Deloitte report hints at extent of bleak economic picture

New research suggests that 5% of listed companies are unsure if their
businesses will be able to continue for the next 12 months, with experts fearing
the December year-end reports will reveal an even bleaker picture.

According to a
research publication due out next week, as many as one in 20 companies already
have going concern emphasis of matter paragraphs in their audit reports, a
figure the Big Four firm said was higher than expected.

Deloitte analysed the 2007/2008 reports of 100 randomly-selected listed
companies: a third were taken from the top 350 companies by market
capitalisation, a third from the bottom 350 and the remainder from those in

Graham Clayworth of BDO Stoy Hayward’s audit department said a lack of
available financing and greater counterparty risk was likely to lead to an
increase in the use of going concern warnings in the next set of results.

‘We are going into a season where it is not clear that banks will be able to
renew facilities as they fall due,’ he said.

‘There is also a heightened risk of companies falling over due to
counterparty risk.’

The FRC said is it currently updating its guidance to directors and auditors
about their responsibilities in relation to going concern disclosures.

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