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  • This website section explains the specialist authorisation regime surrounding audit work

    Who can conduct audit work?

    In the UK only firms who are  Registered Auditors can conduct  regulated audit work.

    The Audit Terms Explained

    There are various terms used in this and related articles.  Click here to obtain an understanding of the following audit terms: Registered Auditor, Responsible Individual, Regulated Audit Work, Recognised Supervisory Body, Affiliate, Audit Qualification. 

    How does my firm become a Registered Auditor?

    The process is explained below.  We are here to help. If you have any enquiries about your application please phone 0131 347 0282 or email

    What do you need to do to apply?

    If you want your firm to become a  Registered Auditor, you will need to:

    • Nominate an Audit Compliance Principal who is responsible for audit compliance in your firm
    • Ensure that at least 50% of the voting rights in your firm are held by holders of the audit qualification  
    • Submit an application form for Audit Registration and submit to ICAS.
    • Submit applications for each Responsible Individual in your firm (see below)
    • Submit applications for each Affiliate in your firm (see below)
    • An audit registration fee is payable on application (please contact ICAS).
    • Have appropriate Professional Indemnity Insurance in place.

    What is involved in the Responsible Individual (RI) application?

    Each individual who is responsible for audit work and who signs audit reports must be a Responsible Individual for audit work:  Each RI needs to


    What is involved in the affiliate forms?

    We need to ensure that all principals who are not members of a Recognised Supervisory Body are regulated by ICAS.  They need to:


    What happens next?

    The ICAS team will aim to process your application form within two weeks of receiving your forms.

    • The Institute's Audit Registration Committee (ARC) needs to consider whether the firm meets the eligibility criteria and that the firm, its principals and employees are fit and proper to carry out audit work.  This may take a bit longer as the ARC meets only six times a year.
    • We are here to help.  If you would like to know the status of your application please phone or email at the contact details above

    What happens once my firms is registered?

    Congratulations on becoming an ICAS Registered Auditor.  Once you are registered there are a number of obligations that you will need to fulfil.  We are here to help, so please contact us if you would like advice or support.  Your firm will need to meet the following:


    Are you changing the legal status of your firm?

    If your firm is changing legal status (for example incorporating or becoming an LLP) you will need to submit a new application form for Audit Registration (and any affiliate forms for any changes in affiliates).  You will no longer need to submit an RI application form again for each existing RI.  Any new RIs would need to complete an application.

    Help and Support

    There are a couple of ways we can help you with running a compliant audit practice:

    •  Our audit course: We run a half day course which is split into two modules called Keeping your Audit Firm on the Right Track (session 1) and Keeping your Audit File on the Right Track (session 2).  The course is aimed at providing Audit Compliance Principals with the tools they need to run a compliant audit function.  Audit Compliance Principals must attend the full half day at least once every five years and their attendance is subsidised. Session 2 is also about ensuring effective audit files and is very useful for RIs and audit staff.  Click here for more information.
    • Audit News: We issue Audit News quarterly which should help your RIs and staff keep up to date with audit technical and regulatory developments.
    • Helpsheets: We have issued a range of helpsheets to help you with your audit work, including helpsheets for specialist audit areas. Click here to access the help sheets.

    Contact us

    Any enquiries regarding Audit Registration should be addressed to or 0131 347 0282.

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