The delay came to light after Swat, the accountancy training and consultancy organisation, spotted changes to the timetable on the institute’s website.
First visits had been scheduled to start this month, when firms subject to statutory monitoring in ‘regulated’ areas such as audit, investment business and insolvency were also due to face practice assurance assessment.
Instead the first visits will not now go ahead until February 2005, when all member firms will be subject to inspection.
Swat welcomed the change as a ‘more reasonable’ approach because help sheets are not due to land on desks until the month inspections had first been planned.
The institute said the original timetable was an ‘ideal’ not a fixed date and added that the revision to the schedule had been necessary to work through elements of the scheme needing privy council approval.
Despite considerable controversy members of the institute voted in June to adopt practice assurance by a margin of more than three to one.
The institute was the last of the UK’s major accountancy bodies to implement a quality assurance scheme, which then president David Illingworth said would ‘enhance the value of the chartered accountant brand’.
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