US economy shakes confidence in financial reports

Public confident in US audited financial statements has fallen during the
last year as a shaky economy continues to rattle nervous investors.

A survey by the Center for
Audit Quality
of 1,000 US investors found that only 73% held any confidence
in the audited statements of public companies compared to 80% when the same
question was asked a year ago.

‘These are trying times for investors,’ said CAQ executive director Cindy
Fornelli. ‘But regardless of economic changes and market fluctuations,
individuals clearly want to know that the financial information about the
companies they invest in is reliable – even if it is not always favourable.
That’s why the work of public company auditors is so important.’

Less than half those surveyed read company financial statements ‘ very’ or
‘somewhat’ often and 72% called for the design of a more user-friendly way to
access and read the reports

The survey also found significantly less confidence in the US capital markets
among investors with only 70% still voicing confidence. Last year 84% expressed
confidence in the capital markets.

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