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Does your UK Subsidiary require an Audit? Audit Exemption vs Require an Audit of EEA and Overseas Parent Companies

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Introduction: Why Audit Requirements for UK Subsidiaries Matter

Navigating the intricacies of whether your UK subsidiary needs a statutory audit or is eligible for an audit exemption can be complex. With the regulatory landscape continuously evolving, especially post-Brexit, understanding your subsidiary’s audit obligations is crucial and challenging. At Jack Ross Chartered Accountants, we guide you through these complexities.

What Determines If Your UK Subsidiary Requires an Audit?

Many UK subsidiaries, especially those with overseas or EEA parent companies, are legally mandated to have a statutory audit each financial year under the Companies Act 2006. However, some may be exempt if they meet specific criteria. Here’s a snapshot:

  • Turnover: More than £10.2 million annually.
  • Balance Sheet: Total exceeding £5.1 million.
  • Employees: More than 50.

Additionally, certain types of companies are required to have an audit, such as large private companies, PLCs, and various types of investment and insurance firms. Non-compliance could result in penalties.

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What Audit Exemptions Are There for UK Subsidiaries?

While most UK subsidiaries are required to undergo an audit, exemption from audit might apply. A popular one is available under section 479A of the Companies Act 2006. To be eligible, UK subsidiaries of foreign parent companies must:

  • Be included in UK consolidated group accounts.
  • Have those consolidated accounts audited.
  • Obtain a guarantee for all undischarged liabilities from a UK parent company.

These exemptions reduce audit costs but require meticulous validation.

Brexit’s Impact on Audit Requirements

Brexit has significantly altered the audit landscape for UK subsidiaries. Key changes include:

  • Only UK parent companies can avail of audit exemptions.
  • Extra steps are now necessary for EEA parents to guarantee UK subsidiary liabilities, which are almost impossible to reach with consolidating in the UK.
  • Adaptations are needed in audit and consolidation processes due to Brexit.

Factors That Influence Audit Requirements

Your UK subsidiary’s need for an audit hinges on several elements, including:

  • Company Size: Subsidiaries exceeding certain financial thresholds are required to have an audit.
  • Company Type: Specific categories, like large private companies, necessitate audits.
  • Parent Company Location: Post-Brexit, only UK or EEA parent companies can avail of exemptions.

How to Claim an Audit Exemption

To claim an audit exemption under Section 479A, you’ll need:

  • Agreement from all members of the corporation for the fiscal year in question.
  • A UK parent company that guarantees all of the subsidiary’s outstanding liabilities.
  • The subsidiary must be included in the UK parent’s consolidated, audited financials.
  • Proper filings must be submitted to Companies House.

Pros and Cons of Audit Exemption

  • Pros: Savings on audit fees, reduced administrative burden, and increased flexibility.
  • Cons: Yearly validation of eligibility, lesser financial scrutiny, and the need for a parent guarantee.

What’s Involved in Auditing UK Subsidiaries?

Audits offer an independent evaluation of a subsidiary’s financial status, covering aspects from financial statement accuracy to compliance with regulations. A robust audit provides assurance, transparency, and actionable recommendations.

Duration of an Audit

An audit typically ranges from 8 to 12 weeks, depending on factors like the subsidiary’s size, complexity, and cooperation levels.

Risks of Non-Compliance

Failure to comply with UK audit regulations can lead to statutory fines, damaged reputation, and even legal repercussions.

Why Choose Us?

At Jack Ross Chartered Accountants, we offer expert guidance in determining your audit requirements, assessing exemption eligibility, and navigating the complexities introduced by Brexit. Our comprehensive audit services ensure you remain compliant while making informed financial decisions.

In Summary

Understanding the audit requirements for your UK subsidiary is a multifaceted process. With our expertise at Jack Ross Chartered Accountants, you can navigate this complex landscape with ease and confidence.

For a tailored consultation on how we can assist your UK subsidiary in meeting its audit obligations, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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Companies registered in the European Economic Area (EEA) are exempt from statutory audit under certain circumstances, such as when the parent company is also an EEA-registered company. UK companies and LLPs that are subsidiaries of companies registered in the EEA commencing on or after 1 Jan 2016 may qualify for audit exemption if specific criteria are met. To determine if your UK subsidiary is eligible for the exemption, please review the applicable MIFID Investment Firm rules regarding investment firms, parent undertakings and consolidated exemptions.

Yes. Companies and LLPs that are subsidiaries of parent companies registered outside the European Economic Area (EEA) need an audit if they have more than two of the following characteristics: turnover more than €6.5m, assets more than €3.26m or more than 250 employees.

A statutory audit means that an independent external auditor will carry out various tests on the financial records and accounts of a company to ensure their accuracy and completeness, which is essential for investors as it assures that the annual accounts provide an accurate and fair view of the affairs of the company.

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The Jack Ross Team has been an absolute delight. Professional, nice and fast during the Audit procedure. Thank you Jack Ross Team. Engaging with the Jack Ross Team for our audit was one of the best decisions we've made this fiscal year. I was particularly impressed with their swift and streamlined audit process. Unlike other firms that drag on for weeks, Jack Ross was able to conclude our audit in record time without cutting corners.

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I've always considered auditing a cumbersome process, but my experience with the Jack Ross Audit Team has completely changed my perspective. Their service was impeccable from start to finish. The team not only offered us invaluable advice to streamline our financial systems, but they also executed an extremely efficient audit that was far less intrusive than I've experienced in the past.

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