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Chartered Accountants Ireland in call for auditing status quo

Choice: Barry Dempsey
Choice: Barry Dempsey

By Staff Reporter

An all-Ireland accountancy body has called on Brexit negotiators to protect Irish and UK businesses' rights to retain statutory audit firms based in the Republic or in Northern Ireland.

Chartered Accountants Ireland also urged negotiators to ensure that the current mutual recognition of professional accountancy qualifications between the UK and Ireland is maintained.

Barry Dempsey, chief executive of Chartered Accountants Ireland, said: "As it currently stands, Irish businesses can choose from NI or UK firms to provide them with audit services.

"In the event of a 'no deal', UK audit clients listed on EU regulated markets will need to put a contract in place with an EU registered statutory auditor (a non-UK firm) to get a second audit report on their December 2018 accounts. This would be an unnecessary and unreasonable expense for business."

Mr Dempsey said the "maintenance of the status quo will be critical to the public interest given the role of financial information in securing the stability of markets and the extensive degree of market inter-dependencies".

He said: "Companies need to avoid any breakdown in the flow and availability of corporate information which could have broader repercussions on liquidity and investment.

"Even where an exit deal is negotiated, Brexit may lead to some economic instability. In these circumstances, timely and reliable financial information will be essential.

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"Therefore we feel it is critical to avoid any disruption to the preparation of reliable information and the fulfilment of reporting requirements, which in turn could negatively impact governments in respect of tax revenues and the stability of markets."

He added: "Chartered Accountants are intrinsically and systemically involved in international business and commerce, so any loss of mutual recognition of the qualification would have a significant, negative impact on Irish business."

Belfast Telegraph