Ireland

Member Organizations

Member Organization Associate Other PAOs

  Accounting Technicians Ireland
  Chartered Accountants Ireland
  Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland

Legal and Regulatory Environment

  • Overview of Statuatory Framework for Accounting and Auditing

    As a member of the European Union (EU), the Republic of Ireland (Ireland) is subject to the accounting, auditing and financial reporting requirements established in EU Regulations and Directives as transposed into national laws and regulations. The European Commission reports that as of the date of the assessment, Ireland has fully aligned its legal framework with the EU acquis communitaire as it relates to accountancy.

    Accounting Framework

    The Companies Act of 2014 (as amended 2018), stipulates the requirements for preparation of financial statements, including applicable accounting standards and financial reporting thresholds. In accordance with the law, companies with debt or equity listed on a regulated capital market must prepare consolidated financial statements in accordance with EU-endorsed IFRS. All other companies may choose to prepare their financial statements in accordance with financial reporting standards issued by: (i) the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in the United Kingdom (UK); (ii) EU-endorsed IFRS; or (iii) in some limited cases, in accordance with another approved accounting framework, for example US GAAP.

    Since 2015, the FRC has issued Financial Reporting Standards (FRS) 102—which is based on IFRS for small- and medium-sized entities but with significant modifications and can be applied by other companies.

    Auditing Framework

    The auditing requirements are set in the Companies Act of 2014 (as amended 2018) and the Statutory Instrument (SI) 220, 2010 which transposes the Directive 2014/56/EU and EU Regulation 2014/537. The Companies Act of 2014 (as amended 2018) specifies applicable auditing standards—International Standards on Auditing (Ireland) issued by the FRC. The Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) adopts auditing standards for use in Ireland under license from the FRC in the UK—which incorporate the requirements of 2016 ISA issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board with specific additions.

    The SI 220, 2010 stipulates mandatory audit requirements (statutory audits) for all entities, including Public Interest Entities, listed entities, financial institutions, and insurance companies, unless they qualify for exemptions based primarily on the size of the entity, nature of activity and company type. Companies that meet the definition of a small company (that is, 50 or fewer employees; turnover/sales of less than € 8.8 million; and balance sheet total not exceeding € 4.4 million), may be exempted from annual audits.

  • Regulation of Accountancy Profession

    The Companies Act of 2014 (as amended 2018) and the Statutory Instrument No 360 of 2017 (SI No. 360 of 2017) prescribe the key professional and ethical requirements for members of the profession in Ireland, and also establish and outline the roles and responsibilities of various bodies involved in regulating the profession.

    The Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) was established under the provisions of the Companies Act to examine and enforce financial reporting by certain listed entities, and to supervise the regulatory functions of Prescribed Accountancy Bodies (PABs) in Ireland. A PAB is any accountancy body offering audit qualifications that comes within the supervisory remit of the IAASA.

    IAASA’s additional responsibilities include: (i) supervising how the PABs regulate and monitor their members; (ii) conducting an investigation & disciplinary (I&D) system for public interest entities (PIEs); (iii) promoting adherence to high professional standards in the auditing and accountancy profession; (iv) monitoring whether the financial statements of certain classes of companies comply with the Companies Acts and relevant accounting requirements; (v) conducting quality assurance (QA) reviews of auditors providing its services to PIEs; (vi) overseeing the QA systems operated by Recognized Accountancy Bodies (RABs), which are PABs that have authority to authorize individuals and firms to conduct audits; (vii) and adopting auditing standards for use in Ireland under license from the Financial Reporting Council in the United Kingdom. The IAASA also supervises RABs’ approval and registration of audit firms, adoption of standards on professional ethics, internal quality control of audit firms and auditing, continuing education, and the I&D system.

    The nine PABs are: the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA); the Association of International Accountants (AIA); the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA); the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA); the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW); the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland (ICAI); the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS); and the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA Ireland). There are six RABs in Ireland: ACCA; ICAEW; ICAI; ICAS; and CPA Ireland.

    Professional Accountants in Business (PAIBs)—which include technicians, management accountants, and public sector accountants—are not regulated by law or regulation. The PAIBs that voluntarily become members of the Accounting Technicians Ireland, CIMA, or CIPFA are subject to the educational and ethical requirements of these PAOs, as well as their I&D systems.

  • Audit Oversight Arrangements

    The Companies Act of 2014 (as amended 2018) and the Statutory Instrument No 360 of 2017 (SI No. 360 of 2017) established the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) as the independent public audit oversight entity.

    The IAASA was established under the provisions of the Companies Act to examine and enforce financial reporting by certain listed entities, and to supervise the regulatory functions of Prescribed Accountancy Bodies (PABs) in Ireland. A PAB is any accountancy body offering audit qualifications that comes within the supervisory remit of the IAASA.

    IAASA’s additional responsibilities include: (i) supervising how the PABs regulate and monitor their members; (ii) conducting an investigation & disciplinary (I&D) system for public interest entities (PIEs); (iii) promoting adherence to high professional standards in the auditing and accountancy profession; (iv) monitoring whether the financial statements of certain classes of companies comply with the Companies Acts and relevant accounting requirements; (v) conducting quality assurance (QA) reviews of auditors providing services to PIEs; (vi) overseeing the QA systems operated by Recognized Accountancy Bodies (RABs), which are PABs that have authority to authorize individuals and firms to conduct audits; (vii) and adopting auditing standards for use in Ireland under license from the Financial Reporting Council in the United Kingdom. The IAASA also supervises RABs’ approval and registration of audit firms, adoption of standards on professional ethics, internal quality control of audit firms and auditing, continuing education, and the I&D system.

    IAASA is a member of the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators.

  • Professional Accountancy Organizations

    Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)

    The ACCA is a Recognized Supervisory Body (RSB) and Recognized Qualifying Body (RQB) under the Companies Act 2006 in the UK, and also a Prescribed Accountancy Body (PAB) and Recognized Accountancy Body (RAB) under the Companies Act of 2003 (as amended) in Ireland. The ACCA is a member of IFAC, Accountancy Europe, and the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies (CCAB) and CCAB-Ireland.

    Association of International Accountants (AIA)

    The AIA was established in 1928 and has voluntary membership, is an RQB under the UK’s Companies Act 2006 and a PAB under the Companies Act of 2003 (as amended) in Ireland. The AIA is not an IFAC member organization and it is unclear whether it is a member of any other regional or international professional organization.

    Accounting Technicians Ireland (ATI)

    The ATI is a voluntary membership organization, established in 1983, that provides aspiring accounting technicians with training, experience, and certification. The ATI is neither a PAB nor an RAB. It does not have an independent regulatory body, but as a partner body with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ireland. ATI is an Associate member of IFAC.

    Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

    CIMA is a voluntary membership organization for management accountants founded in 1919. CIMA is not an RSB or RQB, and its members are not authorized to conduct statutory audits unless they are registered with an RSB. CIMA is a PAB in Ireland under the Irish Companies Act of 2003 (as amended). The institute is a member of IFAC and CCAB-Ireland.

    Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)

    CIPFA is a voluntary membership organization established in 1885. CIPFA’s mission is to be a leader in public financial management both in the UK and globally. CIPFA is a PAB in Ireland and its status as an RQB in the UK is on hold. The institute is a member of IFAC and Accountancy Europe.

    Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA Ireland)

    The CPA Ireland is a voluntary membership organization for Ireland’s Certified Public Accountants and is a PAB and RAB in accordance with the Companies Act of 2003 (as amended) in Ireland. The institute is a member of IFAC and Accountancy Europe.

    Institute of Chartered Accountants of England Wales (ICAEW)

    The ICAEW is a voluntary membership organization for chartered accountants and is an RQB and RSB in accordance with the UK Companies Act of 2006 (as amended). It is also a PAB and RAB under the Companies Act of 2003 (as amended) in Ireland. The ICAEW is a member of IFAC, CCAB, and Accountancy Europe.

    Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ireland (ICAI)

    The ICAI, a voluntary membership organization established by Royal Charter in 1888, is a member of the CCAB-UK and the CCAB-Ireland. The institute is a PAB and an RAB in Ireland, and an RSB and RQB in the UK. The ICAI is a member of IFAC and Accountancy Europe.

    Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)

    The ICAS, a voluntary membership organization for chartered accountants, is an RQB and RSB in accordance with the UK Companies Act of 2006 (as amended). It is also a PAB and RAB under the Companies Act of 2003 (as amended) in Ireland. The ICAS is a member of IFAC, CCAB UK, and Accountancy Europe.

  • Projects or Other Information

    In light of Brexit, the jurisdiction will be monitored closely for changes in both the accounting and auditing profession and the work of the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority. Reciprocal rights may soon be established to continue to allow for members of the profession to freely practice throughout the islands and across the island of Ireland in particular.

Adoption of International Standards

  • Quality Assurance

    The Companies Act of 2014 (as amended 2018) stipulates that the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) is to conduct quality assurance (QA) reviews for public interest entities (PIEs), and the six recognized accountancy bodies (RABs) in Ireland—Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Chartered Accountants Ireland (ICAI), Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, and Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland—are to carry out QA reviews for non-PIEs. Accordingly, the scope of the QA review program covers all audits and other assurance engagements.

    Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 220 2010 (as amended) outlines key features that must be present in each QA system and specifies that the RABs’ QA inspections are to be performed under the supervision of IAASA.

    ICAI maintains a QA review system for its members in line with SMO 1, subject to the oversight by IAASA and the Financial Reporting Council. The Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board, which is the independent board responsible for ICAI’s QA review system, reviews its regulations and activities on an ongoing basis and incorporates revised requirements to ensure continued compliance with SMO 1.

    All other five RABs that are IFAC members have indicated that their QA review systems meet the requirements of SMO 1.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • International Education Standards

    In accordance with the Companies Act of 2014 (as amended 2018), the nine prescribed accountancy bodies (PABs) in Ireland share responsibility for initial professional development and continuing professional development requirements (IPD and CPD, respectively) for accountants and auditors. The Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) monitors the IPD and CPD requirements established by PABs. All PABs provide qualifications for accountancy professionals.

    Seven PABs—Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Chartered Accountants Ireland, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, and Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland—are members of IFAC and report that their IPD and CPD requirements fulfill those of the revised IES (2015). The Association of International Accountants is not an IFAC member, and it is unclear if its IPD and CPD requirements are in line with the revised IES based on the publicly available information. The Accounting Technicians Ireland does not require mandatory CPD for its members and its IPD requirements are not fully in line with revised IES.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Standards on Auditing

    The Companies Act of 2014 (as amended 2018) specifies the applicable auditing standards—International Standards on Auditing (Ireland) as issued by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). The Irish Auditing & Accounting Supervisory Authority adopts auditing standards for use in Ireland under license from the FRC in the United Kingdom.

    The standards incorporate the requirements of 2016 ISA issued by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board with specific additions.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants

    In accordance with the Companies Act of 2014 (as amended 2018), the nine prescribed accountancy bodies (PABs) in Ireland share responsibility for establishing ethical requirements for their members. The Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) in accordance with the Companies Act 2014 monitors PABs’ adoption of ethical standards in Ireland. Furthermore, it has issued the IAASA Ethical Standard for Auditors (Ireland) 2017 which is based on the 2016 IESBA Code of Ethics.

    The seven (7) PABs—Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Chartered Accountants Ireland, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, and Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland—are members of IFAC. All PABs have reported that they either have directly adopted or converged their ethical requirements for all designations of members to align with the 2016 IESBA Code of Ethics.

    While the Association of International Accountants is not an IFAC member, information publicly available on its website indicates that it has adopted the 2016 IESBA Code of Ethics as well.

    All PABs indicate that they have an ongoing process to consider and incorporate new and amended requirements issued by the IESBA.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

  • International Public Sector Accounting Standards

    The Irish Government is responsible for the adoption of public sector accounting standards. Both cash and accrual basis of accounting are allowed for the presentation of public sector financial statements.

    IPSAS have not been adopted in Ireland and there are no known plans to adopt or converge to IPSAS at this time.

    Current Status: Not Adopted

  • Investigation and Discipline

    In accordance with the Companies Act of 2014 (as amended 2018), the nine prescribed accountancy bodies (PABs) and the Irish Auditing and Supervisory Authority (IAASA) share responsibility for the system of investigation and discipline (I&D) in Ireland. Whereas each PAB is responsible for the design and implementation of an I&D system for its members, the IAASA is responsible for I&D for public interest entities.

    Seven PABs—Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Chartered Accountants Ireland, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland, and Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland—are members of IFAC. All report that they have adopted the requirements of SMO 6 for their I&D procedures.

    The Association of International Accountants is not an IFAC member, based on an IFAC staff review of information available on its website in 2019, it appears to have I&D systems in line with the main requirements of SMO 6.

    Current Status: Adopted

  • International Financial Reporting Standards

    The Companies Act of 2014 (as amended 2018), stipulates the requirements for preparation of financial statements, including applicable accounting standards and financial reporting thresholds. In accordance with the law, companies with debt or equity listed on a regulated capital market must prepare consolidated financial statements in accordance with EU-endorsed IFRS. All other companies may choose to prepare their financial statements in accordance with financial reporting standards issued by: (i) the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in the United Kingdom (UK); (ii) EU-endorsed IFRS; or (iii) in some limited cases, in accordance with another approved accounting framework, for example US GAAP.

    Since 2015, the FRC has issued Financial Reporting Standards 102—which is based on IFRS for small- and medium-sized entities but with significant modifications and can be applied by other companies.

    Current Status: Partially Adopted

Disclaimer

IFAC bears no responsibility for the information provided in the SMO Action Plans prepared by IFAC member organizations. Please see our full Disclaimer for additional information.

Methodology

Methodology
Last updated: 09/2019
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