Audit Standards – APB calls for greater effort

The Auditing Practices Board has called for greater efforts to harmonise worldwide auditing standards, including radical reforms of the international standards-setting body.

APB chairman Ian Plaistowe this week said the International Auditing Practices Committee – which comprises auditors from 14 countries – should open up its membership to non-accountants.

He also argued that a reformed IAPC should step up its efforts to harmonise standards across the world as business becomes more global.

Speaking after publication of the APB annual review of activities, Plaistowe said: ‘One of the most difficult problems is whether international firms can report using international standards if they are not applicable through the legal framework of individual countries.’

He also pointed out that the European Commission was taking a greater interest in the standards.

Expanding IAPC membership to include financial report users and regulators, he added, would mean they stood more chance of meeting the expectations of all parties involved.

Frank Harding, president of the International Federation of Accountants, of which IAPC is part, said proposals to open up membership to non-auditors would be discussed in forthcoming meetings.

Plaistowe expressed support of the UK government’s plans to make the APB independent. ‘I hope the framework will be finalised in 1999 and look forward to a more independent APB,’ he said.

Opinion, page 16.

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