Requirements for becoming a Registered Auditor in ADGM
To register as a new audit firm, an ADGM Licensed Person needs to:
- Complete the application form(s),
- Provide supporting documentation to show to the Registration Authority (RA) it meets the eligibility criteria and is a fit and proper firm to carry out audit work,
- Provide any other information relevant to the application that the RA may require,
- Pay the relevant registration fees for both the firm and the principal(s), and
- Comply with ADGM’s legal framework governing auditors.
Once the firm is registered, any individual who wishes to sign audit reports must then register as an audit principal. The procedure is:
- Complete the application to become a registered audit principal,
- Ensure the eligibility criteria for principals are met and supporting evidence is provided to the RA,
- Provide evidence to support any other information the RA may require to process the application,
- Pay the registration fee (applicable for each principal applying to sign audit reports), and
- Comply with ADGM’s legal framework governing auditors (firms and principals).
Please note that the audit of ADGM registered public interest entities (PIEs) and financial institutions (FIs) requires Additional Permits. In addition to the above applications, any firm and principal wishing to accept audit engagements of PIEs and FIs must also apply for the relevant permits.
Review time and process
Upon submission of the relevant application forms, the RA will review the application. The RA aims to turn around new applications within 10 business days.
However, the registration process may be delayed if information provided is incomplete or further information is required. In this case, the RA team will contact the nominated person at the firm for further information and clarification and may return the application for revision.
Upon re-submission of the application, any supplementary information will then be reviewed.
My firm wishes to offer auditing services to financial institution clients, do I need an additional permit?
Yes, you will need an additional permit to audit financial institution clients, namely a Financial Institution (FI) Audit Permit.
ADGM's framework governing Registered Auditors does not allow firms to audit public interest entities or financial institutions without first obtaining the relevant permits. The Registration Authority (RA) grants these permits to both the firm and each principal that the firm nominates. This ensures only firms and principals who have the relevant and required skills are eligible to audit more complex and risky entities.
Applications for additional permits can be made at the same time as your application to register the firm as a Registered Auditor, or can be applied for at a later time. It is important to note that the pre-requisite for an FI Audit Permit is that both the firm and principal must hold a Public Audit Permit.
For more information on additional permits, please see (Companies Regulations (Auditors) Rules 2021 - Part 5)
I wish to register a person as a Registered Audit Principal to sign audits. What is required to demonstrate eligibility?
ADGM's Companies Regulations (Auditors) Rules 2021 criteria for registering audit principals includes the requirement for the individual to hold a Recognised Professional Qualification (RPQ) recognised by the Registrar.
An RPQ is a qualification conferred by a Recognised Professional Body (RPB). An RPB is a full member of IFAC.
In addition to holding an RPQ, the individual must also, amongst other requirements, have at least 5 years of relevant post qualification audit experience in the past 7 years, including 2 years of experience in a managerial role supervising and finalising audits of the type being applied for.
For example, if the individual intends to audit companies in the Real Estate sector, their audit experience must demonstrate this. If they are applying for the Public Audit Permit and FI Audit Permit, their post qualification experience must adequately show public interest entity and Financial Institution experience.
Please contact the Registration Authority (RA) to obtain the application form to become a Registered Audit Principal by emailing email@example.com
What documents do I need to submit as part of my application for a person to become a Registered Audit Principal of a Registered Auditor?
The person must be an individual and satisfy the eligibility criteria set out in the rules to become a Registered Audit Principal. If they meet the criteria, they must personally complete the application form and pay the relevant fees. The Registration Authority will review the application and get in touch if any additional information is needed.
Documents to submit include:
- - Application form to become a Registered Audit Principal;
- - Fee payment receipt;
- - Attested relevant qualification certificates;
- - Passport copy and valid residence visa; and
- - Any other documents (attested where appropriate) to support your application
For more information on the eligibility criteria to become a Registered Audit Principal, please refer to ADGM's Companies Regulations (Auditors) Rule 2021 which can be found here
Professional indemnity insurance (PII) - what do I need to provide with my application?
ADGM's rules governing auditors follow a principles-based approach on PII. The rules do not specify the minimum level of indemnity. The firm is responsible for ensuring it has adequate and appropriate cover at all times.
The Registration Authority (RA) will review the adequacy of the firm's PII cover as part of the firm's application to become a Registered Auditor. The RA will expect to see:
- - Policy schedule (including terms of cover, business activity coverage, territorial coverage, insurer(s) details);
- - Proposal form (application / renewal form);
- - Details of any notifications to the insurer and claims made under the policy; and
- - Documentation from the firm to show how it assessed the adequacy and appropriateness of the level of cover.
What business activity do I need to apply for to be a Registered Auditor in ADGM?
The relevant business activity is 'Auditing activities' (code 6918). This is an activity that also requires the completion and submission of an application form, together with supporting documentation, through the Registration Authority (RA) online registry solution, in order for the firm to become a Registered Auditor (see FAQ below on process for a registering firm as a Registered Auditor).
Similarly, if you are an existing registered ADGM Licensee that does not have 'Auditing activities' on its? licence but wish to add this, you will need to submit a licence variation application to be a Registered Auditor, to add the activity code 6918 to your commercial licence. This is done online, by logging into the RA's online registry solution and selecting 'Maintain Business Activities'. An application form for the firm to become a Registered Auditor and the supporting documentation must also be submitted.
What is the process for registering a firm as a Registered Auditor in ADGM?
Firstly, only Body Corporates and Partnerships registered with ADGM are eligible to apply to become a Registered Auditor.
Secondly, there are strict criteria for firms to meet, including eligibility, compliance with relevant standards and principles, as well as professional indemnity insurance. You can find out more about the criteria here (Companies Regulations (Auditors) Rules 2021 - Part 3).
- If you believe your firm meets the criteria, you then must:
- - complete and submit the application form to become Registered Auditor; and
- - pay the appropriate fees.
The application form to become a Registered Auditor can be obtained from the Registration Authority (RA) by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Registration Authority will review your application and get in touch with any queries necessary to process the registration application.
Note: an ADGM Registered Auditor requires at least one Registered Audit Principal. Hence please also submit completed audit principal registration forms with the application to register your audit firm.