In June 2016 the Statutory Audits Regulations gave effect in Ireland to several mandatory provisions of the EU Audit Directive and the EU Audit Regulation but not to their optional provisions. The General Scheme of a "Companies (Statutory Audits) Bill 2017" now sets out the proposed legislation to give effect to these optional provisions and to consolidate the legal framework for statutory audits. A briefing on wider audit reform is available here.
Further Proposed Reforms
The General Scheme of the Bill proposes to revoke the Statutory Audits Regulations and to replace their provisions with relevant provisions in the Bill and anticipates:
- that the Statutory Audits Regulations be restated, and options exercised, in the Bill itself and by amending and inserting provisions into the Companies Act 2014;
- that the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority ("IAASA"), as Supervisory Authority, may impose additional types of sanctions and assess breaches or contraventions;
- new powers of delegation by IASSA to recognised accountancy bodies;
- further supervisory powers for IAASA (including the power to publish details of contraventions for which sanctions are imposed);
- updating the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts and the Friendly Societies Acts to reflect, for example, auditor eligibility criteria and to provide for certain offences and fines; and
- extending - to 2030 - the period of time within which certain parent undertakings may prepare and file financial statements using US GAAP (rather than IFRS).
The Bill is expected to be published by Summer 2017.