PracticeAuditIndependence must be ‘specifically considered’

Independence must be 'specifically considered'

Auditors and audit committees might believe they operate independently, and if this is not the perception there will be no confidence in capital markets, says former KPMG senior partner Gerry Acher.

Acher told Accountancy Age

: ‘While audit committees and auditors believe independence is established and effective, if the perception of independence is found wanting the confidence which is so necessary for the effective operation of the capital markets will not be there.’

The ex-KPMG man said he would be comforted by the thought that audit committees had specifically considered the independence and objectivity of the auditors after due process.

Equally, Acher said the objectivity of management was just as important. He asked: ‘Should not the remuneration committee equally sign-off on their satisfaction of the objectivity of management?’

Acher’s conflicts are not echoed by Peter Wyman, the deputy president of the ICAEW.

He told Accountancy Age independent investigation had shown that offering both audit and consulting services to the same client was not seen ‘as being a contributory factor in any corporate or audit failure.’

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