Competition report: ‘What everyone expected’ – AQF

Competition report: 'What everyone expected' – AQF

Head of lobby group on audit quality accepts report's findings

The head of the body that originally called for a study into competition in
the audit market has welcomed the publishing of the DTI and FRC report, saying
it confirmed ‘what everyone expected’.

Ernst and Young partner Gerald Russell, who chairs the audit quality forum at
the ICAEW, largely accepted the findings of the report and was now looking
forward to some developments on the issue.

‘I think the findings are more or less what everyone expected,’ said Russell.
‘Although I would question the assumptions made on
higher audit
fees
.’

It was the AQF that originally requested in July last year that a study be
undertaken to look into competitiveness issues in the audit market. However the
weight of the findings mean that the forum will no longer have control of the
discussion.

‘The FRC are now taking this forward but we would still like to get involved
in the process,’ said Russell.

The forum’s working group on competition and choice has been in limbo since
the report was commissioned and will remain so until at least after the
stakeholder meeting later this month. It is still possible, Russell admitted,
that the group could be disbanded to avoid duplicating the FRC’s work.

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