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Auditors

FAQs

The purpose of this page is to make sure that the application process is fully understood.

This section sets out:

  • What is a Statutory Auditor and an Audit Firm ?
  • What would these Licences allow you to do?
  • What do you need to submit?
  • Aptitude Exam

Statutory Auditor and an Audit Firm

An audit firm or statutory auditor can carry out statutory audits.

What would these Licences allow you to do?

These licences will allow the applicant to conduct statutory audits from or within Gibraltar

The licensing and regulation of auditors falls within the scope of the Financial Services (Auditors) Act 2009 ("the Act") and the Financial Services (Auditors) Regulations 2010.

What do you need to submit?

An application pack is required to be submitted with all the relevant documents.

An application will not be considered complete if there are any outstanding documents

Statutory Auditors

Individuals applying for a licence to conduct audit services on an individual capacity are required to submit:

  • Application Fee
  • Individual Application Form
  • Details of qualifications
  • Details of authorisation to practice as an accountant
  • Details of knowledge of auditing and/or accounting, and
  • Details of experience conducting audits locally

Any other document the applicant considers the GFSC should take into consideration as part of the application.

Audit Firms

The application pack must consist of:

Any other document the applicant considers the GFSC should take into consideration as part of the application.

Business Plan

The business plan should clearly and comprehensively set out:

  • Background to the proposed business, including, if the applicant has identified a particular business opportunity or identified a specific customer base and what experience the principals of the applicant have;
  • Long term strategy and potential expansion plans for the business;
  • How the firm will comply with the anti-money laundering requirements;
  • Target market and how clients will be sourced;
  • Risk management function;
  • The firm’s risk appetite i.e. what the main business risks are for the applicant and how they intend to manage those risks.
  • Corporate Governance arrangements;
  • Compliance arrangement;
  • Details of outsourcing arrangements and how the firm will monitor and oversee these, including the controls implemented by the firm on these arrangements;
  • How the firm complies with the legislative requirements;

The GFSC will be seeking evidence that the firm has considered the risk, compliance and operational issues associated with the proposed activities, as well as evidence that these have been documented and implemented.

Applicants should ensure that the business plan is coherent with the firm’s risk appetite and capacity.

Aptitude Exam

Individuals requesting authorisation to conduct audit activities may be required to complete an aptitude test, provided by the GFSC. The exam tests the knowledge of the laws and regulations of Gibraltar in so far as relevant to statutory audits.

Applicants are permitted to take three sittings to pass the exam. If the individual fails, he will be required to wait one month before he can re-sit the exam.

On submission of the relevant application, individuals will be contacted to arrange a date and time to complete an aptitude test.

Application Forms

Should you get an error when opening any of the forms, please check the FAQ tab for guidance on how to override this.

  Individual Questionnaire
 

Royal Gibraltar Police Vetting Form

Please note that an 'Individual Questionnaire' or a 'Notifiable Document' MUST be accompanied by a Royal Gibraltar Police vetting application form.  

  Individual Application Form
  Body Corporate Questionnaire
  Trust Questionnaire

Where a trust is proposed as part of the shareholding structure of an applicant, the GFSC will need sight of a comprehensive explanation setting out the rationale for the use of such a vehicle within the structure.

 

Furthermore, the following is required to be submitted together with the Questionnaire

 

  1. Copy of the trust deed
  2. A written undertaking from the respective trustees to the effect that:
    • the provisions of the trust(s) in respect of beneficiaries, trustee(s) and terms of settlement are as contained in the relevant deed(s) dated [xxx],
    • the resignation of any trustee and, where appropriate, protector will be notified to the Commission forthwith,
    • no other trustee(s) or any additional or different protector(s) will be appointed, without the prior approval in writing of the Commission,
    • any proposed changes to the beneficiaries must be notified in writing to the Commission,
    • any proposed distribution or transfer for value or otherwise of any of the trust assets related to the applicant firm must receive the prior approval in writing of the Commission.
  3. Confirmation from the trustee(s) that they understand that failure to adhere to their undertaking may result in regulatory action against the applicant/regulated firm.

In addition to the Trust Questionnaire and the above listed information, the Applicant is also required to submit the Individual Questionnaire for the settlor(s) and any named beneficiaries. This will not apply in cases where the beneficiary is a minor. In these cases, details of the individual will suffice i.e. name, DOB, address, nationality & passport number. When the trust is for example a discretionary family trust where not all beneficiaries are named (i.e. refers to spouse and children/issue of Mr X but does not actually name these individuals) a copy of the ‘letter of wishes’ of the Settlor, if any, will also be required.

In principle, the GFSC does not favour the use of nominee shareholdings for the purposes of holding shares, directly or indirectly, in a regulated firm. The Commission will therefore require that the applicant submit a paper setting out the rationale for the use of these structures in each instance where this is being proposed. This should include comprehensive details as to why it is necessary to hold the shares in this way.

     

Application Fees

The application fee must accompany your application. Please note, if you are applying for more than one licence, aggregate fees will apply.

Type Nature of Application Application Fee
Audit Firm Application to be Licensed £4,200
Audit Firm Application to add an individual statutory auditor £300
Statutory Auditor (Individuals) Application to be Licensed £4,200
Statutory Auditor (Individuals) Application by existing Statutory Auditor to be licensed to conduct business in an individual capacity £3,000

Annual Fee

The annual fee is not payable until your application is approved. For details of these please refer to the current Fee Regulations.

Under the GFSC’s annual fee methodology you pay a minimum base fee which is dependent on the set fee block assigned to your regulated sector. In addition to the base fee, you are also required to pay an additional amount that will be calculated based upon a range of factors including activity and income. To calculate the additional part of your annual fee the GFSC will need to review audited financial data and/or supervisory returns. At licensing stage, you will not yet have the requisite audited financial data or supervisory returns available for the GFSC to calculate the additional part of your annual fee. On this basis, the GFSC will only require you to pay the base fee at this stage and, towards the end of the GFSC’s financial year end (31 March), you will then be invoiced for the remainder of the annual fee which will be calculated based upon the financial data and/or supervisory returns provided by you up until that date.

Details on the payment methods can be requested from the Accounts team.

Service Level Standards

The current service level standards for Audit Firms are:

  1. To provide initial feedback to an application within 5 weeks of a complete application being received.
  2. Once all of the information has been received from an applicant and the application is therefore considered to be complete, we aim to provide an in principle decision within 4 weeks.

The current service level standards for Statutory Auditors are:

  1. To provide initial feedback to an application within 1 week of a complete application being received.
  2. Once all of the information has been received from an applicant and the application is therefore considered to be complete, we aim to provide an in principle decision within 2 weeks.

Please be advised that the above service level standards refer to the period of time in which the GFSC holds applications for consideration. Where we require further information or documents from an applicant the service level standards will be suspended until we receive the requested information. The period of time an application is pending because of factors outside the control of the GFSC will not be accounted for under the service level standards.

Please note that should we be unlikely to meet our SLS, we will advise you as soon as possible.

Recognised Auditors

The purpose of this page is to make sure that process for the recognition of an audit firm is fully understood.

This section sets out:

  • What constitutes a recognised audit firm?
  • What do you need to submit?
  • Certificate of Registration

What constitutes a recognised audit firm?

An audit firm which is approved in an EEA Member State is entitled to perform statutory auditors in another Member State subject to recognition by the Host State Competent Authority.

The recognition of an audit firm is permitted provided that the key audit partner who carries out the statutory audit on behalf of the audit firm is approved as a statutory auditor by the Host State Competent Authority.

What do you need to submit?

An application pack is required to be submitted with all the relevant documents.

The application pack must consist of:

Certificate of Registration

The audit firm is required to obtain from its Home State Competent Authority a certificate attesting registration in the Home State. The certificate should not be more than 3 months old, and should provide the following information:

  1. Name of the Audit Firm.
  2. Name of the Key Audit Partner(s) (which will be providing services in Gibraltar).
  3. Link to the Public Register of Auditors.
  4. Name of contact person and contact information.
  5. Confirmation that the audit firm and key audit partner(s) are registered by the Home State Competent Authority and it complies with the requirements of the Audit Directive 2006/43/EC and EU Regulation No. 537/2014 regarding Statutory Audit of Public Interest Entities.