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Regulated areas and quality assurance monitoring

The Professional Standards Department (the department responsible for carrying out ICAEW’s regulatory and disciplinary roles) recognise that COVID-19 has and is creating exceptional circumstances.

Our colleagues in the Professional Standards Department are working from home, in line with Government guidelines. We are able to assist with queries relating to new or ongoing regulatory applications, quality assurance monitoring reviews and annual returns questions.

Here, we will provide the latest information regarding regulation changes, quality assurance monitoring and your firm’s annual return. Please check back here on a regular basis for updates in these areas. We will also continue to send regulatory emails such as AML – the essentials, Audit News, Probate News to our regulatory points of contact when we have new updates.

Quality Assurance monitoring – last updated 31 March 2020

Quality Assurance monitoring reviews: Following recent Government guidance, we will not be carrying out onsite monitoring reviews for the foreseeable future.

If your firm was scheduled to have an onsite review in the next few months, a member of the Quality Assurance Department (QAD) will contact you shortly before the scheduled review date to explore whether we can perform the monitoring review remotely.

If it is not possible to perform your firm’s monitoring review remotely, we may need to defer your monitoring review until later in the year. In these cases, QAD may ask your firm to provide documentation and information so our reviewers can undertake a desk top review in the meantime.

If you need to postpone your review because your business has been affected by Coronavirus, please email QADvisits@icaew.com. Some firms have asked if their visit can be pulled forward. If you would like us to bring forward your firm’s monitoring review, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate any requests.

Oversight of our monitoring work: Our monitoring work is supervised by oversight regulators (eg the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) for audit, the Insolvency Service for insolvency, the Legal Services Board (LSB) for probate and the Office for Professional Body Anti-Money Laundering Supervision (OPBAS) for AML).

We agree the number of monitoring visits and types of firms we need to complete annually with each oversight regulator. Over the last couple of weeks, we have been in contact with the oversight regulators to explain that some of our firms are unable to accommodate visits at this time and that it may not be possible to carry out all of the visits which were scheduled during this period. Our oversight regulators understand and accept this but they have asked us to try to carry out as many of the scheduled visits as possible. This is why our Quality Assurance Department is exploring the option of remote visits during this period.

Annual return

If we can help you to complete your firm’s annual return, or you would like to discuss an extension for submitting your firm’s annual return or have a general query, please email annualreturns@icaew.com or leave a voicemail on +44 (0)1908 546 372 and one of our team will be in contact as soon as possible.

Regulatory applications, withdrawals and renewals

Regulatory applications: We are currently processing regulatory applications in the usual way and within 8-12 weeks. We are generally able to process affiliate applications within 4-6 weeks.
We can only accept regulatory applications by email. Do not send applications by post. Please send regulatory applications to regulatorysupport@icaew.com and insolvency applications to insolvency@icaew.com.

We cannot access cheques at the moment or any payments by post. Where payment is required, an ICAEW advisor will be in touch with you to arrange this.

Time extensions to respond to information requests from us will be given provided it is clear your firm is experiencing difficulties as a result of the impact of COVID-19 or Government restrictions. Please let us know why you need extra time and we will discuss alternative arrangements with you.

Regular registration and licensing committee meetings continue to take place to consider any applications that cannot be approved by the Professional Standards Department.

Regulatory withdrawals: If your firm would like to withdraw a regulatory registration, please complete the application.

Changes to firm structure: If your firm needs to notify us about any changes to the structure of your firm, please continue to use the standing data change form and email it to regulatorysupport@icaew.com. Please do not send any documents to us by post. The regulations require firms to notify us of any changes within 10 business days. We understand this may not always be possible in the current circumstances, but please give us as much notice as possible.

Firms being monitored: External hot and cold reviews: If your firm has agreed to submit an external hot or cold file review to us (eg, as a result of a previous quality assurance monitoring visit or as a condition on the approval of your application), you should contact your external reviewer earlier than usual to check if the review can still take place as planned, or to make alternative arrangements.

If you encounter any difficulties in scheduling an external review as a result of the impact of COVID-19 or Government restrictions, please tell your ICAEW case manager as soon as possible. Where practical, we will grant you additional time, or we will liaise with the Registration Committee to agree an alternative course of action.

Regulatory renewal payments: As our offices are closed, we cannot accept payment by cheques. Renewals can be paid at icaew.com/payyourfees or by electronic transfer. Please refer to your firm’s proforma invoice for details.

Electronic transfer
Bank account: National Westminster Bank Plc, Milton Keynes
Sort code: 60 14 55
Account name: ICAEW Treasury Account
Account number: 82278237
Swift code: NWBKGB2L
International banking number: GB46 NWBK 6014 5582 2782 37

Please email your remittance advice to bacs@icaew.com, with the payment reference used and full details of the items to be paid including your firm and / or membership number (if relevant) before making payment; otherwise your payment may be returned as we may not be able to allocate it.

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