FRC appoints ex-EY risk partner as audit quality committee chair

Anne Whitaker becomes new chair of Financial Reporting Council’s audit quality review committee and joins conduct committee after David Cannon steps down

EY’s former head of audit and risk, Anne Whitaker, has been appointed to chair the FRC’s audit quality review committee (AQRC) and joins the regulator’s conduct committee, which oversees the FRC’s enforcement work.

Whitaker was first appointed to the AQRC in 2016 and replaces David Cannon, also a former EY partner. Cannon stepped down as chair of the AQRC and member of the conduct committee on 31 August but will remain a member of the AQRC until a replacement is appointed.

Whitaker has a portfolio of non-executive and charity roles, including independent NED and audit committee chair at insurance company Markel International and chair of the risk and audit committee at Hitachi Capital (UK) plc. As the former head of audit and risk partner for EY’s UK financial services practice, Whitaker specialised in asset management audits, including funds and investment trusts as well as other financial services.

The AQRC helps ensure the consistency and fairness of the FRC’s audit monitoring work. It provides input on the monitoring strategy and on the inspection process, including the quality category guidelines while reviewing reports from the FRC’s executive that summarise inspection findings and set out a rationale for audit quality categories.

The FRC’s conduct committee oversees the executive’s oversight, audit quality review, and enforcement work.

The moves come at a time of upheaval for the accountancy regulator, as it prepares to become the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA) under the new leadership of former GlaxoSmithKline CFO Simon Dingemans as chair and HMRC’s Jon Thompson as chief executive, who are replacing Wm Bischoff.

​By Philip Smith

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