Development of policy, preparation and drafting of legislation in relation to company law (auditing); the negotiation of EU proposals on this area of company law and the transposition of EU proposals into domestic law.
The Companies (Statutory Audits) Act 2018, No. 22 of 2018, sets out the current policy in relation to auditors/audit firms carrying out statutory audits. It gives the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA), as the competent authority with ultimate responsibility for oversight, the appropriate powers to ensure effective monitoring and enforcement of the new requirements.
The transposition deadline for the Audit Directive 2014/56/EC was 17 June 2016 and, as the Audit Regulation (EU) No 537/2014 was directly applicable in Ireland from the same date, the necessary requirements of the EU audit measures were transposed in June 2016 by way of a statutory instrument – European Union (Statutory Audits) (Directive 2006/43/EC, as amended by Directive 2014/56/EC, and Regulation (EU) No 537/2014) Regulations 2016 – SI No 312 of 2016.
The Directive contains amendments to augment the provisions of the Statutory Audit Directive. The Regulation is directed at Public-Interest Entities (PIEs), entities which are of significant public interest because of their business, their size, their number of employees or their corporate status is such that they have a wide range of stakeholders. The category of PIE also encompasses systemically important entities such as listed companies, credit institutions and insurance undertakings.
The Act avails of options not available in secondary legislation which will enhance the system of oversight of audit in Ireland and audit quality. It elevates the provisions of SI No 312 of 2016 into primary legislation to provide a single, comprehensive framework for statutory audit in the Companies Act 2014.
In addition, the Act updates the rules relating to auditors for Industrial and Provident Societies Acts and the Friendly Societies Acts.
The Act was signed into law by the President on 25 July 2018. The Companies (Statutory Audits) Act 2018 (Commencement) Order 2018, SI No 366 of 2018 commences the Act as and from 21 September 2018 for all sections, except for sections 3(1)(a), 3(1)(h), 3(1)(i), 3(1)(j) and 9.