The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA has published its partially revised circular on auditing (FINMA-Circ. 2013/3). Following the transfer of supervision of audit firms from FINMA to the Federal Audit Oversight Authority (FAOA), adjustment of the legal basis was necessary. After the consultation in the third quarter, FINMA's circular, «Auditing», has thus been partially revised. It enters into force on 1 January 2015.
Two years ago, both authorities decided to pool supervisory competences and to transfer the supervision of audit firms from FINMA to the FAOA. Parliament has thus adjusted the legal basis, and the revised Financial Market Auditing Ordinance (FMAO) will be put into effect by the Federal Council as of 1 January 2015. Certain provisions and principles previously prescribed in FINMA's circular, «Auditing» have now been set out at ordinance level. This required partial revision of the circular and the opening of a consultation.
Overall, consultation respondents were in favour of the proposed changes. FINMA accepted some minor changes - for instance, keeping the term «financial audits». Some of the respondents brought up the subject of risk analysis and certain activities that are not compatible with an audit mandate. Here, however, no material changes will be made and the communicated practice will be maintained. The revised circular enters into force on 1 January 2015.
The FINMA circular, «Audit firms and lead Auditors» (FINMA-Circ. 2013/4) will be repealed at the end of 2014 and not replaced. Following the transfer of supervisory competences from FINMA to the FAOA, the licensing requirements prescribed in that circular will now be governed by the Auditor Oversight Ordinance (AOO).
Vinzenz Mathys, Media Spokesperson, phone +41 31 327 19 77, firstname.lastname@example.org