ACCA publishes its Report on Regulation


A robust regulatory framework is essential for the future of the profession and for public value

An overview of ACCA’s regulatory activities for 2020 is published today, covering qualifications and examinations, developing ACCA’s continuing professional development framework, members’ licensing, monitoring work, and the investigation of complaints and discipline of members, affiliates, students and firms.

The report explains how the independent Regulatory Board, which provides general oversight of ACCA’s regulatory arrangements, works with the ACCA team to ensure arrangements are robust, transparent, proportionate and in the public interest.

Lucy Winskell, Chair of the Regulatory Board says: ‘Like all organisations, ACCA has felt the full force of the restrictions the pandemic has brought. Unsurprisingly, ACCA’s regulatory activities, from examinations, to monitoring of firms, to complaints handling, to CPD compliance and monitoring, have been impacted. But ACCA has found new ways of working to mitigate risks where it can – such as introducing remotely invigilated exams in June 2020 to ensure students can continue their journey to ACCA membership.

‘Regulation is ultimately a risk management exercise and the Board’s terms of reference now include an explicit reference to our role in monitoring regulatory risk to ensure that the balance between risk to the public interest and commercial opportunities is maintained.’

The report explains that in response to the global pandemic, ACCA worked quickly to ensure it could continue to fulfil statutory responsibilities and protect the public interest. It moved to virtual approaches across the range of its regulatory responsibilities to support the effective and efficient delivery of these activities – including the introduction of virtual hearings for all committees, embracing remote inspections for audit monitoring, approved employers and anti-money laundering activities.

Maggie McGhee, executive director strategy and governance at ACCA adds: ‘We are committed to shaping the future of our profession and the regulatory environment that supports this. Publishing this report is therefore an important part of this commitment. Effective regulation is a powerful and positive tool for public trust in capital markets and financial systems globally. In December 2020, we embodied this by setting out commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which we will deliver by 2030 in line with the UN’s decade of action, including our commitment to SDG 16 – Peace, justice and strong institutions.’

Maggie McGhee concludes: ‘Looking ahead, a particular area of focus for ACCA is the changing regulatory landscape, especially here in the UK where we continue to work with the Financial Reporting Council and offer our support as they transition to the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority. We have also recently responded to the government’s far-reaching proposals in its consultation Restoring Trust in audit and corporate governanceOur official response highlighted the fact that these are fundamental changes to audit of public interest entities where we believe that change is needed. Audit quality is fundamental to investor and public confidence and the current consultation provides the opportunity for long-term reform and innovation.’