PracticeConsultingACCOUNTANCY AGE SPECIAL: UK auditors facing shareholdings probe

ACCOUNTANCY AGE SPECIAL: UK auditors facing shareholdings probe

A UK enquiry into audit independence may be launched later in the year in the wake of the US Securities and Exchange probe into firms whose partners and staff own shares in audit clients, the new issue of Accountancy Age reports.

The new independent regulatory board for the profession, the Foundation, is tipped to sanction a review later this year following last week’s shock report on PricewaterhouseCoopers’ US shareholdings.

The Review Board is the arm of the Foundation charged with upholding the public interest. Many observers this week said a review of audit independence could be its first task. In the UK, the rules governing shareholdings total 30 pages.

But English ICA chief executive John Collier said the profession would not wait to be asked to conduct a review by the board ‘if we think there is a good public interest case’.

He added: ‘There are no immediate plans for such a review to be carried out in this country. But we are keeping it under observation.’

Last week’s SEC findings that thousands of PwC staff and partners held shares in clients, raised questions about how firms should structure themselves to ensure independence.

SEC conflict of interest report on PwC could signal start of global clampdown

FTSE 100 finance directors group urges firms to stamp out audit conflicts of interest

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