UK and Switzerland audit authorities jointly approve mutual recognition of audit qualifications

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Published: 12 December 2023

The UK and Switzerland have made arrangements for mutual recognition of statutory audit qualifications allowing auditors to work more easily in each country, boosting both countries’ audit markets.

The arrangements have been made between the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and the Federal Audit Oversight Authority (FAOA) - Switzerland’s competent audit authority.

They provide a process by which auditors who have obtained professional audit qualifications and registration as a statutory auditor in either the UK or Switzerland (audit expert) can apply for recognition of their qualification and audit rights in the other country. To enable this, the FRC assessed the Swiss statutory audit qualification as equivalent to UK statutory audit qualifications.

The assessment of qualifications was possible due to funding provided by the Department for Business and Trade under the Recognition Arrangements Grant Programme. The programme is part of the UK Government’s support offer to encourage UK regulators and professional bodies in all sectors to agree recognition arrangements with their international counterparts.

The FRC prioritised mutual recognition discussions with Switzerland based on its large financial services sector, the size of its audit market, and strong trade relations with the UK. The arrangements follow an umbrella agreement on Recognition of Professional Qualifications between Switzerland and the UK which was signed in June 2023 and comes into force in 2025.

Like the UK, Switzerland has an influential financial services sector and a high number of skilled auditors.

The mutual recognition arrangement is a positive boost for the UK’s audit market and will further strengthen the close financial ties enjoyed between the UK and Switzerland.”

Sarah Rapson, FRC Executive Director of Supervision

‘’The Swiss financial market, like that of the UK, benefits from highly qualified auditors with global experience. The mutual recognition of audit qualifications is a positive development which will further strengthen the close co-operation between Swiss and UK financial markets.’’

Dr. Reto Sanwald, FAOA Chief Executive Officer

“This arrangement will come as welcome news for our world-leading services sector, providing British auditors with the tools to help them compete for more contracts in Switzerland and export their top-notch services abroad.

“As a fellow services superpower, making trade in services easier will not only boost UK services exports, but also encourages new Swiss investment into the UK.”

Kevin Hollinrake, Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business
letters of understanding on mutual recognition of statutory audit qualifications
Name Letter of Understanding from FAOA on Mutual Recognition of Statutory Audit Qualifications
Publication date 8 December 2023
Format PDF, 1.2 MB
Name FRC to FAOA Letter of Understanding on mutual recognition of statutory audit qualifications
Publication date 8 December 2023
Format PDF, 167.1 KB