Upcoming Accounting Profession AML/CFT Thematic Project

The Financial Services Authority (“the Authority”) is currently planning a thematic project involving external accountant, tax adviser and payroll agent (“accounting profession”) registered businesses, which is intended to run from 2023 and beyond.


The Authority’s AML/CFT Supervision Division will lead the thematic project, to review the selected accounting profession businesses as defined in schedule 1 of the Designated Businesses (Registration and Oversight) Act 2015


This thematic will focus on certain elements of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Code 2019 (“the Code”). The focus of the project work and request for relevant documentation to be provided to the Authority will be sent to relevant designated businesses at the same time as they are notified of their part in the thematic project. The nature and scale of the thematic project means that notifications, and the involvement of individual designated businesses, will be staged over a period of time.


Further assistance and guidance on the Code is available on the Authority’s AML/CFT webpage. Useful documents include but are not limited to the Anti-Money Laundering & Countering the Financing of Terrorism Handbook, the Accountants and Tax Advisors Sector Guidance - August 2021 and Payroll Agents Sector Guidance - September 2021.


Ian Spence, Head of the Authority’s AML/CFT Division, said: “The accounting profession sector is highlighted in the Isle of Man National Risk Assessment as one of the higher risk business sectors in the Island, and the thematic presents a great opportunity to test and evidence how supervised entities are meeting their AML/CFT obligations. In addition to increased engagement with businesses during the project, we hope to discover and highlight some best practice that can be shared and fed back with the wider industry.


The thematic work also offers a chance to gain a better overview of the mix of accounting professions on the Island, as they range in size and complexity and international reach, with some customers from across the globe. This will add to the Authority’s wider AML/CFT evidential understanding and picture of risk, building on from the outcomes the Authority has recently seen from the foreign PEP thematic and TCSP BRA thematic projects.”