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Regulation of the accountancy profession

A look at some of the key bodies involved with regulation of the UK accountancy profession.

Professional bodies

A key responsibility of professional bodies is setting and enforcing standards of performance and conduct for members. For the professional standards expected of ICAEW members read more about ICAEW as a regulator.

Regulatory bodies

Financial Reporting Council (FRC)
Regulatory oversight of the UK accountancy profession transferred from the Accountancy Foundation and the Review Board to the FRC in 2004. The FRC is the UK's independent regulator responsible for promoting high quality corporate governance and reporting. It sets codes and standards and also oversees the regulatory activities of the professional accountancy bodies.

Reforms were carried out in July 2012 to enable the FRC to operate as a unified regulatory body with enhanced independence. A new structure was implemented to ensure effective governance of all of the FRC’s regulatory activities which now come under ultimate responsibility of the FRC Board.

The FRC Board is supported by two business Committees:

and three governance committees:

  • Audit committee
  • Nominations committee
  • Remuneration committee

The Codes & Standards Committee is supported by three Councils:

The Conduct committee is also supported by three councils:

We maintain pages on accounting standards and auditing which provide further information and resources on the standards issued by the ASB and APB. This includes links to online versions of the standards where available.

Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
The FCA was established in April 2013, replacing the Financial Services Authority, as the UK conduct regulator for financial services firms.


Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)
Government department whose responsibilities include shaping UK policy and legislation on company, accounting and audit issues.

European Commission
Executive body of the European Union responsible for proposing new legislation which can impact the UK accountancy profession

International standard setters

International Federation of Accountants (IFAC)
Global representative body for the accountancy profession. IFAC protects the public by encouraging and promoting best practice in accountancy throughout the world. It issues standards in auditing and assurance, education, ethics and public sector accounting as well as guidance for accountants working in a range of sectors.

International Accounting Standards Board (IASB)
Independent, not-for-profit private sector organisation working in the public interest to develop a single set of high quality, enforceable and globally accepted accounting standards.

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