Local Update

Facilitating The Freedom Of Cross Border Establishment

A proposal on facilitating registration of cross-border single-member companies in the EU, currently being discussed in the European Parliament, was the subject of an exchange of views between stakeholders held at Dar l-Ewropa.

The proposed Single-Member Private Limited Liability Company directive asks member states to provide for, in their national legislation, a national company law registration form that would be harmonised across the EU. The purpose of the proposed directive is to make it easier for any potential business to set-up single-member private limited liability companies across the EU. It provides a standard template for the articles of association as well as the possibility to register such companies electronically, without the need of a physical presence of the founder before the authorities of the Member State of registration.

Speakers included Maltese MEPs Therese Comodini Cachia (EPP) and Marlene Mizzi (S&D), who are both directly involved in the ongoing legislative process of the proposal.

MEP Mizzi is the Rapporteur on the subject within the Internal Market and Consumer Affairs Committee, which is asked to give its opinion as part of the process. In her report she tabled over a hundred amendments wherein the main objective is to include safeguards to ensure that businesses operate cross-border for the right reasons. She said this possibility should not be available to all companies irrespective of size. The main concerns are linked to fiscal evasion, corporate governance standards, and forum shopping.

MEP Comodini Cachia is a member of the Legal Affairs Committee, which is the lead committee ultimately responsible for the dossier. She said this discussion comes in time for the input of stakeholders to be channelled into the legislative process. She said that in the initial discussions held there was a divergence of views between the main political groups.

Most requirements being presented in the proposal are already catered for in Maltese company law, she said. “A good reputation has been established locally as far as the incorporation of companies is concerned”, she said. The view of the EPP group is to back any initiative that would facilitate cross-border business and reduce the bureaucratic burdens small companies face.

Mr Joe Caruana, Registrar of Companies within the Malta Financial Services Authority, explained that online registration of a company is already possible in Malta. He said that only last year around 5,000 companies were registered in Malta, 70% of which by non-Maltese residents.

The event was also addressed by Omar Cutajar and Mark Seychell from the MBB. Other participants included legal practitioners, the Malta Institute of Accountants, the Notarial Council, and the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry. The event was held jointly between the European Parliament Office in Malta and the Malta Business Bureau, in partnership with Enterprise Europe Network.

Accountancy Board Publishes Updated Code Of Ethics For Warrant Holders

On Friday 6 March, the Accountancy Board published a revised Code of Ethics for Warrant Holders (‘the Code’). Consequently Directive Number 2, Accountancy Profession (Code of Ethics for Warrant Holders) issued in terms of the Accountancy Profession Act (Cap. 281) and the Accountancy Profession Regulations 2009 has been amended. The revised Directive is available for the public and may be viewed by accessing the website of the Accountancy Board at the address https://secure3.gov.mt/accountancyboard/Library/Regulations.aspx, or may be obtained during office hours from the Secretary to the Accountancy Board, Ministry for Finance, Maison Demandols, Triq Nofsinhar, Valletta.

The revised Code issued by the Accountancy Board is based on the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (‘IESBA’) Code amended in certain areas to reflect additional requirements contained in the 2002 EU recommendation on a set of fundamental principles on Statutory Auditors’ Independence in the European Union.

The Code includes the extensively revised IESBA Code published in 2009 as well as incorporates further amendments to the IESBA Code that have been issued to date. While the Directive shall in accordance with article 8 of the Accountancy Profession Act, come into force one week from its publication in the Government Gazette, transitional rules for different parts of the revised Code have been established as considered appropriate to assist with an orderly implementation of the revised provisions.

The Malta Institute of Accountants would like to inform its Members that it will be engaging in various initiatives aimed at increasing its Members’ awareness about the requirements of the revised Code.

Quality Assurance Oversight Committee publishes 2014 Annual Report

In March, the Quality Assurance Oversight Committee published its 2014 Annual Report.

Mr Peter J Baldacchino, Chairman – QAOC & member of the Accountancy Board, said that, “The focus in this report is on matters where the Committee believes that improvements are required to safeguard and enhance quality standards on audit engagement files reviewed by the Quality Assurance Unit.”

Mr Marcel Coppini, Head of the QAU, said that “With the expectations gap on auditor reporting widening the need for audit practices to have robust systems of internal quality controls, and adequate risk management procedures are today more pronounced than ever before.”

The report is available on the Accountancy Board’s website at: https://secure3.gov.mt/accountancyboard/Library/Reports.aspx

ROC Website To Offer New Features

The Registry of Companies Online System is currently being upgraded. One of the new features of the system will be the possibility of issuing automated electronic reminders to all registered companies concerning the due dates and deadlines regarding the filing of the annual returns and annual accounts. For this purpose the Registry of Companies should be provided with one or more valid e-mail address/es where such reminders will be sent.

A company may provide its own corporate e-mail address, and/or other e-mail addresses where the officers of the company would prefer to receive these reminders, such as the e-mail address of its accountant or legal practitioner. It is important that the e-mail address/es provided is/are functional and regularly used so that the reminders will be read in time. Companies are being urged to furnish the Registry with the electronic mail address/es at the earliest opportunity so that they may benefit from this service as soon as it is up and running. This automated reminder service should help companies not to overlook filing deadlines. Companies may inform the Registry of Companies by an e-mail addressed to [email protected] of the e-mail addresses they choose to use for this service indicating also the name of the company and its registration number.

Shireburn

Shireburn Software Supports ICT Students

Shireburn Software is proud to announce its support of the University of Malta ICT Student Association (ICTSA), signing a one year agreement as a gold sponsor. Through this agreement, Shireburn will support ICTSA in reaching its objectives as a focal student body in the future of the ICT in Malta, seeking to attract more students to this sector.

The collaboration between Shireburn and ICTSA will also ensure that students benefit from excellent career opportunities and industry exposure, both throughout their formal studies at the University, but also beyond. ICTSA strives to represent all University students reading any degree in some way associated with information and communications technology.

This initiative forms part of Shireburn’s ongoing commitment to support the IT professionals of the future. Shireburn is also currently in discussions with MCAST in order to take on students as apprentices for the coming year.

Nexia BT

New Website For Nexia BT

Nexia BT is proud to announce the launch of its new website www.nexiabt.com. The online portal offers an interactive experience through which the firm shall continue to communicate information through its knowledge, expertise and services, in relation to the variety of industries in which the firm operate.

The website has been revamped with a fresh and modern look, whilst maintaining indispensable features such as the articles and news sections. By means of this online facility, Nexia BT aims to deliver highly informative and relative articles, practical guidance on industry trends and the latest updates to its customers through a user-friendly and easy-to-navigate platform. Users may also choose to subscribe to the company’s news alerts by submitting their email address.

The simple-to-use site navigation is broken down into specific categories for Services, Sectors, Business in Malta, Careers, News section, Articles, About Nexia BT and Contact Details. Each category includes respective subsections with informative material that one may read, print or download. The website has just been officially launched and is now live.

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