Institutes take action against more firms in 2003

Link: Let’s not go mad for regulation

The annual Audit Regulation report from the DTI found that the proportion of cases where action was deemed necessary grew from 9% in 2002 to 12% last year.

It covered 1,030 visits made by the three Institutes of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

The most significant change was an increase in the number of cases where restrictions were placed on registration – up from 6% to 9.2%.

The most serious penalty, withdrawal of registration, was imposed on 14 firms, up from 11 in 2002.

Despite the rising figures, complaints about audit work fell from 80 in 2002 to 74 in 2003.

John Hobbs, chairman of the joint audit committee for the three institutes, said recent changes to audit regulation, which handed powers to the Financial Reporting Council, did not reflect failings in the system.

‘The changes were not made because of any perceived weakness in the UK system but to increase further the public confidence in the UK audit arrangements,’ he said.

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