TWO boutique governance and audit consultancies have joined forces.
Independent Audit and Audit Review have merged to create Independent Audit & Risk Review, a service aimed at evaluating the effectiveness and independence of boards and their advisers.
Independent Audit has been run by co-founder Jonathan Hayward, a former audit partner at PwC, also a member of the ICAEW's financial services risk and regulation committee. Audit Review was run by senior practitioner Lawrence Reed, and former Big Five partner and FTSE FD David Young.
The move comes as boards face greater pressure through governance and independence changes, as well as new regulation around the audit market.
"In recent months we have been experiencing a sharp increase in demand from clients who see the benefit of independent, professional help in managing audit committee relationships," said Hayward. "We expect to see a real shift in the landscape as more FTSE 350 firms want to demonstrate that their audit relationships are being managed transparently and in the best interest of shareholders."
Young said: "Running an audit effectiveness review or independent audit tender creates a significant challenge for those audit committees that choose to take the traditional route of keeping it in-house. They may be putting objectivity at risk, either in reality or in appearance. Our job is to support both audit committee and financial management in a truly independent way. Our tightly focused resource and proven methodology means a more insightful review and always ensures objectivity."
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