Insights from IAASA’s 2023 Financial Statements Examinations

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| Lindsay Webber

Last month, the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) released reports on their financial statements examinations that took place in 2023. These reports can be a helpful resource, especially since they focus on the same areas that the institutes might look at during a review of your firm.

While the IAASA examinations primarily focused on larger listed and regulated entities, they can still provide valuable insights for all businesses. Here are a few of the common issues they identified:

  • Restatement of comparative amounts: This was a recurring issue, and the sufficiency of disclosures related to restatements is something we often see done poorly in practice. When any comparative figures are restated the word “restated” should appear in the headers of all relevant columns and a note should be included outlining the reason for the restatement and the differences in each affected line item.
  • Impairments and fair value measurements: While the specific IFRS disclosure requirements may not apply to all companies, the underlying concepts and careful documentation of impairment testing and fair value measurement are still important for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
  • Fair review of the business: This applies to medium-sized companies and should be fair and not misleading. It's crucial to avoid overly optimistic or sales-oriented language. While not a major concern for smaller firms, it's important to ensure fairness in the directors' report, especially for charities.
  • ESG reporting and climate risks: This is a new and evolving area, and companies are still maturing in their approach. While not a current requirement for SMEs, it's an area to keep an eye on as regulations and expectations develop.
  • Alternative performance measures: Not relevant for SME clients.

Outcome of the 30 Companies Reviewed

In the report, they looked at 30 companies in total and noted the type of review it was and the outcome of the review. Here is a summary of the outcomes:

  • The review found that the 4 companies followed up on from 2022 met the required standard of providing additional disclosure.
  • There were 15 cases where the issuers provided voluntarily undertakings to provide additional disclosures, and these will be reviewed this year.
  • In 11 cases, no issues were identified.

The IAASA review highlights the importance of continuous learning and transparency in your accounting practices. While a monitoring visit can feel stressful, I hope this information enables you to better prepare and address potential issues in anticipation of future reviews.

Our Practice Support team at OmniPro is here to help. We are a team of experienced professionals who can help ensure your financial statements are accurate and reflective of your client’s financial position. If you'd like some extra support in preparing for a future monitoring visit, please don't hesitate to get in touch.

The contents of this article are meant as a guide only and are not a substitute for professional advice. The author/s accept no responsibility for any action taken, or refrained from, as a result of the material contained in this document. Specific advice should be obtained before acting or refraining from acting, in connection with the matters dealt with in this article.

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About the Author

As a member of our Practice Support team, Lindsay’s focus is on helping practices achieve on-going best practice compliance, providing in-house training, technical assistance, and file reviews. Lindsay is a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants and Chartered Accountants Ireland. She trained with KPMG in Johannesburg and specialised in external audit of financial services companies. She then spent six years lecturing audit and financial reporting to under-grad and post-grad students at Rhodes University in South Africa before moving to Ireland and returning to practice in a small, and then a medium sized firm where she was an audit manager. Altogether, she has over six years external audit experience along with over six years academic experience specialising in Audit and Financial Accounting. She is passionate about combining her academic and practice backgrounds to provide technical information in a useful and practical way. Outside of her accounting qualifications Lindsay holds a PGDiploma in Higher Education from Rhodes University and graduated with distinction from the MBA course at Trinity College Dublin. She is currently working towards a Diploma in Forensic Accounting through Chartered Accountants Ireland.


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