Readers deliver damning verdict on audit exemption threshold

by Calum Fuller

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14 Sep 2012

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Vince Cable business secretary

VINCE CABLE'S DECISION to lower the audit exemption threshold will damage the ability of advisors to sell their services, according to Accountancy Age readers.

More than half (53%) of the 86 readers polled voted against the move, which will allow more companies to opt out of statutory audits. Nearly a quarter (24%) felt more businesses should be taken out of statutory audit to free them of red tape, while 13% felt the threshold had been set correctly. Just 10% said slightly more businesses should be included.

Under Cable's (pictured) plans, announced earlier this month, changes to reporting and auditing requirements will allow more small businesses and subsidiaries to decide whether or not to have an audit. The proposals will also make it easier for companies to move from IFRS to UK GAAP.

Current UK rules mean SMEs must both have a maximum balance sheet total of £3.26m and less than £6.5m turnover to qualify for an exemption.

The new regulations mean SMEs will be able to obtain an exemption if they meet two out of three criteria relating to balance sheet total, turnover and employing no more than 50 staff.

Vote in the latest Accountancy Age poll:

Will a business bank really give SMEs the help they need?

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