Aug 4, 2019

Ensure companies get the audit they deserve

The aim is to improve the quality of audit, reduce the potential for conflict with more lucrative consulting mandates, and encourage challenger firms such as Grant Thornton to compete with the Big Four of EY, PwC, Deloitte and KPMG. Proposals include a legal split of audit and non-audit work, the appointment of joint auditors to large companies, and the FRC's replacement by a more muscular watchdog. Audit fees have risen to meet these new demands, but fines and compliance costs have risen faster. All companies should receive the audit they deserve, in the interest of investors and the public. As a result, in its review of the sector, the Competition and Markets Authority preferred to enhance scrutiny of audit committees. An independent appointments process - advised by the audit committee - would alleviate two concerns, however.

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