Other requirements include:
A firm must make arrangements so that all members, principals and employees performing ATOL-related work are, and continue to be, competent to carry out ATOL reporting for which they are responsible or employed.
The individual must also meet the continuing professional development guidelines of its professional body for the purposes of ATOL reporting.
Manuals and programmes
A firm must maintain an appropriate level of competence in the conduct of ATOL work and this is best achieved through the use of relevant and bespoke manuals, programmes, checklists and procedures so that the firm has a body of knowledge. Such documentation must be kept up to date if the firm is to retain its competence.
Liability of firm/designated ATOL reporting accountant to disciplinary action
The professional body will determine whether a firm/designated ATOL reporting accountant is liable to disciplinary action under the professional body’s disciplinary arrangements if:
- it has performed its ATOL reporting work inefficiently or incompetently to such an extent as to bring discredit on itself/him/herself, or
- if it has breached any of the provisions of the registration arrangement.
Approved professional body monitoring
A firm must appoint a contact principal who will supply the professional body with information as required and provide an annual declaration to the professional body of the individual designated ATOL reporting accountant compliance with its responsibilities under the registration arrangement rules.
The professional body will use the information and annual declaration in their assessment of the continuing designation of the accountant as an ATOL reporting accountant.
Conduct of licensed work
A designated ATOL reporting accountant must:
- act in accordance with the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants and
- comply with any additional conduct of business requirements that are set out in the registration arrangement rules of the professional body for an application to become a designated ATOL reporting accountant.
A designated ATOL reporting accountant should follow Guidance Note 10 when performing ATOL returns/reporting work.
Under the ARA scheme, the firm should take responsibility for firm-wide elements including:
- policies and procedures
- work programmes
- internal compliance reviews
- firm-wide training
- fit and proper declarations.
The individual designated ATOL reporting accountant will sign off ATOL reports.