It may come as a surprise to learn that anyone can use the title accountant without having any formal qualification or membership of a professional body. The use of the term ‘Chartered Accountant’ is more controversial. We examine the nuances of these designations in the current regulatory regime, when they can be used and what consequences an individual may face for any perceived misuse.
We are living in unprecedented times. Boris Johnson’s announcements each day, whilst aimed at slowing the growth of the global pandemic which is COVID-19 (Coronavirus), will undoubtedly have a drastic effect on businesses in all sectors.
The general election is now over, and Parliament has more time to deal with matters other than Brexit. The spotlight has therefore returned to corporate governance, with The Sunday Times reporting that the FRC is developing a “British version of Sarbanes-Oxley”. It reported that this would “heap more responsibility on to directors, asking them to vouch regularly for the integrity of their financial controls and – if passed into law in the UK – opening the possibility of criminal proceedings against chief executives and finance directors for reporting misleading statements to the market.”
In November of this year we blogged on the Financial Reporting Council’s (‘FRC’) recently published report ‘Developments in Audit’ and highlighted that the FRC’s review was running in parallel with the Competition and Markets Authority (‘CMA’) review of the sector. As we reported, such extensive review has been triggered following the high-profile collapses of companies such as Carillion and BHS.
The high profile collapses of companies such as Carillion and BHS have reignited the debate about the effectiveness of statutory audit. In the FRC’s recently published report, Developments in Audit, the FRC grapples, not for the first time, with how to ensure that audit properly serves the public interest. Auditors can expect some pretty radical changes.