The Financial Reporting Council is pushing for “a wider range of sanctions to address shortcomings in audit quality” according to its submission to a House of Lords inquiry.
“We believe the FRC should have responsibility for the licensing of auditors of public interest entities – a task that should be undertaken in addition to the general licensing of auditors within the profession itself,” the FRC said in its submission.
Accounting firms are regulated, to a large extent, by professional accounting bodies, which have the power to hold hearings, de-register and ban both individuals and firms from practicing audit.
The FRC only has the power to investigate cases referred on by the professional accounting bodies – ICAEW, ICAS, ACCA and CIPFA – or cases which are in the public realm. The body’s disciplinary arm, the Accountancy and Actuarial Discipline Board, has in the past tried to convince the accounting bodies to allow it to begin its own independent investigations, but has so far failed to garner a consensus.
Richard Crump discusses the week's news
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The proposed moratorium would last for three months, with the possibility of an extension, if needed