The proposed practice assurance regulatory process is not flexible enough and is too time consuming and expensive, according to SPA chairman Peter Mitchell.
He said: ‘At the moment the standards which our institute is trying to impose are less flexible than those of the DTI. We are not against maintaining standards but they have to be more reasonable, not all of us are ICI. We need flexibility so we can adapt the general concept to small practices.’
The SPA is currently in talks in attempts to make the practice assurance proposals more ‘light touch’, and to change the wording of the proposals so the standards are not a ‘must’ but instead, best practice. But Mitchell says so far it has been an uphill battle.
John Edwards, head of practice assurance development at the ICAEW, said: ‘In developing the standards we would ensure that it meets public expectations of high quality professional accountancy firms while involving the minimum bureaucracy to member.’
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