The Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) invited the accounting professionals and entities, business and investment entities, and members of the public to provide feedback on the draft Accountants (Amendment) Bill (AA Bill) from 14 October to 13 November 2021.
- The proposed amendments in the Bill aim to raise audit quality in Singapore and to enhance the complaints and disciplinary process under ACRA’s purview. The Bill includes key amendments to enhance the audit regulatory regime and introduce measures for better compliance with professional requirements and standards by both public accountants (PAs) and accounting entities (AEs). These amendments align Singapore’s regulatory practices with those in jurisdictions that have established independent audit regulation.
- We have received feedback on the proposed key legislative amendments, which include the below:
- Specify ACRA’s powers to conduct inspections on compliance with quality control (QC) standards by AEs (QC inspections);
- Specify ACRA’s powers to conduct inspections on compliance with Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) requirements by PAs and AEs (AML/CFT inspections);
- Allow ACRA to mandate remediation of lapses and impose sanctions on PAs and/or AEs for lapses discovered during QC and AML/CFT inspections;
- Introduce a tiered assessment framework for engagement-level and QC inspections; and
- Allow ACRA to require PAs who has obtained a “Not Satisfactory” grading on his inspections to send a copy of the order (containing the inspection outcome and findings) served on him to his audited entity.
- The key feedback received from this consultation and our responses to the feedback are set out in Annex A.
- The proposed legislative amendments in the AA Bill will be presented to Parliament in September 2022.
- MOF and ACRA would like to thank all respondents for their feedback.
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