ACCA in disclosure warning

ACCA has warned that new rules for auditors on communication with directors
could place too much responsibility on the side of the auditor.

Responding to the consultation on international auditing standard 260, which
specifies the guidelines for communicating with those in a company charged with
governance, ACCA expressed concern that the changes would mean auditors making
disclosures that company management had not.

Such an open-ended requirement that would include matters unrelated to the
audit, ACCA argues, would do little to improve audit quality and could distort
professional judgement.

‘The detailed nature of the proposed requirements could lead many to take the
view that the auditor is solely responsible for how well management and those
charged with governance communicate,’ said Jonathan Beckerlegge, chairman of
ACCA’s auditing committee.

‘In truth, the responsibility for effective communication should be shared
and this needs to be made clear.’

The body also urged the standard’s authors to think beyond listed companies
when devising such auditing standards, given that those charged with governance
in SMEs may also manage the business, a circumstance which ACCA believes is
inadequately covered by the standard.

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