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Companies may face spot checks on accounts

Speculation is growing that the Department of Trade and Industry is to announce arrangements that will allow the Financial Reporting Review Panel to become proactive and make spot checks on company accounts.

Link: New probing powers likely for FRRP

Senior figures within the industry and in regulation believe the announcement could come by the end of the month and will be viewed as part of the ongoing efforts of government to deal with the profession in the wake of Enron and WorldCom. But it is still not clear how a beefed-up FRRP would be funded or how it would fit into any new regulatory structure produced by the current DTI review.

Industry observers believe there is support for a proactive FRRP and believe it could be based on an FSA-type model of making risk-assessments and targeting areas thought to present the greatest threat. But there are concerns about a revitalised FRRP. An insider said it had to be handled carefully in case the panel slipped into the role of pre-clearing accounting treatments – thought likely to undermine setting accounting standards.

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