ACCA hits out at ‘two-tier’ audit rules.

ACCA has hit out at the UK audit watchdog for trying to introduce a two-tier system for listed and non-listed companies by the back door.

Concerns arose after the recent publication of amendments and proposals for audit standards targeting quoted companies only.

Jonathan Beckerlegge, chairman of ACCA’s auditing committee, said: ‘The two-tier approach is creeping in more and more. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, but doing it by stealth is.’ ACCA also called for wider consultation on reforms to new audit standards.

Beckerlegge said: ‘We are concerned the Auditing Practices Board may be committed to introducing in the UK what amounts to “big generally accepted auditing standards” (GAAS) and “small GAAS” without appropriate consultation. We urge the APB to widen the debate.’

Jon Grant, APB technical director, countered the criticism: ‘We aim to develop auditing standards appropriate to entities of all sizes. But we also need to ensure our standards are cost-effective. This can result in a tension.’

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