Auditors face trying times

Being hauled in front of a Treasury Select Committee might be just the
beginning of a trying year for auditors at big accountancy firms.

An internal memo to auditors at one big four firm noted that it wouldn’t be
“business as usual” in the year ahead, the Financial Times reported.

As the fallout from the credit crunch spills over to the broader economy,
trouble over accounts is inevitable. Auditors can be seen as a convenient
scapegoat and are likely to come under intense media scrutiny.

Meanwhile big four firms are getting their staff up to speed with what to
look for in a downturn, such as earnings overstatements and fraud as managers
attempt to cover up bad news.

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