Auditors are having a good crisis
It’s official! Auditors are having a good war. Sorry, I mean to say ‘crisis’. Yes, they’re coming through the financial crisis with what what looks like their reputations intact.
How do we know this? Because, the chief executive of the Financial Reporting Council says so.
Speaking at a meeting of accountants from across the world at the Mansion House yesterday, Paul Boyle said: ‘So far at least, auditing has had a good crisis.’
Detractors, Boyle added, had been vague in their complaints and had misunderstood the role of auditor, on the one hand, and corporate governance and financial services supervision, on the other.
These statements are notable because Boyle is clearly sticking up for the profession. If he had thought the opposite he would presumably not addressed the subject during the speech. This is active backing for auditors.
That pits Boyle against a group of MPs, plus some national newspaper columnists, who have demanded that something be done about bank auditing and the auditors.
Thing is Boyle has been in daily contact with government and the Financial Services Authority as the crisis played out and, so far, we have heard nothing from Gordon Brown or Alistair Darling to the effect that auditors and audit needed to be overhauled.
Looks like the finger the pointing will be quite limited, this crisis around. But don’t expect all the name calling to stop just because Boyle says everything is alright. The crisis has some way to go, there’s ample scope for another attack on audit yet.