FSA to consider auditor reviews of interims

Link: APB audit proposal raises concerns

Ian Plaistowe, who stepped down as APB chairman at the end of the year, centred his parting comments on the issue of interim audits and new chairman Richard Fleck is expected to continue to champion a cause the APB has promoted for the last seven years.

The view of the APB is that half-yearly figures can have a significant affect on a company’s share price and therefore should be subject to similar measures as those required for full-year results.

The FSA is currently undertaking a comprehensive review of UK listing rules which is expected to continue throughout the year. An FSA spokesman said that, as part of this review, the proposals from the APB will receive some attention. The review however is still in its infancy and its exact form has yet to be decided. Jon Grant, executive director at the APB, said: ‘The timing is good to get this issue aired at the FSA, with the review of the listing rules going on over the next 18 months or so.’

Grant added that the APB was not asking for a full audit of interim results, which would have various cost and time implications for smaller firms, but for a midway solution that would provide investors with confidence while minimising inconvenience for the firm.

It is thought about 60% of current FTSE-100 companies already undertake voluntary reviews of their interim statements.

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