Columnists

Audit / Woolf: no improvement in standard of audit work

Auditors will never be able to fulfil their responsibilities until regulators ensure accounting rules are fit for purpose, while pressure from client companies has led to legacy misstatements and the Big Four audit firms simply set aside contingency for multimillion pound fines, says Emile Woolf FCA

Audit / Swabey: fundamental problem with audit needs urgent reform

Attempts to improve audit and scandal-proof the audit process will be futile unless the basic issues of education, training and trust are first addressed, while simply forcing challenger firms into the mix will not solve the fundamental problem, argues Peter Swabey, policy and research director at ICSA: The Governance Institute

Audit / Audit: will any reform make a real difference?

Despite nine Companies Acts in the 20th century, and numerous reviews, nothing has changed to prevent audit failure. Instead of changing the law, David Duvall argues for a change in cultural mindset to overturn auditor complacency and lack of management scrutiny, and clamp down on excessive dividend payments

Audit / Wearden: time to overhaul scrutiny of audit committees

In the wake of the BEIS committee report on the future of audit, Mark Wearden, director of MBS Governance, questions whether a one-size-fits-all approach to audit committee regulation will tackle expectation problems and improve effectiveness and oversight

Audit / Editor’s comment: audit market in turmoil

A swathe of audit reviews from the fundamental structure of the Big Four audit firms to the very future of auditing standards could reshape the whole profession, but are legislators prepared to make the necessary reforms, asks Sara White, editor of Accountancy Daily

Audit / Kennedy: is there a case for joint audits?

As calls for a radical overhaul of the audit market heat up, Mark Kennedy, managing partner, Mazars Ireland, considers whether proposals to introduce joint audits would work in the UK

Audit / Bowyer: breaking up Big Four is not the answer

As MPs call for a breakup of the Big Four accounting firms to hive off audit services, remove conflicts of interest and increase competition, Julia Bowyer ACA argues that an overhaul of the arguably outdated Companies Act would be a more effective way to change the balance of responsibilities between boards and auditors

Audit / Dossett: the future of public audit at a crossroads

With listed entity audit under scrutiny, public sector audit may seem to have gone below the radar, but there are issues from declining fees to concerns about the scope and effectiveness. As the Kingman review has raised the stakes for corporate audit,so will it reverberate across all areas of audit, says Paul Dossett, head of local government, Grant Thornton UK LLP

Audit / Woolf: fraud and the role of auditors

A string of frauds involving dubious financial transactions and invoice manipulation leaves Emile Woolf FCA questioning the role of auditors when facing fundamental decisions about materiality

Accounting / How finance teams can Marie Kondo their work

Debbie Green, vice president of ERP at Oracle, discusses how finance teams can declutter, improve their productivity and feel more joy using the KonMari approach

Audit / Section 2 notices raise risk level for accountants

Professional services firms, requests for documents and Section 2 notices under Criminal Justice Act 1987 could pose a risk for accountants and auditors as illustrated in the recent Omers case at the High Court, explains Andrew Wanambwa, partner at law firm Lewis Silkin

Tax / Editor’s comment: growth at Top 75 Firms defies expectations

The leading accounting firms in the UK have reported record revenues of £15.75bn with average profits up 5%, in this year's Accountancy Daily Top 75 Accounting Firms Survey, despite a year of harsh criticism of the profession, audit failures and the shadow of Brexit. Sara White analyses the state of the market

Audit / Woolf: will latest proposals really improve audit quality?

Emile Woolf FCA is sceptical that the latest raft of probes and investigations will be able to cure the problems with the audit market, when there are many parties to blame, not only the heavily criticised auditors, but also the companies providing the accounts

Audit / Swabey: CMA review fails to address underlying problem with audit

The Competition and Markets Authority’s initial report on reforming the UK audit market ignores auditor independence and risks putting the cart before the horse, argues Peter Swabey, policy and research director at ICSA: The Governance Institute

Audit / Woolf: auditors need to go back to basics

A failure to reform the audit market means that the government is likely to take a hard line with audit firms and revive the principles of 'true and fair', warns Emile Woolf FCA
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