The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has agreed a Memorandum of Understanding on Reciprocal Arrangements (MOURA) with IAASA, the Republic of Ireland (ROI) competent authority, minimising disruption to cross-border audits
Since the UK left the EU, the UK and the ROI are third countries to each other. After 31 December 2020 UK auditors who wish to audit entities incorporated in the ROI will need to be separately registered under a different process as set out in ROI law for the first time.
Recognising this, the FRC has agreed a Memorandum of Understanding on Reciprocal Arrangements (MOURA) with the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA). This MOURA will facilitate the ROI’s ability to register UK statutory auditors as ROI statutory auditors by meeting the requirement in Irish law that a third country auditor cannot be approved as a ROI statutory auditor unless reciprocal arrangements with that third country are in place.
UK statutory auditors who are included on the ROI Audit Register remain able for the time being to audit entities in the ROI without re-registration as ROI statutory auditors.
Nevertheless, the MOURA provides confidence to individuals and firms that they will be able to seek registration in both jurisdictions whenever it is required and that there will be minimal disruption to their ability to provide audit services. In some cases, it will be necessary that an individual passes an aptitude test.
CPA Ireland qualification approval
Under section 1221 of the Companies Act 2006 the Secretary of State may make a declaration approving a third country qualification.
This function of the Secretary of State has been delegated to the FRC. The FRC Board has made a declaration approving the audit qualification of CPA Ireland which is a recognised accountancy body (RAB) in the Republic of Ireland.
In making the declaration the FRC is satisfied that the CPA Ireland qualification affords an assurance of professional competence equivalent to that afforded by a recognised professional qualification in the UK.
It also means that the treatment of all holders of a UK recognised professional qualification will receive in the Republic of Ireland is likely to be comparable to the treatment of holders of the CPA Ireland qualification in the UK.
Individuals holding an audit qualification from CPA Ireland and after passing a UK aptitude test, will now be able to have that qualification recognised for the purpose of becoming a UK statutory auditor.
Memorandum of Understanding on Reciprocal Arrangements under the Companies Acts in the UK and Republic of Ireland