The Professional Oversight Board for Accountancy (POBA) will take over
oversight of audit regulation from the Department of Trade and Industry today.
Part of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the POBA is now responsible
for the ‘recognition, supervision and de-recognition of those accountancy bodies
responsible for supervising the work of auditors or offering an audit
qualification’ the FRC said in a statement this morning.
Under powers delegated to it under the Companies Act 1989, the POBA can make
legally binding regulations, for example, on information about audit firms to be
made available to the public, and it can use powers to call for information from
the recognised bodies to support its work.
Where it concludes that a recognised body has failed to meet its obligations
under the 1989 Act, it now has powers of enforcement short of de-recognition.
Sir John Bourn, POBA’s chairman, said that he was pleased that the
legislation to this effect was now in place: ‘This is central to POBA’s role.
With the cooperation of the accountancy bodies, we have been able to do much by
way of preparation over the last year; we have also already started in earnest
our active monitoring of the regulatory activity of the bodies. But it is
necessary to have the proper authority for our work’.
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