ATOL holders are required to use an ARA. This is not some new computer system, but actually means an ATOL Reporting Accountant. These ARA’s are meant to be part of the ARA scheme, which was introduced last year and requires all accountants who produce reports for the CAA be members of a participating accountancy body, register to take the required training and become part of the ARA scheme. It is important to note that the deadline for accountants to participate in the ARA scheme is now very close.
The ATOL Reporting Accountants' scheme has been developed by the CAA in order to help improve the standard of ATOL reporting and the quality of financial information submitted by ATOL holders. The scheme is designed to ensure that designated accountants of participating bodies are sufficiently knowledgeable about both the industry and specific requirements of ATOL to provide the required reports needed by the CAA. The reality is that in the past, accountants for some travel businesses, whether they monitored the accounts for small or indeed larger firms, didn’t always understand the rules. In some instances, even the travel businesses themselves didn’t always find it easy to understand the rules.