13-06-2019

Part 42: Statutory Auditors

1544.The provisions of this Part concern the regulation of auditors. The effects of this Part are:

To replace Part 2 of the 1989 Act and equivalent Northern Ireland provisions, by restating those provisions with some modifications.

To extend the category of auditors that are subject to regulation and to make provision for the registration and regulation of auditors (whether based in the UK or not) who audit companies which are incorporated outside the EU but listed in the UK;

To provide that the Comptroller and Auditor General and the regional Auditors General are eligible to be appointed to perform statutory audits and provide a mechanism for the regulation and supervision of their functions as statutory auditor.

1545.Many of the provisions in this Part implement obligations contained in the Updated Eighth Company Law Directive on Audit (2006/43/EC) that was published on 9 June 2006. The provisions relating to Auditors General implement recommendations contained in Lord Sharman’s report, «Holding to Account, The Review of Audit and Accountability for Central Government», published in 2001.

Chapter 1: Introductory

Sections 1209 to 1211: Introductory

1546.Part 2 of the 1989 Act regulates only the auditors of companies. Section 1210(1) defines the meaning of statutory auditor more broadly. Persons within subsection (1)(a) to (g) are ‘statutory auditors’. This list includes those persons who audit companies (as required under Part 16 of the Act) and those who audit building societies, insurers and banks. In addition, the Secretary of State has a power to add auditors of other persons to this list. Section 1211 cross-refers the eligibility for appointment as a statutory auditor to the requirements contained in Chapter 2 or Chapter 3 of this Part of the Act.

Chapter 2: Individuals and Firms

Sections 1212 and 1213: Eligibility for appointment

1547.These sections are restatements of sections 25 and 28 of the 1989 Act adapted so as to apply in relation to statutory auditors. The sections provide that for a person or firm (defined in section 1261) to be eligible for appointment as a statutory auditor, the person must be a member of a recognised supervisory body and be eligible for appointment under the rules of that body. Section 1217(2) clarifies that references to such members include references to persons who are not members but who are subject to the body’s rules. (Section 1217 and Schedule 10 address the recognition of supervisory bodies, and lay down the requirements they must meet to be recognised.).

1548.Section 1213 provides that no person may act as a statutory auditor if he is ineligible. It specifies that, on becoming ineligible, the auditor must resign his office and give notice in writing. Failure to comply with this requirement is an offence, conviction of which can result in a fine (subsections (3) and (4)). If the auditor continues to act as a statutory auditor after conviction (subsection (5)), or continues to fail to give notice that he is ineligible for appointment as a statutory auditor (subsection (6)), he commits a further offence for which a daily fine may be imposed after conviction (subsection (7)). Subsection (8) provides a defence if the person did not know or had no reason to believe that he was, or had become, ineligible.

Section 1214: Independence requirement

1549.This section restates section 27 of the 1989 Act and indicates circumstances where a person may not act as a statutory auditor on grounds of lack of independence. Under subsection (2) this includes persons who are officers or employees of the audited entity, or the partner or employee of such a person. Under subsection (3), this includes where the person is an officer or employee of a subsidiary of the audited entity. Subsection (4) allows the Secretary of State to make regulations regarding other connections between the audited entity and the statutory auditor by virtue of which a person will be regarded as lacking independence.

Section 1215: Effect of lack of independence

1550.This section sets out the consequences of the prohibition from acting as a statutory auditor on grounds of lack of independence, as defined in section 1214. They replicate the effect of ineligibility as explained for section 1213.

Section 1216: Effect of appointment of a partnership

1551.This section is a restatement of section 26 of the 1989 Act. The effect of the section is to ensure that when a partnership constituted in England and Wales, Northern Ireland, or any other country or territory in which a partnership is not a legal person, is appointed as a statutory auditor under this Part, the appointment may continue even if a partner leaves the partnership. For a partnership or other person to be considered as appropriate for the appointment to continue, they must be eligible for appointment as a statutory auditor and not be prohibited (as indicated in section 1214(1)). Without this provision, the appointment would cease every time the membership of the partnership changed.

Section 1217: Supervisory bodies

1552.This section restates section 30 of the 1989 Act and defines a supervisory body as a body established in the UK which maintains and enforces rules regarding the eligibility of persons appointed as statutory auditors and the conduct of statutory audit work. Subsection (4) introduces Schedule 10, which specifies the requirements supervisory bodies must meet in order to be recognised, and the process for doing so.

Schedule 10: Recognised supervisory bodies

Part 1: Grant and Revocation of recognition of a Supervisory Body

1553.This Schedule restates provisions in Schedule 11 to the 1989 Act. Paragraph 1 identifies the steps a body is required to take to become recognised by the Secretary of State. Paragraph 3 specifies the steps that the Secretary of State is required to take if the recognition of the body is revoked. Paragraph 5 provides that recognition (and revocation) orders are not statutory instruments. Paragraph 4 is a transitional provision that allows bodies recognised under the 1989 Act or the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1990 to continue to be recognised.

Part 2: Requirements for recognition of a supervisory body

1554.Paragraphs 6 and 7 require a recognised supervisory body to ensure that persons eligible for appointment as a statutory auditor hold appropriate qualifications (as defined in section 1219). They require a firm that is a statutory auditor to be controlled by qualified persons. Paragraphs 8 to 11 require the bodies to have rules and practices which ensure that auditors are fit and proper persons, that professional integrity and independence is maintained, that technical standards for audits are assured and that there are procedures for maintaining appropriate levels of competence. Paragraphs 12 to 16 specify the requirements for monitoring, enforcement, discipline and investigation of complaints.

Part 3: Arrangements in which recognised supervisory bodies are required to participate

1555.Paragraphs 21 to 27 specify the arrangements with independent bodies that recognised supervisory bodies must enter into in order to meet the requirements of this Schedule described above.

Section 1218: Exemption from liability for damages

1556.This section is a restatement of section 48 of the 1989 Act. It sets out those bodies and individuals that are exempt from liability for damages arising from the discharge or claimed discharge of supervisory functions as specified in this Part of the Act (these include the effects of rules, practices, powers and arrangements of the body). It applies to recognised supervisory bodies (see sections 1217 and Schedule 10) and their officers, employees and members of their governing bodies. The exemption does not apply if they have acted in bad faith, or if it would prevent an award of damages because the act was unlawful under the Human Rights Act.

Section 1219: Appropriate qualifications

1557.This section restates section 31 of the 1989 Act. It provides that a person holds an appropriate audit qualification if he holds a professional qualification obtained in the UK which is recognised in accordance with section 1220 and Schedule 11. Qualifications recognised under Part 2 of the 1989 Act or the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1990 will continue to be recognised.

1558.Persons whose qualifications from other EU Member States are recognised under the European Communities (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) (First General System) Regulations 2005 to practise as statutory auditors are also considered to hold an appropriate qualification. So too are overseas qualifications from non-EU countries if approved under section 1221. Subsection (2) restates a transitional provision from the 1989 Act for those persons who began a course of study in accountancy before 1 January 1990 and obtained a qualification between 1 January 1990 and 1 January 1996, enabling them to apply to the Secretary of State for approval of their qualification. The transitional provisions contained in section 31(2) and (3) of the 1989 Act have not been restated.

Section 1220: Qualifying bodies and recognised professional qualifications

1559.This section is a restatement of section 32 of the 1989 Act. It defines the term «qualifying body» as a body that offers a professional qualification in accountancy and introduces Schedule 11 which sets out the requirements that qualifying bodies must impose. Only a qualification recognised in accordance with these provisions can be considered a recognised professional qualification within the meaning of section 1219(1)(a).

Schedule 11: Recognised Professional Qualifications

Part 1: Grant and revocation of recognition of a professional qualification

Paragraph 1: Application for recognition of professional qualification

1560.This Schedule restates provisions in Schedule 12 to the 1989 Act. Paragraph 1 identifies the steps a body is required to take for a qualification it offers to be recognised by the Secretary of State. Paragraph 3 specifies the steps that the Secretary of State is required to take if the recognition is revoked. Paragraph 5 provides that recognition (and revocation) orders are not statutory instruments. Paragraph 4 is a transitional provision that allows qualifications recognised under the 1989 Act or the Companies (Northern Ireland) Order 1990 to continue to be recognised.

Part 2: Requirements for recognition of a professional qualification

1561.Paragraph 6 sets the minimum academic standards that a person must have attained before he can attempt to gain the professional qualification. Paragraph 7 requires that the qualification is restricted to persons who have either completed a relevant academic course or have seven years’ professional experience. Paragraph 8 requires that an examination must be passed (part of which has to be in writing) for the person to achieve the qualification. This examination must be in subjects of theoretical knowledge prescribed by the Secretary of State; or a university or equivalent level examination; or by practical demonstration of knowledge to examination or diploma level that is recognised by the Secretary of State. Paragraph 9 requires persons to carry out at least three years’ practical training.

Section 1221: Approval of overseas qualifications

1562.This section restates section 33 of the 1989 Act as regards the approval of overseas qualifications from non-EU countries. It sets out the conditions that will need to be satisfied, relating to the assurance of professional competence. The section provides for approval of all those in a specified country who are qualified to audit accounts, or only those who hold specified qualifications in that country. In the case of the latter, the Secretary of State may specify any additional requirements to be satisfied. The section allows the Secretary of State to recognise an overseas qualification only if there is comparability of treatment of UK qualifications in the country in question.

Section 1222: Eligibility of individuals retaining only 1967 Act authorisation

1563.This section restates section 34 of the 1989 Act. Prior to 1967 auditors of an unquoted company were exempt from the statutory qualification requirements placed on other company auditors. The Companies Act 1967 abolished this exemption but allowed an auditor with sufficient practical experience to apply to the Secretary of State for authorisation to practise. Past authorisations will continue to be valid by virtue of the transitional provision in section 1219(1)(b). Section 1222 provides that auditors authorised under the 1967 Act may not be treated as statutory auditors for any purpose other than to perform the statutory audit of an unquoted company (as defined in section 385(2)).

Section 1223: Matters to be notified to the Secretary of State

1564.This section is a restatement of section 37 of the 1989 Act and allows the Secretary of State to identify events that must be notified to him if they occur. It requires that recognised supervisory and qualifying bodies must provide information, either in writing or some other specified manner, that is reasonably required for the Secretary of State to carry out his functions – this might include annual reports, or notification of rule or bye-law changes. This information might relate to specific time periods or specific occurrences.

Section 1224: The Secretary of State’s power to call for information

1565.This section restates section 38 of the 1989 Act. It provides the Secretary of State with the power to require information from a recognised supervisory body, a recognised qualifying body or an individual statutory auditor. For example, as a result of a report provided under section 1223, the Secretary of State may request further information on a specific point to clarify if a recognised supervisory body is complying with the requirements in Schedule 10. The Secretary of State can specify the time period in which this information has to be provided.

Section 1225: Compliance orders

1566.This section is a restatement of section 39 of the 1989 Act. If a recognised supervisory or qualifying body fails to meet the requirements in Schedule 10 or 11, or it fails to comply with another requirement contained in this Part of the Act, then the Secretary of State may apply to the court for an order to make the body comply. The ultimate sanction for non-compliance by a body would be revocation of its status as a recognised body under Schedule 10 or 11.

Chapter 3: Auditors General

Section 1226: Auditors General: eligibility for appointment as a statutory auditor

1567.Subsection (1) defines an «Auditor General» for the purposes of this Part as the Comptroller and Auditor General, the Auditor General for Scotland, the Auditor General for Wales or the Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland. Subsections (2) and (3) explain that an Auditor General is eligible for appointment as a statutory auditor, unless his eligibility has been suspended by the Independent Supervisor under section 1234.

Section 1227: Individuals responsible for audit work on behalf of Auditors General

1568.This section provides that an Auditor General must ensure that the individuals within his charge, who are carrying out statutory audits on the Auditor General’s behalf, are, in their own right, eligible for appointment as a statutory auditor by virtue of the qualifications and requirements that are set out in Chapter 2.

Section 1228: Appointment of the Independent Supervisor

1569.Subsections (1) and (2) provide that the Secretary of State must appoint a body to be the Independent Supervisor of Auditors General in respect of the exercise of statutory audit functions. Subsection (3) provides for the appointment of the Independent Supervisor to have the effect of making it subject to the obligations of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Subsections (4), (5) and (6) provide that a body may be appointed as Independent Supervisor of an Auditor General if it is a corporate body or unincorporated association that is willing to carry out the function, that has arrangements in place that will ensure the supervision is carried out effectively, and that will exercise such functions and requirements that may be laid down in the Secretary of State’s order appointing it. The appointed Independent Supervisor must perform its function on a UK-wide basis for all four Auditors General in accordance with section 1229(1).

Section 1229: Supervision of Auditors General by the Independent Supervisor

1570.This section sets the framework for the supervision arrangements to be carried out by the Independent Supervisor. Subsection (2) provides that the Independent Supervisor must establish arrangements with one or more third parties to carry out aspects of the supervisory function. Subsection (3) provides that the arrangements with a third party cover standards on professional integrity and independence, as well as the technical standards for statutory audit work; monitoring performance; investigating matters arising from that performance; and as necessary holding disciplinary hearings and deciding whether any disciplinary action should be taken. Subsections (6) and (7) make provisions relating to the payment of fines under the disciplinary arrangements.

Section 1230: Duties of Auditors General in relation to supervision arrangements

1571.Subsection (1) makes it a duty for each Auditor General to comply with the standards set by, as well as the monitoring arrangements and decisions of, the independent supervision arrangements. It also provides in subsection (2) for each Auditor General to pay the proportion of the costs of the independent supervisory arrangements that may be notified to the Auditor General in writing. Subsection (3) provides that the payment of such costs is to be regarded as expenditure of the National Audit Office in the case of the Comptroller and Auditor General, and as expenditure of the Northern Ireland Audit Office in the case of the Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland. In the case of the Auditor General for Scotland, under section 13 of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 (asp 1) the expenses of the Auditor General are paid by Audit Scotland. In the case of the Auditor General for Wales, under section 93 of the Government of Wales Act 1998 the expenses of the Auditor General are met by the Assembly.

Section 1231: Reports by the Independent Supervisor

1572.This section provides that the Independent Supervisor must provide at least one report each calendar year to the Secretary of State and to the First Minister in Scotland, The First Minister and the Deputy First Minister in Northern Ireland and the Assembly First Minister in Wales. The Secretary of State must then lay the report before each House of Parliament.

Section 1232: Matters to be notified to the Independent Supervisor

1573.This section makes it a legal requirement for an Auditor General to notify the Independent Supervisor in writing of events that the Independent Supervisor may specify and is consistent with the requirement for other statutory auditors as contained in section 1223.

Section 1233: The Independent Supervisor’s power to call for information

1574.This section makes provision enabling the Independent Supervisor to require an Auditor General to provide information. It enables the Independent Supervisor to specify the period within which the information must be provided and how the information must be verified. This section is consistent with the requirement for other statutory auditors as contained in section 1224.

Section 1234: Suspension notices

1575.This section provides the Independent Supervisor with the power to suspend an Auditor General’s eligibility for appointment as a statutory auditor if, for example, he falls short of the standards laid down for performance of statutory audit work. It also sets out the provisions as to how the suspension will be effected, and the considerations pertaining to the decision to suspend. It provides for a process leading up to the issuing of a suspension notice, including the hearing of representations from the Auditor General in question.

Section 1235: Effect of suspension notices

1576.This section provides that an Auditor General must not act as a statutory auditor of a particular person if he is suspended in relation to that person. If the suspension starts during his term of office, the Auditor General must resign as a statutory auditor immediately, and tell the audited person that he has resigned. Subsection (3) makes it clear that the criminal offences in section 1213 (ineligibility for appointment as a statutory auditor) do not apply to an Auditor General who is ineligible by virtue of a suspension notice.

Section 1236: Compliance orders

1577.This section provides the power for the Independent Supervisor to take an Auditor General to court if he fails to comply with any obligation imposed by or by virtue of this Part of the Act. The court may direct the Auditor General to take such steps as it thinks fit to ensure compliance.

Section 1237: Proceedings involving the Independent Supervisor

1578.This section provides that where the Independent Supervisor is an unincorporated association it may take proceedings in the name of the body corporate under which it is constituted.

Section 1238: Grants to the Independent Supervisor

1579.This section amends section 16(2) of the C(AICE) Act 2004. The effect of the amendment is that the body that carries out the functions of the Independent Supervisor is eligible for grants from the Secretary of State under section 16 of that Act to meet the expenditure of the body and any subsidiary. It also means that the body may be exempt from liability in damages under section 18 of the Act.

Chapter 4: the Register of Auditors Etc

Section 1239: The register of auditors

1580.This section restates section 35 of the 1989 Act but extends the provision to cover other statutory auditors (as defined in section 1210) and third country auditors (as defined in section 1241). It requires the Secretary of State to make regulations that require the keeping of a register of those persons eligible to be a statutory auditor and third country auditors. Subsection (2) sets out the information that must be included on the register and includes the person’s name and address and the name of the relevant supervisory body for the person. If an individual statutory auditor works for a firm that is a statutory auditor, both must be entered separately on the register and cross-referenced. In subsection (3) additional information, namely the name and address of directors, members or partners, is required from bodies corporate (including limited liability partnerships), corporations sole and partnerships. The section allows for certain parts of the register to be kept by different persons, for example an oversight body may keep the information regarding third country auditors, whilst the recognised supervisory bodies may keep information regarding other statutory auditors. Subsection (6) confers a power to provide that information in the register, or a certified copy of it, is to be made available to the public upon request. A charge for access to this information is permitted. Subsection (7) allows the Secretary of State to disapply some or all of the requirements of subsections (2)(e) and (3) in relation to third country auditors (for example, if they are already subject to equivalent supervision in their home country).

Section 1240: Information to be made available to public

1581.This new provision gives the Secretary of State the power to make regulations placing an obligation on statutory auditors to make information regarding their ownership, governance, internal controls with respect to quality and independence of audit work, turnover and names of persons for whom the person has acted as statutory auditor, available to the public. Any such obligations are additional to those referred to in section 1239.

Chapter 5: Registered Third Country Auditors

Section 1241: Meaning of «third country auditor», «registered third country auditor» etc

1582.This is a new provision that sets out the definition of a third country auditor and a registered third country auditor. The section provides that a third country auditor is an auditor (whether based in the UK or not) of the accounts of a company incorporated or formed in a non-EU country, whose shares are admitted for trading on a UK market such as the London Stock Exchange.

Section 1242: Duties of registered third country auditors

1583.Subsections (1) to (3) require registered third country auditors to be subject to systems of independent monitoring and discipline in the UK in accordance with Schedule 12. These provisions are similar to supervision arrangements for statutory auditors contained in section 1212(1) (membership of a Recognised Supervisory Body) and section 1217 (Supervisory Bodies) and Schedule 10. Subsection (4) empowers the Secretary of State to disapply the requirements in subsections (1) to (3). For example, he may disapply the requirements if satisfied that the third country auditor is already subject to equivalent supervision arrangements in his home country.

Schedule 12: Arrangements in which registered third country auditors are required to participate

1584.The requirements in this Schedule are new. They describe the independent monitoring and investigation arrangements which third country auditors must participate in.

Sections 1243 and 1244: Information

1585.These sections replicate for registered third country auditors the requirements in section 1223 and 1224 for the notification of information to the Secretary of State. Third country auditors may be required to provide any information that might reasonably be required for the Secretary of State to carry out his functions.

Sections 1245 and 1246: Enforcement

1586.The provisions in section 1245 enable the Secretary of State to apply to the court for an order to make a registered third country auditor comply with its obligations under the Part. The provisions in section 1246 empower the Secretary of State to make provision as to the removal of the third country auditors from the register of auditors in certain circumstances. In doing so, regard must be had to whether the third country auditor has complied with his obligations under this Part.

Section 1247: Grants to bodies concerned with arrangements under Schedule 12

1587.This section amends section 16(2) of the C(AICE) Act 2004. The effect of the amendment is that the body that carries out the monitoring and investigation functions in relation to third country auditors is eligible for grants from the Secretary of State under section 16 of that Act. It also means that the body may be exempt from liability in damages under section 18 of the Act.

Chapter 6: Supplementary and General

Sections 1248 and 1249: Power to require second company audit

1588.These sections restate section 29 of the 1989 Act empowering the Secretary of State to require a second audit of a company in circumstances where the person appointed as statutory auditor was not eligible for appointment or was not independent of the company audited. Subsection (2) permits the Secretary of State to direct either that a second audit is performed or that a review of the first audit is carried out (which will inform whether a second audit is required). Subsections (5) to (8) set out the criminal sanctions on the company should it fail to comply with that order. Section 1249 allows the audited person to recover the costs of the second audit from the first auditor, if the first auditor knew when he acted that he was not eligible or not independent.

Section 1250: Misleading, false and deceptive statements

1589.This section is a restatement of the offences in section 41 of the 1989 Act but also extends these offences to third country auditors. Subsection (1) sets out offences in respect of persons who provide information that they know to be misleading, false or deceptive. Subsection (2) makes it an offence for a person to hold himself out as a registered auditor where he is not registered as such in accordance with section 1239. Subsection (3) makes a similar provision for third country auditors. Subsection (4) makes it an offence for either a supervisory or qualifying body to hold itself out as recognised when it is not so recognised. Subsection (8) provides a defence if the person took all reasonable precautions and exercised due diligence to avoid committing the offence.

Section 1251: Fees

1590.This provision is based on section 45 of the 1989 Act and extends the powers of the Secretary of State to make regulations to prescribe periodical fees which must be paid by the Auditors General and registered third country auditors as well as recognised supervisory bodies and recognised qualifying bodies.

Section 1252 and 1253: Delegation of Secretary of State’s functions

1591.These provisions replace sections 46 and 46A of the 1989 Act and empower the Secretary of State to establish a body, or appoint an existing body, to exercise his functions relating to statutory auditors and the recognition of bodies that supervise auditors and/or provide professional qualifications. To do so, the Secretary of State must make a delegation order that is in accordance with Schedule 13. However, subsection (6) provides that some delegated functions must remain exercisable concurrently by the Secretary of State: namely the power to call for information (sections 1224 and 1244) and the power to issue directions to comply with international obligations (section 1254). Subsection (7) also provides that certain delegated functions concerning the approval of overseas qualifications (section 1221) can be exercised only with the consent of the Secretary of State. Subsection (3) provides for the delegation of the body to have the effect of making it subject to the obligations of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. The Professional Oversight Board is currently appointed under section 46 of the 1989 Act to exercise the Secretary of State’s functions.

1592.Section 1253 specifies the conditions for delegating functions to an existing body. It ensures that an existing body is not precluded from exercising any delegated function on the basis of its involvement with the monitoring, investigation or disciplinary arrangements that are set out in Schedule 10.

Schedule 13: Supplementary provisions with respect to delegation order

1593.This Schedule restates the provisions of Schedule 13 to the 1989 Act. Paragraph 2 provides that the delegated body is not to be regarded as acting on behalf of the Crown. Paragraphs 7 to 9 provide for the delegated body to exercise any legislative functions by instrument in writing and not by statutory instrument. Instruments must be made available to the public and the Secretary of State may require the body to consult prior to the making of regulations. Paragraph 10 requires the delegated body to report annually to the Secretary of State on the performance of its functions.

Section 1254: Directions to comply with international obligations

1594.This provision restates section 40 of the 1989 Act and empowers the Secretary of State to direct recognised supervisory or qualifying bodies, or any body delegated under section 1252, to comply with Community or other international obligations. If the body fails to comply with a direction, the Secretary of State can apply to the court for his direction to be enforced.

Section 1255: Offences by bodies corporate, partnerships and unincorporated associations

1595.This provision restates section 42 of the 1989 Act and deals with offences committed by bodies corporate, partnerships and other unincorporated associations. Where an offence committed by such a body is committed with the consent or connivance of, or is attributable to the neglect of, an officer (in the case of a body corporate), a partner (in the case of a partnership) or an officer or member (in the case of an unincorporated association), that officer, partner or member is also guilty of the offence.

Section 1256: Time limits for prosecution of offences

1596.This provision restates section 43 of the 1989 Act and sets a twelve-month time limit for the prosecution of offences within each of the jurisdictions. Subsections (1) to (4) identify that the date on which knowledge of sufficient evidence of the offence to justify prosecuting becomes known to either the Secretary of State or Director of Public Prosecutions (for England and Wales), the Lord Advocate (for Scotland) or Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland is taken as the date from which the twelve month time limit commences. In any event, the prosecution may not be commenced if three years have passed since the date on which the offence was committed.

Section 1257: Jurisdiction and procedure in respect of offences

1597.This provision restates section 44 of the 1989 Act and deals with the jurisdiction and procedure in respect of offences. It specifies that the jurisdiction is that in which a body corporate or unincorporated association has its place of business or, in the case of an individual, where he is located. It also provides for an unincorporated association to be treated in the same way as a body corporate.

Section 1258: Service of notices

1598.This provision restates section 49 of the 1989 Act and states how notices and other documents may be served under this Part of the Act on any person other than the Secretary of State. The three permitted methods of service are: delivery to the person, leaving the document at the person’s address, or sending it by post to the person’s address.

Section 1259: Documents in electronic form

1599.This is a new provision to allow delivery of notices, directions or other documents in electronic form. It allows the use of e-communications where existing provisions in this Part impose requirements on the giving or sending of notices, directions or other documents, provided the recipient indicates he is prepared to accept this form of delivery.

Section 1260: Meaning of «associate»

1600.This provision restates section 52 of the 1989 Act and defines the meaning of «associate». This definition is particularly relevant for the independence requirement for statutory auditors set out in section 1214.

Section 1261: Minor definitions

1601.This provision is a restatement of section 53 of the 1989 Act with certain extra definitions. Subsection (3) empowers the Secretary of State, by regulations, to make amendments to this Part which are needed in relation to the application of the Part to a «firm» (as defined by subsection (1)) which is not a partnership or body corporate.

Section 1262: Index of defined expressions

1602.This provision contains an index to the defined terms used in the Part.

Section 1263: Power to make provision in consequence of changes affecting accountancy bodies

1603.This provision restates section 51 of the 1989 Act. The provision empowers the Secretary of State to amend by regulation legislation (including this Act) that refers to accountancy bodies in the event of a name change, merger or transfer of engagements affecting the bodies.

Section 1264 and Schedule 14: Consequential amendments

1604.Section 1264 introduces Schedule 14, which contains amendments consequential on this Part to the C(AICE) Act 2004.