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Select Committee reports back on ‘AIR’ Bill

Hon Craig Foss

Minister of Commerce
20 May 2014 Media Statement

Select Committee reports back on ‘AIR’ Bill

Commerce Minister Craig Foss today welcomed the Commerce Select Committee report on a Bill to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the accounting and audit industries.

“The Accounting Infrastructure Reform Bill is part of the Government’s Business Growth Agenda to improve regulation and promote healthy financial reporting frameworks,” Mr Foss says.

It builds on the changes initiated by the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 and the Financial Reporting Act 2013.

“I would like to thank the members of the Commerce Select Committee for their hard work considering the Bill in a shorter timeframe than usual. I also acknowledge those who provided submissions on the Bill - their suggestions will ensure it promotes efficiency, competition and an international outlook in our audit and accounting market,” Mr Foss says.

The Select Committee’s changes include:

• Allowing for regulations to set criteria for the Registrar of Companies to use when approving applications from overseas auditors and professional bodies.

• Requiring those approved overseas auditors and professional bodies to regularly report to the Registrar to demonstrate that they still meet those standards.

• Providing an exemption for practising members of a religious society or order, whose doctrines or beliefs preclude membership of another organisation, allowing them to come to an alternative arrangement with NZICA or an accredited body.

• Clarifying that professional bodies can still regulate their members who work on an audit, even if an audit company is responsible for signing off the audit.

“Overseas auditors will now be subject to equivalent monitoring, competence, reporting and professional development requirements as their New Zealand counterparts.

“These improvements will ensure clients and users of financial statements have confidence that overseas auditors meet the same high standards as those based in New Zealand,” Mr Foss says.

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