Ethics body warned on corporate finance

Link: Ward to chair ICAEW corporate finance faculty

Chris Ward, the recently appointed chairman of the ICAEW’s corporate finance faculty, said the Auditing Practices Board would be ‘missing the point’ if it introduced rules to stop firms providing corporate finance advice to audit clients.

His comments came as the ICAEW voted on Tuesday to adopt a brand new qualification for corporate financiers, whether from accountancy, banking or the investment industry.

As head of Deloitte’s London corporate finance practice, Ward is keen to draw a line in the sand for regulation, which he believes should not follow the severe approach of the US.

‘What would be outrageous is if the authorities sought to stop people like us doing corporate finance work for audit clients. That would be missing the point that deals are between consenting adults and there is no particular risk to the audit client.’

John Grant, the APB’s executive director, said: ‘The government review required the APB to look at arrangements, where appropriate in that area, to ensure that auditors are objective and independent.’

The corporate finance qualification represents a major expansion of the faculty and the institute itself.

Designed as an entry-level qualification, it rules out the necessity for graduates to gain an accounting qualification before going on to work in corporate finance within a firm.

Ward said it offered an opportunity to grow the faculty’s membership.

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