FDs split on ‘last resort’ auditor role

Link: NAO to be auditor of ‘last resort’

The majority of finance directors believe the government should become an auditor of last resort, rescuing companies otherwise forced to cease trading because they cannot find a commercial provider.

Almost one in two of the 163 FDs interviewed in this week?s Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Personnel Big Question say it is the government’s responsibility to come to the aid of companies that cannot otherwise find an auditor. Many see the government?s intervention as a way of protecting business interests from being bullied.

One FD said: ‘We can’t allow any splinter group to be able to decide which companies survive and which don?t, so the government must become the last resort.’

Another added: ‘We cannot allow such intimidation to interfere with the activities of legitimately run companies. It would be much better if the legal penalties against such behaviour were increased.’

The news comes after the government admitted it may have to help Huntingdon Life Sciences find an auditor. The drug testing company has been without an auditor for two months since Deloitte & Touche quit following a global campaign by animal rights groups.

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