New audit head for Baker Tilly

by Chris Warmoll

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03 Sep 2014

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BAKER TILLY has appointed Jonathan Ericson as its new audit chief, six months after it was rapped by the profession's watchdog.

Taking over from Jane Bleach, who takes up a new quality, diversity and partner development role, Ericson will oversee the firm's national audit strategy and continue as an active audit partner.

Ericson, an accomplished musician and concert organist will service a broad portfolio that includes listed companies, large owner-managed businesses and international groups as well as further education sector clients.

He joined the firm in 1996 and has held the roles of regional audit managing partner and been a member of its audit management team since 2011. He attained partner status in 2000.

In April this year, Baker Tilly was told to review its audit methodology in light of continuing deficiencies in the quality of its audit work discovered as part of an inspection by the profession's watchdog.

The Top ten firm was criticised by the FRC for its reluctance to accept recommendations made by the regulator, which found half of the audits it inspected required significant improvements and that progress in improving the quality of its work has been slower than expected.

The FRC found that of the six Baker Tilly audits it reviewed as part of its Audit Quality Inspection Report, three audits required significant improvements; one required some improvement, while two were performed to a good standard.

In response to the findings, Baker Tilly said at the time that it was "committed to achieving the highest standards of audit quality and we continue to take whatever actions are necessary to do this. We welcome the Audit Quality Review Team's report and we are already addressing all of the findings that will lead to an improvement in audit quality."

Ericson said of his appointment: ‘Over the past three years, our audit management team has focused on building and driving an ethos of quality, client service and people development.

‘Our merger with RSM Tenon has not only increased our client base but has provided us with an enlarged audit team with new skills and sector expertise. Both firms shared a common goal to deliver quality audits through efficient working practice and continual improvement.

‘As I take the lead in our audit business I am confident that the focus on development and quality along with our values, structure and processes will ensure we are best placed to meet the challenges ahead and seize opportunities as we have done this past year.'

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