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19 August 2019

Major changes in regulations concerning Statutory Auditors

The auditing industry awaits major changes beginning next year. The government ratified an amendment to the Act on Statutory Auditors, which will create the new entity: Polska Agencja Nadzoru Audytowego (PANA), to replace the Audit Oversight Commission and local government institutions. The regulation comes into force on August 31st, 2020.

The main reason behind the remodeling of the national supervision structure and establishment of the PANA was the need to maintain direct control over audit companies. Currently, the organization obliged to watch over the quality of services provided by statutory auditors is the Polish Chamber of Statutory Auditors (PIBR) – thus being the intermediary between auditors and the government’s Audit Oversight Commission.

The regulation will cause the termination of the duties of local government organizations (PIBR, the National Supervisory Commission) in the scope of monitoring the quality of the work of statutory auditors. Audit companies and independent auditors will have to adapt to the new conditions under which controls are being handled directly by a governmental body. The new act transfers a wide range of PIBR and Audit Oversight Commissions’ (AOC) responsibilities to the newly created Polska Agencja Nadzoru Audytowego (PANA). Due to amendments proposed by the Senate, the auditors have time to prepare until August 31st, 2020.

As soon as the regulations come into force, the former institution (AOC) will be able to continue only the beforehand initiated audits – those in which auditors have already conducted the initial observations.

Polska Agencja Nadzoru Audytowego (PANA)

PANA, as a national institution, will operate fully under the Ministry of Finance. The Minister of Finance will be responsible for selecting the head of the Agency and his deputy. Over time, PANA will be taking over the duties previously fulfilled by to Polish Chamber of Statutory Auditors.

Although PANA will officially begin operations from January 1st, 2020, it will start the preparatory period as early as September this year. During this period, PANA must organize a team, create structures and be ready to handle nationwide supervision over auditors, and in particular to take over the documentation of ongoing inspections started by the AOC and conclude them.

The relatively brief period between the establishment and the need for readiness raises controversy among experts and commentators. According to the regulations, at the end of December 2019, PANA will take over inspections unfinished by the AOC and will have to complete them. The question arises whether the newly created national institution will manage the sudden wave of supervision to be finalized.

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ARPI Accounting is a part of ARPI Group, a Norwegian holding which started to operate in Poland in 2001.

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