09 February 2024
Recently, the Chamber of Financial Auditors of Romania (CAFR) officially endorsed a new set of regulations tailored specifically for the financial auditors and audit firms. CAFR Decision 123/2023 was published in the Official Journal and is in force from 7 February 2024, replacing CAFR Decision 68/2015.
These regulations, while building upon the previous framework, introduce a level of intricacy that demands careful attention. As professionals entrusted with upholding the integrity of financial systems, it is imperative that auditors fully grasp the key points of these regulations:
- General Obligations: Financial auditors and audit firms, operate as reporting entities under the supervision of the National Office for Prevention and Control of Money Laundering (ONPCSB). Compliance with relevant legislation in money laundering prevention is non-negotiable. Auditors are tasked with implementing measures outlined by law and procedural norms, including those issued by CAFR. This encompasses the development of customer knowledge policies and the management of associated risks.
- Appointment of Responsible Persons: Audit firms must appoint individuals responsible for enforcing anti-money laundering legislation. These designated individuals must have access to pertinent information and undergo periodic evaluations to ensure their suitability for fulfilling their duties.
- Customer Knowledge Measures: It is incumbent upon audit professionals to establish internal standards for customer knowledge, including identifying ultimate beneficial owners. This involves thorough verification of customer identity and information, as well as continuous monitoring of business relationships.
- Employee Training: Ensuring that employees receive training in accordance with legal requirements is paramount. Audit professionals must conduct regular assessments to confirm that the teams comprehend and correctly apply anti-money laundering legislation.
- Document Retention: Strict obligations govern the retention of documents and relevant information throughout the duration of business relationships and for five years following their termination.
- Reporting Suspicious Transactions: Should the auditors encounter or suspect money laundering-related transactions, they are obligated to report such suspicions exclusively to the ONPCSB.