The Companies (Statutory Audits) Act

Louder than the Lions

The Companies (Statutory Audits) Act was officially enacted on July 25th 2018 following a lengthy period of concern and a debate on July 10th. This Act mostly focuses on implementing updated to the EU Audit directive and on implementing appropriate auditing legislation in Ireland.

Unfortunately, as tends to happen in Irish Business Law, there were some poorly thought out amendments made to this act which have been major causes for concern over recent weeks. One example of an area which was in dire need of clarification and change was in Sections 9 and 10 of the bill which removes the option to apply for exemptions after falling late (S. 343), and requires smaller companies to apply to the High Court for any exemptions. Previously, the CRO (Companies Registration Office) had themselves stated that it would be cost prohibitive to involve the High Courts in these matters, so evidently these were clauses which may create more issues than they were worth. It was originally thought that these new clauses were created in order to prevent repeat offences, but it was ultimately felt by business owners that this may not be the best way to deal with this issue, as Revenue themselves clamp down more effectively on these issues.

There have been many lobbying against these changes and reports suggest that this kind of major immediate change could have negative consequences on the smaller businesses which form the backbone of Irish businesses. It seemed that there would be no movement on these decisions as the Ministers seemed entirely steadfast in their decisions. This, along with numerous letters issued to local TD’s eventually lead to the debate of July 10th.

Following on from this debate there was finally some good news recently for accountants in practice as their voices were finally heard and it was decided that the proposed amendments were utterly inappropriate and not feasible. Companies who find themselves falling late can still make an application under S.343 for an exemption or to extend their filing date to avoid fees mounting up.

Should you have any concerns or queries about these or any other business and financial matters, please don’t hesitate to contact us here at EcovisDCA, where we are always happy to be of service.

Should you have any queries or require further information on this or any other business or financial matter please don’t hesitate to contact us here at EcovisDCA’s new head office, where as always we will be delighted to help.

– – – – –


Protect that Data

In light of recent revelations in terms of personal data in the realm of social media, data protection issues have become more of a common topic of conversation. New changes this month will ensure that these issues stay a hot topic. In April 2016, after a lengthy period of debate and preparation, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was approved by the European Union Parliament. This new regulation is set to come into force on the 25th of May 2018 and any companies found to be non-compliant may face rather severe fines. With that in mind we want to ensure that all of our clients and friends are well informed so today we will be discussing the main topics of note ahead of this enforcement date.

In essence, the GDPR will replace the existing Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and has been formulated in order to standardise data protection and privacy laws across Europe. The regulation is also intended to empower organisations to take data privacy increasingly seriously and to fully understand the impact this can have on a business.

Regardless of the location of your company, if you are an entity which offers goods, services or data exchanges to EU subjects then the GDPR will apply to your company. For our British neighbours, there exists a level of uncertainty with Brexit continuing to loom, for all businesses having dealings in data with the UK it would be advisable to apply the same rules to data coming to and from the UK as data staying within the EU. There will likely be legislation put in place which may stay in line with the GDPR but in order to avoid issues, it is advisable to treat non EU entities and their data in the same strict manner.

It is important for companies to make themselves aware of what actually constitutes personal data. In its most common form personal data is any information on an individual which could identify them. Anything from photos, bank details, addresses, certificates etc. can constitute as personal data for which there must be consent given for this information to be retained. If your company in any way deals with personal data, it is essential that new actions be taken to protect this data in the wake of these new rules.

Penalties for non-compliance can be as severe as fines of 4% of annual global turnover, with the most serious infringements carrying a maximum fine of €20million. There will of course be a tiered system in terms of infringements.

For further information, we recommend visiting the website of our friends at Chartered Accountants Ireland, where they have put together a concise and informative booklet which will discuss everything you need to know about the GDPR.

Should you require any help, advice or guidance on any financial or business matters, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at EcovisDCA, where we will be happy to support you in getting your business to the next level.

– – –