A summary of the changes to ACCA’s Rulebook regulations.
As you will be aware, changes to our bye-laws were agreed by members at our Annual General Meeting, in November, to enable a future vision for ACCA’s governance, and to modernise our AGM arrangements. More details on the bye-law changes can be found on the ACCA website.
The purpose of this article is to explain the most significant changes to the other sections of the ACCA Rulebook, which will take effect from 1 January 2018.
The ACCA Qualification
Changes to the Membership Regulations and the Global Practising Regulations have been made to reflect the upcoming changes to the ACCA Qualification. As part of these changes, all four appendices to the Membership Regulations have been removed, in order to improve agility concerning the examinations structure and practical experience requirements.
Implementing the requirements of the EU Audit Regulation (537/2014) and Directive (2014/56/EU)
In 2016, EU Member States were required to implement the requirements of the EU Audit Regulation and Directive. At that time, the Global Practising Regulations were amended to incorporate the requirements of the Statutory Auditors and Third Country Auditors Regulations 2016 (SATCAR) and the Delegation Order of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC). Changes have now been made to incorporate the requirements of the SATCAR and the Delegation Order into the regulatory and disciplinary regulations. These include:
satisfying the publicity requirements of the SATCAR, where a relevant requirement (as defined in the SATCAR) has been contravened
ensuring that the sanctioning powers set out within the SATCAR are available to ACCA’s Disciplinary Committee, where necessary; and
clarifying that ACCA will (in accordance with the Delegation Order) refer to the FRC any complaint or issue relating to an audit of a public interest entity.
It is sometimes desirable to amend regulations in order to provide greater transparency and consistency throughout the Rulebook, to improve clarity, or to allow practical amendments to our regulatory and disciplinary processes. Changes to legislation also give rise to the need for regulation changes. For example, the changes to the 2018 Rulebook include references to the new Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017.
In 2018, transparency and consistency are being enhanced by:
simplifying the requirements for private hearings (justified by the interests of any party, a third party or by the public interest)
clarifying pre-and post-hearing publicity provisions (limited to the extent that the hearing was conducted in private, in which case private reasons are to be served on the parties)
setting out clearly and consistently the matters to be included in notices of hearings, the short notice provisions, the information to be provided by the relevant person, and the provisions for proceeding in absence
achieving greater consistency in the grounds of appeal from the decisions of each Committee; and
aligning appeal periods with regard to those unusual circumstances in which ACCA is the appellant (ie 21 days).
Other areas of improved clarity or simplification of the regulations include:
clarifying who may attend a case management meeting (which may be conducted via telephone or video link)
allowing the Admissions and Licensing Committee to reconstitute itself as an Interim Orders Committee where it has decided to withdraw or suspend a certificate; and
clarifying that, where an appellant has requested that the Chairman’s decision be reconsidered by the Appeal Committee, the respondent may submit grounds of opposition.
Further changes have been made to reflect practical changes to ACCA’s regulatory processes, for example:
there may be some flexibility where non-payment of a fine or costs by the due date would otherwise result in an individual being automatically removed from the relevant register
a provision has been introduced to allow concessions to be made during the permission to appeal process
the practising certificate eligibility requirements in Zimbabwe have been more closely aligned with the global requirements; and
the Chairman of the Interim Orders Committee may be permitted to review an interim order without a hearing, if both parties agree.
A detailed explanation of all the changes is available at accaglobal.com/rulebook, and ACCA members and students, and others bound by the ACCA Rulebook are required to be aware of the Rulebook’s contents at any point in time.