Columnists

Audit / Would a UK Sarbanes-Oxley improve director accountability?

Reform of the UK audit market is long overdue with the tripartite Kingman, Brydon and CMA reviews still not implemented. Katharine Bagshaw FCA asks whether a UK version of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) would work with its harsh penalties for lack of corporate oversight 

Audit / Limits of audit - public perceptions and legal realities

Oliver Passmore, partner and Alex Horsbrugh-Porter, counsel at Ogier consider the far-reaching implications for the future of the audit industry and director duties in light of recent audit failures and legal rulings on the role of auditors

Audit / Hadfield: audit can add value for business owners

With the audit process under the microscope, Menzies audit partner James Hadfield argues the case that businesses can benefit from closer scrutiny if they resist the cheapest audit option

Accounting / Change culture: preserving the balance sheet

Decisive leadership, data-led responsiveness and agility are key to creating, preserving and recovering value, but how do you achieve this, asks Andrew Wollaston, partner at EY

Audit / Schulman: Libra cryptocurrency raises issues for accountants

Jay Schulman, national leader for blockchain at RSM, examines some of the challenges Facebook’s new digital currency, Libra, will pose for accountants, including existence testing and validating transactions with user tokens, if it gets off the ground

Audit / Harper: auditors must help charities manage risk

Charity auditors are well placed to help not-for-profit organisations manage the myriad risks they face, not just financially but also around governance, safeguarding and regulation, argues Steve Harper, charities director at Haysmacintyre

Audit / Dent: it’s time to overhaul the Big Four auditors

The quality of auditing and trust in the profession is being eroded by those hungry for lucrative consultancy work. Angus Dent ACA, CEO of ArchOver argues that the stranglehold of the Big Four audit firms needs to be broken

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
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