This article provides an explanation of the interim changes to the ACCA Rulebook, which took effect from 1 July 2017.
The Rulebook is divided into three sections:
Section 1 carries the Royal Charter and Bye-laws, to which there are no interim changes
Section 2 carries the Regulations, covering membership of ACCA, practising and licensing arrangements, and regulatory and disciplinary matters. Commentary on the changes is set out below.
Section 3 carries the Code of Ethics and Conduct. ACCA has adopted the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, issued by the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA). However, the IESBA Code is augmented with additional requirements and guidance that are appropriate to ACCA and its members. There are no interim changes to Section 3.
SECTION 2 – REGULATIONS
Changes to the Regulations arise largely from policy decisions, legislative and lead regulator requirements.
Membership Recognition Agreements
The changes to the Membership Regulations permit members of the Union of Chambers of Certified Public Accountants of Turkey (TÜRMOB) and graduates of the Leading Accounting Talent Programme provided by the Beijing National Accounting Institute (BNAI) to gain membership of ACCA in accordance with the recognition agreements with those organisations.
Amendments have also been made to remove the detail of all such recognition agreements from the Rulebook, so that regulation 3(d) simply provides cross-references to the agreements. This avoids the risk of inconsistency between the requirements of an agreement and the Rulebook. The necessary details of each agreement will be available on the ACCA website, or by contacting the relevant local office.
Annex 2 to the Global Practising Regulations
By June 2016 EU Member States were required to implement the requirements of the EU Audit Directive (2014/56/EU) and Regulation (537/2014). This gave rise to the audit regulations relating to the UK being moved to a separate part of Annex 1 to the Global Practising Regulations, and amendments were made to incorporate into ACCA’s Regulations the requirements of the Statutory Auditors and Third Country Auditors Regulations 2016 (SATCAR) and the Delegation Order of the FRC.
Following the publication of the European Union (Statutory Audits) (Directive 2006/43/EC, as amended by Directive 2014/56/EU, and Regulation (EU) No 537/2014) Regulations 2016 (SI 312), a review of the statutory references within Annex 2 to the Global Practising Regulations was required. In addition, consistent with Annex 1, the regulations relating to audit in Ireland have been moved into an appendix to Annex 2. The relevant provisions of SI 312 have been incorporated into this appendix, together with some additional provisions that provide greater consistency with the UK audit regulations in Annex 1.
An amendment has also been made to Regulation 3(3) to make clear that anti-money laundering supervision applies to those members providing public practice services, as well as those providing only bookkeeping services. This amendment is among those requested by the lead regulator in Ireland, which also required clarification of the relevant experience requirements for those gaining membership of ACCA through a recognition agreement, and who might subsequently wish to practise in Ireland.