Corporate governance

Audit / NAO slams lack of transparency in Covid procurement

The National Audit Office (NAO) has hit out at a lack of transparency and adequate documentation in the way the government handled £18bn of procurement of goods and services to cope with the outbreak of Covid-19

Audit / FRC wants auditors to ‘redouble’ efforts to improve quality

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is urging auditors to redouble their efforts to remedy inconsistent audit quality, saying this has become even more important in the face of the unprecedented economic turbulence brought by Covid-19

Audit / £66m shortfall as Croydon Council fails to balance budget

Croydon Council has become the first London borough in twenty years to issue a section 114 notice banning all new non-essential spending as the authority admitted it can no longer balance its budget this year

Audit / Big Four FTSE 100 audit fees hit record £726m

The UK’s top 100 listed companies have seen an 8% hike in annual audits fees to hit £726m, as Big Four dominance locks out challenger firms while investment and regulatory pressure drives up costs

Audit / FTSE 100: audit fees hit record levels

As the impact of intense regulatory scrutiny and audit automation escalates, the UK’s top 100 listed companies saw an 8% hike in annual audit fees to hit £726m, amid an increasing lack of competition due to Big Four dominance, Philip Smith reports

Audit / £500k fine and reprimand for Deloitte over pension audit failings

Deloitte and one of the firm’s former engagement partners have been reprimanded by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) over auditing failures at an unnamed client, with the Big Four firm given a £500,000 penalty

Audit / Nottingham Council probed over energy company cost risks

The government has announced a rapid non-statutory review into Nottingham City Council, to examine serious governance and risk management issues associated with the council’s private energy company Robin Hood Energy (RHE)

Audit / M&G opts for PwC as external auditor

Investment manager M&G has picked PwC as its external auditor, replacing KPMG which had held the role since 1999

Audit / GT and Mazars criticised over ‘unacceptable’ major local audit quality

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has branded the quality of major local audits as ‘unacceptable’ and says urgent action is required from firms specialising in the sector, including Grant Thornton and Mazars

Audit / Review of Croydon Council’s ‘dysfunctional’ financial governance

The government is conducting a probe into the London Borough of Croydon, which has forecast a £50m shortfall in funding this year, following strong criticism from external auditor Grant Thornton of its financial management and its scrutiny of spending and investments

Audit / FRC to beef up standard on fraud detection

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) is to update the UK auditing standard covering the auditor’s responsibility relating to fraud, amid concerns that the 16-year old regulations are not sufficiently clear about what the requirements are

Audit / EXCLUSIVE: interview with Mazars UK head of audit

Head of audit at Mazars UK, Bob Neate, has his say on audit reform in the UK – explaining how he expects smaller firms to follow the Big Four in splitting operations and the benefits of more players through joint audit - as ‘everyone accepts that competition enhances quality’, Zak Jakubowski reports

Audit / SEC makes auditor independence requirements more flexible

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced it is to relax some of its auditor independence requirements in a bid to reduce the number of technical rule violations and increase the pool of audit firms from which companies can select

Audit / Woolf: public audit office only independent answer

In the wake of Deloitte’s £15m fine over its work at Autonomy, Emile Woolf puts forward the case for a new public audit office to resolve the auditor independence argument once and for all

Audit / ICAEW finds slow progress on improving audit quality

The quality of auditing of non-public interest entities (PIEs) is failing to improve, according to the ICAEW Regulatory Board (IRB) annual audit monitoring report, which highlights the need for greater auditor scepticism and robust challenge of management