GUIDELINES FOR DMCC MEMBER ENTITY OFFICES AS PER COMPANY REGULATIONS 2020

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In line with the new rules and regulations set out on 2nd January 2020, DMCC has introduced guidelines to define the roles and responsibilities of DMCC member entities, who are required to comply with the following changes.

Officer Designation Applicable Rules
Director
  • Appointment of Director is mandatory for all Companies except Branches entities.
  • There is no maximum limit to the number of Directors that a DMCC Company can appoint, but a minimum of one Director is required.
Manager
  • Appointment of Manager is mandatory for DMCC member entities
Secretary
  • Appointment of Secretary is now mandatory for all DMCC Member Entities except Branches. Branches have the option of appointing a Secretary if they wish to do so
  • Only one Secretary is allowed per DMCC Member entity.
Legal Representative
  • Appointment of Legal Representative is no longer allowed for any DMCC member entity, but an Authorised Representative of the Company can be appointed with duly issued Power of Attorney.

DMCC Companies registered and licensed prior to the introduction of Company Regulations 2020, which has appointed a Legal Representative and has not appointed a Company Secretary will have a maximum of twenty-four months to comply with the new rules.

The registered Legal Representative will have to resign, and if the Company wishes, it can issue a Power of Attorney to the Legal Representatives in order to make him/her an Authorized Representative. A Company Secretary must be appointed in line with the new rules.

Branches established prior to the introduction of the new Company Regulations 2020, which have appointed a Director and Legal Representatives, will have to arrange for the removal of such Directors and Legal Representatives.

To know more about this, feel free to get in touch with one of our team members at mail@affiniax.com or call us on +971 4 425 6616.

Economic Substance Regulations – Deadlines Announced so far

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The UAE Economic Substance Regulations (ES Regulations) require all UAE entities that fall within the scope of the regulations by carrying on a “relevant activity” as defined by the ES Regulations to comply with annual reporting obligations.

Due to the current pandemic and subsequent lockdown, several Free Zone Regulatory Authorities have extended the last date for making filings in compliance with the ES Regulations. The Free Zone Regulatory authorities that have extended the filing dates are as follows:

  • Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM): The 31st March 2020 notification deadline is no longer applicable and the new deadline is 30th June, 2020. Guidance on the filing process is available on the ADGM website.
  • Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA): The notification deadline of 3rd May 2020 was extended to 31st May, 2020. Guidance on the filing process has been shared with DAFZA licensees via email.
  • Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC): The 31st March 2020 notification deadline is no longer applicable and the new deadline is 12th June, 2020. Guidance on the filing process is available on the DIFC website.
  • Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC): The notification deadline is 30th June 2020. Guidance on the filing process is available on the DMCC website.
  • Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA): The notification deadline was 31st March 2020. Guidance on the filing process has been shared with DSOA licensees via email.
  • Ras Al Khaimah International Corporate Centre (RAKICC): The notification deadline is 30th June 2020. Guidance on the filing process has been shared with RAKICC licensees via email.
  • Hamriyah Free Zone Authority (HFZA): Entities that are governed by the Regulations will need to submit a notification by 30th June 2020, and where required prepare and submit to HFZA an economic substance declaration within 12 months from the end of their financial year (e.g. 31 December 2020 for entities with a financial year ending 31 December 2019.)
  • Sharjah International Airport Free Zone (SAIF): Entities incorporated under the jurisdiction of the SAIF ZONE Authority will need to submit a notification by 30 June 2020.
  • Ajman Free Zone (AJMAN FZ): All entities/licensees, including those who do not undertake relevant activity are required to file by 30th June, 2020.
  • Dubai World Trade Centre: Only entities/licensees that are carrying out relevant activity are required to file by 30th June, 2020.
  • Securities & Commodities Authority (SCA): Investment Management Firms, Management Company Firms regulated by SCA were emailed requesting submission of the notification form by 31st March, 2020.
  • Dubai Aviation City Corporation: All entities/licensees, including those who do not undertake relevant activity are required to file the notification by 7th June, 2020.
  • Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC): Only entities/licensees that are carrying out relevant activity are required to file by 6th June, 2020.
  • Ministry of Economy (DED): Only entities/licensees that are carrying out relevant activities are required to file by 30th June, 2020.
  • Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA): Entities carrying out relevant activities must file by the 30th of June, 2020.

In case you have any questions regarding your organisation’s reporting obligations or the deadline for your organisation, please contact us at mail@affiniax.com.

What is an IT Audit?

An information technology audit, or information systems audit, is an examination of the management controls within an Information Technology (IT) infrastructure. The evaluation of obtained evidence determines if the information systems are safeguarding assets, maintaining data integrity, and operating effectively to achieve the organisation’s goals or objectives. These reviews may be performed in conjunction with a financial statement audit, internal audit, or other form of attestation engagement.

IT audits are also known as “automated data processing (ADP) audits” and “computer audits”. They were formerly called “electronic data processing (EDP) audits”.

An IT audit is different from a financial statement audit. While a financial audit’s purpose is to evaluate whether an organization is adhering to standard accounting practices, the purpose of an IT audit is to evaluate the system’s internal control design and effectiveness. This includes, but is not limited to, efficiency and security protocols, development processes, and IT governance or oversight.

Installing controls are necessary but not sufficient to provide adequate security. People responsible for security must consider if the controls are installed as intended, if they are effective in case any breach in security has occurred and, if so, what actions can be done to prevent future breaches. These enquiries must be answered by independent and unbiased observers. These observers are performing the task of information systems auditing. In an Information Systems (IS) environment, an audit is an examination of information systems, their inputs, outputs, and processing.

The primary function of an IT audit is to evaluate the systems that are in place to guard an organization’s information. Specifically, information technology audits are used to evaluate the organization’s ability to protect its information assets and properly dispense information to authorized parties.

WHY INTERNAL AUDIT? IS IT WORTH AN ADDITIONAL COST TO YOUR COMPANY?

In order to understand the term ‘Internal Audit’, lets first understand what an “Internal control system” is. Internal control system means the policies and procedures adopted by the management of an entity to assist in achieving management’s objective of ensuring orderly and efficient conduct of its business. It includes reliability of management policies, safeguarding of assets, the prevention and detection of fraud and error, the accuracy and completeness of the accounting records and the timely preparation of reliable financial information.

Internal Audit is a function that constitutes a component of internal control with the objective of determining whether the internal controls are designed, managed and operated in the best possible manner.

Assessing and managing enterprise risks have become a primary concern for CFOs, Directors and audit committees. Stakeholders are increasingly demanding a higher degree of transparency and ethical behavior. In today’s global economy, organisations must be able to demonstrate that they have adequate controls and safeguards in place.

Consequently, organisations are introducing risk-based internal audit plans, which are designed to focus on critical areas. Managing loss potential, while consciously taking acceptable risks directly enables the management to provide fair returns on investment.

As Chartered Accountants, we are no longer expected and are limited for hazard avoidance or compliance of Companies’ policies. There is a need to demonstrate knowledge of risk management, business process improvement, which is a characteristic of a consultant rather than a classical internal auditor. We need to provide value-added support to management across all areas of operation, such as the Purchase-to-Pay process, possibilities, and limitations of the IT system being used, regulatory compliance, etc. 

Potential benefits of Internal Audit include:

  • Gaining access and knowledge of highly skilled and experienced professionals within the relevant field
  • Timely and effective management of risk and hazards  
  • Managing risk with a fresh perspective 
  • Added level of scrutiny and caution in the organisation
  • Cost-benefit approach by reducing cost/overheads and managing the key ratios effectively
  • Reducing procedural complexity and participation in developing strategies and governance process

Internal Audit is no longer considered an additional cost to organisations. In fact, due to ease of business operations in UAE, it is crucial for the management to understand the risks and possible hazards, which are looking for an opportunity to pierce the shield of internal controls and paralyze the growth of any organisation. Stakeholders prefer to have a transparent approach by reviewing the internal audit reports submitted by experienced professionals.

Written by Nihar Kothari, Partner, Affiniax Partners

E-mail: nihar@affiniax.com

DLD and RERA Introduce New Service For Real Estate Stakeholders in Dubai

The Dubai Land Department (DLD), through the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA), has launched an innovative electronic system called Mollak, an innovative, electronic web-based service developed by RERA for the purpose of registering Owners’ Associations and the Management Companies forming part of a Jointly Owned Property.

Mollak, which means “owner” in Arabic, is developed specifically to assist real estate stakeholders, including property developers, owners, investors, Owners Associations and Association Managers to comply with all RERA regulations and management requirements in a simple and organized manner. This is in line with the vision DLD has for Mollak, which is to position Dubai as the world’s premier real estate destination and a byword for innovation, trust and happiness.

Mollak simplifies the system of payments for Service Charges (also known as maintenance charges or operational charges for the Owners Association). The system will operate in a manner similar to the operation of an escrow account, increasing the convenience level exponentially in projects that have several different stakeholders.

The system also operates within the real estate unit owners’ database and the database of real estate units registered and approved by the DLD, where no user may change the data. These two functions operating in tandem will also allow DLD to quickly resolve several ownership disputes as they will be able to examine their own financial records regarding service or maintenance charges as well as the ownership database.

The system has already been through a highly successful pilot phase, wherein 468 bank accounts were successfully opened for project service charges, 88 management companies and 1,212 real estate projects were registered and approved by RERA, as well as 200,000 real estate units, comprising residential apartments, villas, offices and commercial shops.

The system seems on course to fulfil its mission of creating an innovative and sustainable real estate environment that will promote Dubai as the world’s happiest city through smart services, professional human and financial resources and integrated real estate legislation.

We, Affiniax Partners, are proud to be Registered Auditors for the Mollak System. To know more, please contact our Audit team at mail@affiniax.com