A principal rule of the Act is that the directors of a company shall arrange for the statutory financial statements of the company for the financial year to be audited by statutory auditors unless the company is entitled to, and chooses to avail of, an audit exemption (Section 333).
Under previous legislation, only particular types of companies could avail of the audit exemption. However, under the Act, a number of different companies which were heretofore unable to claim the exemption, may now do so, including:
- Group companies (where the entire group is deemed to be small)
- Dormant companies
- Guarantee companies
- Unlimited companies
The audit exemption in the context of each of these types of companies is outlined below, together with the general audit exemption as has traditionally applied.
It should be noted that public companies of any type cannot avail of an audit exemption.