Accounting Technicians Ireland
Associate | Established: 1983 | Associate since 1991
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 is a partner body with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ireland. ATI is an Associate member of IFAC.
Statements of Membership Obligation (SMO)
The Statements of Membership Obligations form the basis of the IFAC Member Compliance Program. They serve as a framework for credible and high-quality professional accountancy organizations focused on serving the public interest by adopting, or otherwise incorporating, and supporting implementation of international standards and maintaining adequate enforcement mechanisms to ensure the professional behavior of their individual members.
- SMO 1: 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 recognized accountancy bodies (RABs) in Ireland—Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), Chartered Accountants Ireland, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), and CPA 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.
ATI members do not perform any attestation or assurance services. They are authorized to offer accountancy, taxation, or related consultancy services. Therefore, ATI members are not required to be subject to QA reviews and the ATI does not operate such a mechanism.
Nevertheless, ATI does carry out several activities to support effective and high-quality professional services offered by members. For example, the ATI ensures that its members receive guidance and updates on quality control standards and anti-money laundering regulations, access to continuing professional development, as well as a technical enquiry support service.
- SMO 2: International Education Standards
According to the Companies Act of 2014 (as amended 2018), the 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 adoption and implementation of educational requirements is overseen by the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA).
Accounting technicians are voluntarily subject to regulation when they join ATI as members. The ATI’s qualifications are regulated by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation, which establishes qualification, examination, and assessment requirements in England and vocational qualifications in Northern Ireland.
The ATI carries out an annual review of the syllabus and IPD requirements. While the ATI offers a wide range of CPD for its members, it does not currently have a minimum CPD requirement. However, the ATI Board decided in 2015 to make compulsory CPD an objective in its 2017–2020 strategic plan.
ATI is encouraged to review IES 7 requirements, which stipulate 120 hours over three years for CPD if using the input-based approach and consider how it might implement this requirement for members.
- SMO 3: 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 (IAASA) 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 (IAASB) with specific additions.
While ATI members do not perform audits, they may be involved in the preparation of audit work; therefore, the ATI does support members’ knowledge of audit related standards. For example, the ATI provides members with updates on legislation affecting their work. It also delivers continuing professional development courses to assist members in meeting obligations involving audit standards, such as Revenue Audit, Preparation of Management Accounts, Interpreting and Evaluating Management Accounts, and Data Protection.
The ATI is encouraged to inform its members of international developments and new and revised pronouncements issued by the IAASB.
- SMO 4: Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants
In accordance with the Companies Act of 2014 (as amended 2018), the prescribed accountancy bodies (PABs) in Ireland share responsibility for establishing ethical requirements for their members, including applicable standards. The Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) in accordance with the Statutory Instrument (SI) No. 220 2010 (as amended), supervises the PABs’ adoption of ethical standards in Ireland. Furthermore, it issued the IAASA Ethical Standard for Auditors (Ireland) 2017 which is based on the 2018 IESBA Code of Ethics.
The ATI is not a PAB, but it sets ethical requirements for accounting technicians that voluntarily join the institute. The ATI Code of Ethics was first issued in June 2007 and is reviewed at least every two years to ensure that it is in line with all the relevant requirements of the IESBA Code of Ethics. ATI last revised its Code in January 2018 which is available on the website.
The ATI issues notices and circulates information pertaining to any new and revised requirements to members via its eNewsletter. The ATI annually reviews its syllabus to reflect the guidance contained in the IESBA Code of Ethics, and to reflect current affairs and events in business life in Ireland.
In light of the upcoming June 2019 effective date of the 2018 International Code of Ethics, ATI should consider outlining a timeline and plans to support the implementation of this Code which is a completely restructured and rewritten code of ethics. Resources and guidance on the 2018 Code can be found here. ATI is also encouraged to indicate more specific examples of how it is supporting members with implementation and its progress with addressing the challenge of monitoring compliance. The ATI is also encouraged to consider participating in the international standard-setting process by submitting responses to IESBA consultations and exposure drafts.
- SMO 5: 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. According to the International Public Sector Financial Accountability Index: 2018 Status Report, accrual-basis IPSAS have not been adopted in Ireland, however there appear to be plans to adopt cash-basis IPSAS by 2023. The most recent published financial statements can be accessed here.
The ATI partners with the Chartered Accountants of Ireland (CAI) to promote and support IPSAS adoption to the government through its representation in the Public Sector Network Group, which also promotes adoption of IPSAS and exchange of relevant information. Information, standards, discussion papers, and exposure drafts are published on the CAI website for both CAI and ATI members and students. ATI distributes new and revised standards to members via the bi-monthly members’ magazine while also offering free access to CAI’s Accountancy Ireland magazine (Ireland’s leading accountancy magazine) which includes articles tailored to public sector accountants.
ATI’s Education Board meets four (4) times per year and, in accordance with its terms of reference, oversees the development of the Awarding Organisation qualifications and in particular oversees the Syllabus Review Group. A member of the Education Board is also a member of the CAI Public Sector Network Group. This link provides a natural flow of communication between both bodies in relation to public sector accounting standards.
The ATI also indicates that it disseminates relevant IPSAS discussion papers and exposure drafts with details on how to contribute, via its website.
- SMO 6: Investigation and Discipline
In accordance with the Companies Act of 2014 (as amended 2018), the 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.
The ATI is not a PAB but it sets I&D procedures for accounting technicians that voluntarily join the institute. The ATI reports that it maintains an I&D system in line with SMO 6 requirements (revised 2012). The ATI conducts ongoing reviews of its procedures at least every two years to ensure alignment. The updated procedures are distributed to members and published on the ATI’s website.
Furthermore, the ATI provides its members with guidance on its I&D system procedures, along with an abridged summary for reference. It also provides members with a flow chart to better illustrate the stages involved in the Disciplinary Procedures.
- SMO 7: 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, Financial Reporting Standards (FRS) 102 as issued by the FRC—which is based on IFRS for small- and medium-sized entities but with significant modifications—can be applied by other companies.
Having no responsibility for adoption of IFRS, the ATI focuses on providing implementation support for its members, including having up-to-date IFRS in initial professional development training and continuing professional development course offerings. The ATI also regularly reviews its syllabus to ensure that it reflects updated standards. ATI members receive updates through bi-monthly newsletters on proposed, revised, and new standards. The ATI collaborates with the Chartered Accountants of Ireland (CAI) in supporting the implementation of IFRS and submitting comments where appropriate on IASB consultations.
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.