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November 14, 2008

Greater co-ordination needed

A lack of co-ordination between three regulatory bodies in Ireland is creating an unnecessary workload for professional service organisations, according to CPA Ireland chief executive Eamonn Siggins.

Speaking with The Accountant for the Ireland survey (see Profession places hope in law review), Siggins said too many regulators have been developed.

“It seems that when there is a problem regarding the audit and accounting profession over here, the government’s answer is to develop a new regulator,” Siggins said. “On occasion there could certainly be more co-ordination between them because they end up becoming involved in the same areas. That ends up having an impact on individual accountancy firms and professional bodies of accountants.”

Accountancy bodies in Ireland report to a number of separate regulators. They operate under delegated self regulation from the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) and have similar delegated authority from the Financial Regulator to supervise firms that provide investment business.

“We also have reporting obligations, in certain circumstances, to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE). There are occasions when ODCE can contact the institute in relation to a member firm,” Siggins said. “Contemporaneously, ODCE will copy this correspondence to IAASA, who will then in turn seek a response on the same issue from the institute.”

This means two lines of communication can be opened on the same issue, resulting in a costly and demanding pressure on resources.

“Hopefully, in the future, we can agree protocols with the various regulators to co-ordinate queries in relation to the same matter,” Siggins said. “We do enjoy excellent consultative structures with the regulators so we look forward to greater co-ordination in the future, which would be less demanding on the resources of all involved and would still provide for all issues raised to be properly addressed.”

Melanie White

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