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Company Audit in Ireland: This article explains the Republic of Ireland auditors report and the missed deadlines.

The company audit in Ireland must report to members in conformity with section 336 Companies Act 2014.

In Ireland, the Auditor’s Report must state:

  • Whether the accounting records of their company were sufficient to allow the financial statements to easily and properly be audited.
  • Whether they have all the information and explanations that are required for their audit.
  • They are unsure if they have received sufficient information and returns for their audit from branches of the company that were not visited by them.
  • If they believe that the entity balance sheet gives a fair and accurate view of the assets, liabilities, and financial position of a company at the end of the financial years, and the entity profit and loss accounts, the profit or loss for the year.
  • If entity financial statements are used, the balance sheet of the company and, except where exempted under section 304, the profit/loss account must be in accordance with the accounting records.
  • Whether the statutory financial statement have been prepared properly in accordance to the relevant financial reporting framework, and in particular with the requirements of the Companies Act 2014.
  • For group financial statements, the financial statements of the assets, liabilities, and financial position at the end of the financial year as well as the profit or loss for each financial year of undertakings that were included in the consolidation, as far as it concerns the company members.

The report of the statutory auditors will state whether the director’s financial year report is consistent with the statutory financial statements.

Section 336(3a) CA 2014. (as amended under the Companies (Accounting) Act 2017,) in the case of a micro-company, compliance with the Companies Act 2014 minimum requirements is presumed to give a fair and true view.

The report must also contain an opinion or statement, depending on the case, regarding each matter mentioned in the points above. It should include a reference to any matters the statutory auditors want to draw attention to without qualification.

A STATEMENT of OPINION MAY BE QUALIFIED, EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT AN ADVERSE OR DISCLAIMER, WHERE IT IS A DISAGREEMENT or LIMITATION IN THE SCOPE OF THE WORK.

S.336(8)CA 2014, as amended by s.45 Company (Accounting) Act 2017, states that if any statutory financial statements are not compliant with the requirements of s.305-312, the statutory auditors must include in the report, where they are reasonably capable of doing so, a statement detailing the details. The disclosures of licensed banks and directors’ remuneration/interests/benefits are covered by s.305 to 312. These sections are not applicable to companies that are exempted.

Section 336(2) requires that the introduction identify the entity Financial Statements and, where applicable, the Group Financial Statements that are the subject, as well as the financial reporting framework used in their preparation. Also, it must describe the scope of the audit, identifying the auditing methods that were used.

Signing Statutory Auditor Report

Conforming to s.337 Companies Act 2014., the copy of statutory auditors report that is delivered to Registrar must state the name or names of the auditors and include the date and signature.

A report of auditors in Ireland that is not signed, typed, and dated according to this paragraph will be returned by the presenter for corrections in accordance the section 898 of The Companies Act 2014.

Auditors Report, where Financial Statements have been abridged

A company filing abridged financial statements must file an auditor’s report for the members in addition to the auditor’s report to them. This is required by s.356(1) Companies Act 2014. For a small or medium company, s.357(2) Companies Act 2014. for a medium.

Missed annual return deadlines for the Republic of Ireland

Failure to File on Time: Failure to file an Annual Return on Time can lead to a number of consequences, including the imposition of a late filing fee, prosecution of company directors and the loss of audit exemption, or even the dissolution and involuntary strike-off of the company.

Extension of the time for filing in the Republic of Ireland.

The Companies Act 2014 provides that either the High Court or the District Court may grant an extension to the deadline for filing an annual return. If the Court is satisfied that it would not be unfair to do so, it may issue an Order to extend the deadline for filing the annual return of a company in relation to a specific year. A request to the Court is only possible for an annual return that has not been submitted to the CRO. A single Order can be made for a specific year.

The Registrar will object to any subsequent applications of the company under section 343(5) Companies Act 2014. This is because proceedings against the company have been started for late or non-filing annual returns.

An Affidavit is used to notify the Registrar that a request has been made to the Court. The Court may extend the time for which the company can file their annual returns is 56 days from the effective date of the return (or ARD).

If the Court extends the time for filing, the company must give the Order to CRO within the specified time frame. Usually, this is within 28 days.

The CRO will consider the company’s annual return received on time if it submits all required elements online to the CRO within the extended time period set by the Court Order. Late filing penalties and loss of future audit exemption will not be applicable to this annual return.

Late Filing Fee for the Republic of Ireland

An annual return is subject to a EUR100 late filing fee. This fee becomes due on the 56th day following the expiry date. A daily late fee amount of EUR3 will be accrued thereafter. The maximum late fee per return is EUR1,200. This fee is in addition to the standard filing fee, which is EUR20 per return. Revenue has confirmed that late filing fees cannot be tax-deductible.

Prosecution: The CRO may also impose an on-the-spot fine if the company has a history of persistent late filing or summary prosecution of any officer in default. A conviction for violating the annual return filing requirements can result in a Category 3 offense that could lead to a fine of up to EUR5,000.

Strike-off: A company can be struck from the register or dissolved if it fails to file an annual return. The assets of a company are transferred to the Minister for Public Investment. If the company continues trading, owners lose the benefit of limited liability. They will be personally responsible for any debts they incur as long as the company remains dissolution. 

A person who was a director at the time of the strike-off notice being sent to a company for non-filing annual returns may be disqualified by the High Court from serving as a director if the company is struck-off leaving no outstanding liabilities. This order can be issued by the Court upon request of the Office for the Director of Corporate Enforcement. Link to the Involuntary Strike Off.

The Republic of Ireland has an exemption rule for audits

The audit exemption is not available to companies whose annual returns for the previous years were not filed in time. Failure to file the annual return in time for the current year can result in the company losing the audit exemption for the following two years.

If you found this article helpful, please go to the rest of the website to read more on Accounting, Audit, Taxation in Ireland, and International

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