PracticeAccounting FirmsFSA begins task of rebuilding the profession

FSA begins task of rebuilding the profession

Just days after Andersen received a guilty verdict in Houston, Accountancy Age learned the Financial Services Authority, under Sir Howard Davies, is in talks to take over financing of the profession's watchdog - the Accountancy Foundation.

The intention is to improve the profession’s image by switching the funding of the existing regulatory structure from the six accountancy institutes to the FSA.

Representatives of the UK and Irish accountancy bodies – in the form of the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies – are currently locked in talks with the FSA on future funding. Frustrated leaders of the profession see the move as a way to eradicate what they see as public misconceptions about the integrity of audit and accountancy.

Neil Lerner, head of risk management at KPMG and chairman of the CCAB Ethics committee, said: ‘The other perception change we would advocate is that [the Foundation] should be funded by someone other than the profession. The CCAB are in talks with the FSA about funding the Foundation.’

He said the FSA could begin paying within a year. A spokeswoman for the FSA confirmed the topic had been raised with the regulator.

Colin Reeves, head of the Foundation’s Review Board, revealed he was unaware of the talks but defended current arrangements, saying they ensured independence from the profession.

In a further twist to the Andersen saga the ICAEW has this week announced it will be proposing ‘no further investigation’ of the UK firm in connection with document shredding that took place in the London offices. The ICAEW indicated that it had received no evidence about the involvement of members in the shredding.

A statement from the institute said: ‘In the event, the jury in America is reported as stating that allegations of widespread document destruction were “largely superficial and largely circumstantial”. This accords with the information gained by the institute through its initial enquiries into the matter and therefore no further investigation is currently proposed.’

But industry observers immediately called the ICAEW’s decision a ‘whitewash’.

Andersen is set to disappear around the world as local offices forge deals to join other firms. In a move that both sides refuse to call either a merger or an acquisition, the survivors of Andersen in the UK are set to join Deloitte & Touche.

The firms hope the deal will be cleared by competition authorities in Europe by 1 July.

Related Articles

Productive accountancy firms lead the way

Accounting Firms Productive accountancy firms lead the way

1d Simon Adcock, HSBC
LLPs in Top 50+50: Will LLPs continue to be the preferred set-up?

Accounting Firms LLPs in Top 50+50: Will LLPs continue to be the preferred set-up?

2d Fergus Payne, Lewis Silkin
BDO’s global revenues pass $8bn

Accounting Firms BDO’s global revenues pass $8bn

1w Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Top 40 International Networks, Associations and Alliances: Finding growth amid uncertainty

Accounting Firms Top 40 International Networks, Associations and Alliances: Finding growth amid uncertainty

2w Philip Smith, Reporter
Top 40 International Networks, Associations and Alliances 2017: Big Four tussle for top spot

Accounting Firms Top 40 International Networks, Associations and Alliances 2017: Big Four tussle for top spot

2w Emma Smith, Managing Editor
BDO reports revenue growth of 5.7%

Accounting Firms BDO reports revenue growth of 5.7%

2w Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Taylorcocks announces merger with Surrey firm

Accounting Firms Taylorcocks announces merger with Surrey firm

2w Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Kingston Smith reports 7% gender pay gap

Accounting Firms Kingston Smith reports 7% gender pay gap

3w Emma Smith, Managing Editor