CPA Ireland via CCAB-I has responded to the public consultation on proposals to enhance the Companies Act 2014. The response
considers that the current regime which results in the loss of audit exemption for two years for a late filing is an overly punitive sanction and a misuse of the statutory audit process.
In the consultation on Company Law, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment sought the views of stakeholders on specific proposals to enhance the Companies Act 2014, which included a change to the audit exemption regime. It proposes to provide for a two-step graduated regime to deal with late filing, rather than automatic loss of audit exemption for two years. The two-step regime would operate as follows:
-On the occasion of the first instance of late filing, filing fees would be incurred and there would be no loss of audit exemption;
-If there was a further instance of late filing within the following five- year period, late filing fees would be incurred and the entitlement to audit exemption would be lost for the following two financial years with the company required to file audited financial statements for these years.
Other areas where changes are proposed are as follows;
- providing companies and industrial and provident societies with the option, in addition to the option to hold physical and hybrid meetings, to hold fully virtual AGMs and general meetings on a permanent basis
- delivering on Programme for Government commitment in relation to the regulation of receivers
- extending certain reporting obligations to examiners, interim examiners and process advisors
- certain enhanced powers for the Corporate Enforcement Authority, the Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority and the Companies Registration Office to strengthen the State’s capability to meet the challenges faced in investigating and prosecuting alleged breaches of company law.
CPA Ireland looks forward to further engagement on these matters.