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ACCA welcomes findings on future of audit services
Since November 2011, the Competition Commission has been looking in-depth at ‘theories of harm’ which relate to concerns about ‘sub-optimal’ audit quality and levels of innovation, as well as higher prices and costs for audit services and the impact of less competition in non-auditing markets.
Sue Almond, technical director at ACCA, said: “The whole point of this investigation has been about the audit market’s structure. While the audit market is static, it must be remembered that auditors act as society’s eyes and ears to report fraud, bribery and money laundering activities. “They also assist the assessment and collection of both direct and indirect taxation, so the future of audit services need to be assured and supported.”
Almond said: “For ACCA, the issue has always been about the end user of audit services, and we have previously said that future recommendations need to be workable for business while enhancing investor confidence. “Audit is only one part of this jigsaw and it is not the only way to tackle investor concerns. Progress could be made without creating more rules by enhancing corporate reporting through integrated reporting. This development aims to reflect the interconnected nature of economic and financial performance with environmental, social and governance factors in organisations’ annual reporting.
“We want to see audit services which are well structured, which are trusted and which also bring the most value to business and the end-user. These findings will no doubt be read with considerable interest not only in the UK but across Europe and the rest of the world, where the future of audit is also under considerable scrutiny.” The Caribbean office of ACCA will host three audit roundtables to discuss these and other critical issues surrounding the state and relevance of the audit.
Audit and Integrity: maximising stakeholder value will be held in T&T on April 15, Barbados on April 17 and Jamaica on April 19 and will feature presentations from ACCA deputy president Martin Turner, representatives of top accounting firms, business leaders, regulators and investors as well as a panel discussion with the Big 4 audit firms.
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