Hundred Group chief backs FRC transparency

A senior FTSE 100 finance director has backed calls for greater transparency
at the Financial Reporting Council.

Ken Lever, financial director of Tomkins and head of reporting at the Hundred
Group of Finance Directors, also fired a warning shot to auditors who resisted
moves towards greater disclosure of reports on audit quality.

‘We’re trying to enhance the standard of audit firms. If discussion of
findings gives rise to the overall quality being improved, it must be a good
thing and would ensure that all auditors are working from a level playing field.
If [auditors] do resist that, then it raises questions,’ Lever told
Accountancy Age.

Lever stressed that he was talking in a personal capacity, but his position
in charge of corporate reporting issues at the Hundred Group means his views
will be regarded as extremely influential.

The Professional Oversight Board’s Audit Inspection Unit is consulting over
transparency of reports into audit firms, while the Companies Act has brought
the body within the Freedom of Information Act.

‘Transparency is generally a good thing, provided there is no revealing of
confidential information, which could result in legal action.

‘It is in the public’s interest to have access to the information, since
firms insist that audits are of benefit to society because they safeguard the
investors and users of accounts,’ he said.

In its submission on transparency, The Hundred Group said that it favoured
highlighting firms whose performance was particularly bad, but not routine
reports on individual firms.

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