline the annual returns filing system to aid and promote the on-time filing of annual returns. The Minister also indicated that amendments would be tabled to address and mitigate the perceived unfairness that small companies may face under the new rules on the late filing of annual returns that the Bill proposes to introduce. The Minister also indicated that some further technical amendments will be made.

A brief summary of the key audit reform proposed by the Bill is available here. The Audits Bill is still expected to be enacted sometime in Q2 2018.