ICAS president warns of zero tolerance culture

Link: Last chance for auditor protection gone

At an event to mark the Scottish institute’s 150th anniversary, Ian Robertson took the opportunity to put his head above the parapet.

Robertson questioned whether the drive to tighten standards of governance could result in the ‘snuffing out of entrepreneurial spirit by the suffocating of assumption that there can be no such thing as innocent misjudgement’.

The accountancy industry is facing an ongoing battle with ministers to limit their liability, as well as grappling with new, stricter legislation and regulation on auditor rules both in the UK and the US.

There is also the imminent arrival of a requirement to detail non-financial data in annual reports through a narrative in the Operating and Financial Review.

Robertson added: ‘I ask myself – in our search for the right way to conduct our business activities, are we now in danger of creating an environment in which the advances of those last 150 years would have been impossible, because we now insist on having someone to blame? Will zero tolerance of risk also mean zero reward and zero progress?’

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