Death knell sounds for small company audit

Melanie Johnson, competition minister, will unveil the biggest shake-up in UK company law in 150 years with the publication of a white paper.

The long-awaited scrapping of the statutory annual audit for companies with turnover of less than £4.8m is expected. Other proposals include tightened corporate governance procedures on directors’ duties and a new operating and financial review.

Johnson has said the reforms will save small businesses £170m a year.

Publication of the white paper comes a year after trade and industry minister Patricia Hewitt unveiled the findings of a three-year long review of company law, undertaken by the DTI.

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