The audit industry awaits the much anticipated BEIS report, which is expected to set out concrete proposals to shake up the UK audit regime and corporate governance.
Earlier this week, we reported the results of a survey we conducted across the mid-sized accounting sector. The survey, led by Julie Matheson , Accounting Advisory Partner in our Regulatory team, revealed mid-sized accounting firms support audit reform, but advise restraint on treating the industry as uniform .
Commenting on the expected government proposals, Julie Matheson was quoted in The Telegraph on 6 March discussing “tougher director rules threaten talent drain, accountants warn”.
Imposing tougher regulation on the accounts of private companies could harm the economy by making such businesses more conservative. There is concern that firms brought into the net of the public interest regime could have to switch auditors because their current ones are not equipped to carry out public interest audits.
While most accounting leaders accept reform is coming, the consensus of those we spoke to is that the few large accounting firms, which primarily audit significantly sized public interest entities, should be treated separately to the many firms that do not cover this market.
Mid-market accounting firms would like to see a future regulatory regime that is proportional.
We remain, along with the industry, on tenterhooks in anticipation of the BEIS consultation proposals, and will be reporting on these as soon as they are released.
About the author
Julie Matheson is a Partner in the Regulatory team, specialising in advising accountants and accountancy firms on regulatory issues, particularly in relation to proceedings brought by the FRC, ICAEW and ACCA. She also advises senior public finance officials on their roles and responsibilities under the Local Government Act 1972