UK firms face audit probe as institute gets ‘tough’ in wake of US clampdown

The belated move by the institute is part of the continuing fallout on this side of the Atlantic of the controversial crackdown by the US Securities and Exchange Commission on firms that breach ethical rules with regard to audits of listed cmopanies.

Announcing the investigation at a council meeting this morning Peter Wyman, chairman of the English ICA’s professional standards office, said the move was a tough response to the SEC’s attack on firms that breach its ethical rules with regard to the audit of listed companies.

But he said he did not expect the investigation to uncover widespread problems.

‘We really do not think there is an issue in the UK but we are setting up a working party of make sure that the current rules are appropriate.’

The institute had come under fire for failing to react to the SEC which last week forced the resignation last week of PricewaterhouseCoopers head of transaction services Geoff Westmore.

The Joint Monitoring Unit of the three chartered institutes will carry out the review, though Wyman stressed it already conducts regular reviews of members’ compliance.

The initiatives will form part of a major policy and internal review at the institute which also includes a restructuring of the professional standards office to place more emphasis on creating a policy department.

Special feature: US clampdown hits UK

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