FDs ask auditors to find fraud

Nearly 70% of finance directors believe auditors should take more responsibility for spotting and reporting fraud.

The findings in this week’s Big Question, carried out by Accountancy Age and Reed Accountancy Personnel, came as the Auditing Practices Board published a consultation paper on Monday covering the auditor’s role in detecting fraud.

Stuart Chapman of International Baccalaureate, an education organisation, typified the frustration felt by FDs. ‘Auditors have get-out clauses which effectively say they won’t be responsible for fraud. This shouldn’t be allowed and the institutes or the government should stop it,’ he said.

Andrew Pearson of Laserlines, a laser hire company, said: ‘External auditors have access to company activities and are best placed to discover fraudulent activity.’

Another FD, who asked to remain anonymous, added: ‘What’s the point in having your books audited if not to spot something amiss?’

But 18% of FDs rejected the proposal. Lars Maynard of AMH Holdings, an industrial recruitment group, said: ‘If we put the onus on auditors to spot fraud they will become more cautious in their audit approach. They are watchdogs, not bloodhounds.’

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