Companies Act 2014
Report to Registrar and Director: category 1 and 2 offences
393. (1) Where, in the course of, and by virtue of, their carrying out an audit of the financial statements of the company, information comes into the possession of the statutory auditors of a company that leads them to form the opinion that F258[there are reasonable grounds for believing that a category 1 or 2 offence may have been committed by the company or an officer or agent of it,] the statutory auditors shall, forthwith after having formed it, notify that opinion to the F259[Authority and provide the Authority] with particulars of the grounds on which they have formed that opinion.
(2) Where the statutory auditors of a company notify the F259[Authority of any matter pursuant to subsection (1), they shall, in addition to performing their obligations under that subsection, if requested by the Authority]—
(a) furnish the F259[Authority with such further information in their possession or control relating to the matter as the Authority] may require, including further information relating to the particulars of the grounds on which they formed the opinion referred to in that subsection,
(b) give the F259[Authority such access to books and documents in their possession or control relating to the matter as the Authority] may require, and
(c) give the F259[Authority such access to facilities for the taking of copies of or extracts from those books and documents as the Authority] may require.
(3) Any written information given in response to a request of the F259[Authority] under subsection (2) shall in all legal proceedings (other than proceedings for an offence) be admissible without further proof, until the contrary is shown, as evidence of the facts stated in it.
(4) No professional or legal duty to which statutory auditors are subject by virtue of their appointment as statutory auditors of a company shall be regarded as contravened by, and no liability to the company, its shareholders, creditors or other interested parties shall attach to, statutory auditors, by reason of their compliance with an obligation imposed on them by or under this section.
(5) Nothing in this section compels the disclosure by any person of any information that the person would be entitled to refuse to produce on the grounds of legal professional privilege or authorises the inspection or copying of any document containing such information that is in the person’s possession.
(6) A person who contravenes subsection (1) or fails to comply with a request under subsection (2) shall be guilty of a category 3 offence.
Substituted (9.06.2017) by Companies (Accounting) Act 2017 (9/2017), s. 65, S.I. No. 246 of 2017, art. 3, subject to transitional provision in art. 4.
Substituted (6.07.2022) by Companies (Corporate Enforcement Authority) Act 2021 (48/2021), s. 12(1) and sch. 2 ref. nos. 27-32, S.I. No. 335 of 2022.
Modifications (not altering text):
Subs. (1) applied with modifications (1.01.2020) by European Union (Qualifying Partnerships: Accounting and Auditing) Regulations 2019 (S.I. No. 597 of 2019), reg. 31, in effect as per reg. 1(2), (3).
Application of section 393 of Principal Act
31. Section 393 of the Principal Act shall apply to a qualifying partnership as if, in subsection (1), “an offence under Regulation 42(1), (7), (8), (10), (11) or (12) of the European Union (Qualifying Partnerships: Accounting and Auditing) Regulations 2019” were substituted for “a category 1 or 2 offence”.
Application of subs. (6) extended (1.01.2020) by European Union (Qualifying Partnerships: Accounting and Auditing) Regulations 2019 (S.I. No. 597 of 2019), reg. 42(13), in effect as per reg. 1(2), (3).
(13) If a person, being the statutory auditor of a qualifying partnership, fails to comply with a requirement referred to in section 393(6) or 400(8)(a) of the Principal Act as applied by these Regulations, that person shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a class A fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both.