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The number of businesses exempt from the requirement to hire external auditors is to be increased to the maximum level permitted under EU law, it has been announced. This has the potential to save between 1000 and 2500 Irish Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) up to €5m annually.


Provided companies have 50 or fewer employees, a turnover of less than €8.8m and a balance sheet of less than €4.4m, they will in future be exempt from the statutory requirement to engage independent external auditors to examine their accounts.


Announcing the plans, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD said that the Government will take the next steps “to ensure that we can achieve the targeted reduction of €500m by the end of next year”.


Having so far achieved a reduction of 22 percent (€187m annually) and expecting to achieve 25 percent by the end of 2011, the Department is set to lead the process and all other bodies involved “will devote the resources to measure the cost of their red tape by May 2012, so as to allow them to achieve the reductions by the end of that year” the Minister affirmed. The CSO is the only other body to achieve such significant reductions, has saved 21 percent thus far.

At its last meeting, the Government also approved the Ministers proposal to begin a process to ensure Government imposed red tape is reduced by 25 percent (equaling €500m in savings for Irish business) by the end of next year.

In the most recent issue of the PAI Journal, consultant economist Tom Ferris discusses the issue of administrative burdens, describes how the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation is leading the way and highlights how the other government departments must follow suit. To view this article amongst others, please click here.