You are an accountant in public practice in the United Kingdom and you are approached by a prospective new client. The directors run a small import/export company -- a subsidiary of an overseas company in a country where you have no business contacts.
HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY THE PARENT COMPANY?
This is a matter of client identification. You must carry out the same identification procedures you would with any new client. You will need to identify the parent company to the extent that you know who runs the company and verify that they are authorised to instruct your client. (ACCA Rulebook 2009 3.8 Money laundering, paragraphs 9 -16 Client Identification)
If you are unable to do this yourself you will need to instruct an appropriately qualified firm, such as an ACCA member in that country, or ask them to suggest a lawyer, who can undertake the verification on your behalf.
They will need to send you certified copies of all original documentation seen by them. The verification will include: the structure of the parent company, letters of incorporation filed with the government, lists of board members, and other publicly available material.
If you cannot verify the ownership, ultimate control or significant influence over the business and its assets your concerns are likely to result in you not accepting the appointment.