Mid-tier ups pressure on watchdog

Mid-tier firms are set to put the Audit Inspection Unit under intense
pressure this week to open up about its audit reports.

The watchdog’s consultation on the disclosure of audit inspections closes
tomorrow, and mid-tier firms are set to call for transparency, Accountancy

For the first two years of its existence the body has produced anonymous
reports into UK audit, without naming which firms suffered from weaknesses it

Steve Maslin, audit partner at Grant Thornton, said he would be calling on
the AIU to produce summary reports on individual firms because he was fed up
with perceptions that the Big Four offered audits of superior quality to the
mid-tier. ‘I am sick and tired of the sustained campaign by the Big Four that
they provide better audits than anyone else. We have taken over audits from Big
Four firms and found problems in the accounts.

‘The publication of summary reports on individual firms by the AIU will show
that the Big Four do not have the monopoly on audit quality,’ Maslin said.

PKF and BDO are set to join Grant Thornton in the call.

Jeremy Newman, managing partner at BDO Stoy Hayward, said the AIU owed it to
the marketplace to disclose the findings of its inspections, so that the buyers
of audit services could make informed decisions.

PKF managing partner Martin Woodchild will argue that moves to transparency
should not focus exclusively on flaws in auditing.

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