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The last year might not have been quite as tumultuous as 2002, but a number of financial figures stand out for their contribution.

Tough-talking European Commission whistleblower Martha Andreasen was suspended from her post in 2002, but found many of her claims of bad accounting to be vindicated by the commission’s own admission this year.

Outspoken CBI chief Digby Jones and William McDonough, chairman of the new US audit watchdog – the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board – have also put their heads above the regulatory parapet.

Then there is Robert Smith, whose report on audit committees is impacting on boardrooms up and down the country, and Peter Wyman, the PricewaterhouseCoopers partner whose term as president of the ICAEW ended in the summer, but whose presence continues to be felt in Whitehall and Washington.

But perhaps the most talked about business event of the year was January’s publication of Derek Higgs’ report on corporate governance.

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