The Professional Oversight team is one of the teams which comprise the Conduct Division of the FRC. It contributes to the achievement of the Financial Reporting Council's own fundamental aim of promoting high quality corporate governance and reporting to foster investment by:
independent oversight of the regulation of the auditing profession by the recognised supervisory and qualifying bodies;
monitoring the quality of the auditing function in relation to economically significant entities;
independent oversight of the regulation of the accountancy profession by the professional accountancy bodies;
independent oversight of the regulation of the actuarial profession by the professional actuarial bodies and promoting high quality actuarial work; and
independent supervision of the Auditors General in respect of the exercise of their function as statutory auditors.
If you want to make a complaint about the professional conduct of an accountant, registered auditor or actuary, you should, in the first instance, bring your concerns to the attention of the senior partner of the firm concerned. Many firms of accountants and actuaries have formal complaint review procedures. If you are still not satisfied, you should contact the professional body of which the individual or firm is a member.
The FRC has formal oversight responsibilities under the Companies Act 2006 in relation to statutory audit. This includes ensuring that those accountancy bodies recognised to supervise auditors (Recognised Supervisory Bodies) and audit firms have effective arrangements for the investigation of complaints against their members and member firms who are eligible for appointment as a statutory auditor, and against the body itself in respect of any matter arising from its functions as a supervisory body.
You should first pursue the matter with the relevant body, most of whom also have a system of independent review or other process to consider the way they have handled a complaint. If you are not satisfied with the application of the process you can draw your concerns to the attention of the FRC who will consider them as set out below.
We aim to acknowledge all complaints within 10 working days of receipt. At that time we will notify you if your complaint does not fall within our remit. If a complaint does not fall within our remit, we will try and suggest organisations that may be able to assist with your complaint. We will also advise you if your complaint does not raise concerns that a professional accountancy or actuarial body has breached significantly its own standard procedures in the handling of your complaint about their member.
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was passed on 30 November 2000. It gives a general right of access to information held by public authorities, sets out exemptions from that right of access and places a number of obligations on such authorities. The Companies Act 2006 (section 1252(3)) provides that the FRC is designated as a public authority in respect of the statutory duries delegated to it by the Secretary of State under Part 42 of Companies Act 2006.
An audit entity must register with the FRC if it audits the annual or consolidated accounts of a company incorporated outside the European Union/European Economic Area whose transferable securities are admitted to trading on a regulated market in the United Kingdom. However:
no registration is required if the company is an issuer exclusively of debt securities within the meaning of Article 2 (1) (b) of the Directive, the denomination of which is at least EUR 50,000* per unit or, in the case of debt securities denominated in another currency, equivalent, at the date of issue, to at least EUR 50 000.
no registration is required under the current legal framework in the United Kingdom if the audit entity is a registered auditor in the United Kingdom or is approved in accordance with the Audit Directive by an EEA competent authority to carry out audits of annual accounts or consolidated accounts required by Community law.
There is a register of all countries that are registered with the FRC at:
Register of Third Country Auditors
Sections 522 to 525 of the Companies Act 2006 set new requirements on auditors and on companies to notify the “appropriate audit authority” when an auditor ceases to hold office. It is important to stress that both auditors and companies need to notify the “appropriate audit authority” and that there are significant differences in the detailed requirements on auditors and on companies.
The primary responsibility for regulating audit firms lies with the Recognised Supervisory Bodies (RSBs). The FRC's role is an oversight role whereby we monitor the RSBs to ensure that they are able to meet their statutory responsibilities and exercise their regulatory functions effectively.
A RQB is a Recognised Qualifying Body. Individuals responsible for audit at registered firms must hold an audit qualification from a RQB.
A RSB is a Recognised Supervisory Body. Audit firms who wish to be appointed as a statutory auditor in the UK must be registered with, and supervised by, a RSB.
An accountant may offer a wide range of accountancy and related services (for example: accounts preparation, tax advice, payroll). However, only those accountants who are also registered as auditors are entitled by law to provide statutory audit services, most commonly the audit of limited companies.
We exercise oversight by checking that each body has effective arrangements in place to meet all the statutory requirements for continued recognition, and making recommendations; reviewing and testing the way in which each body’s regulatory systems are applied in practice, and making recommendations; and evaluating the effectiveness of an aspect of the regulatory system, for example complaints handling, audit monitoring or examinations and making recommendations.