PracticeAuditAn agenda to save the profession

An agenda to save the profession

Accountancy Age this week publishes a ten-point plan designed to rescue the battered reputation of the accountancy profession.

Serious questions are being asked in the wake of the Enron collapse and we believe it is essential the profession leads the debate rather than be led by it.

If the separation of audit and consultancy arms, mandatory rotation of auditors and more disclosure in audit reports are not in the public interest, accountants must explain why.

They have failed to communicate adequately in the past. By formalising calls for change and inviting leading players to respond, we hope to help ensure this doesn’t happen again.

Our manifesto is designed to stimulate a debate around the future of an industry which, among the top 50 firms alone, was worth almost £7bn last year.

It is important to note that rules are very different in the US to those in the UK, but unless there is a willingness to embrace – and be seen to be willingly embracing – change, the profession’s reputation could be further tarnished.

Along with our manifesto we publish a host of articles on prospects for change and the profession.

We give an overview of why the time is right for change.Colin Reeves, head of the Accountancy Foundation’s Review Board details why his organisation will not be acting impulsively following Enron.

We profile Harvey Pitt, the head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission who stands ready to change the face of the profession across the Atlantic. And our parliamentary staff consider the legislative programme and whether there’s any room to squeeze in reform for the profession.

Rodger Hughes, PricewaterhouseCooper’s UK head of assurance, explains why quality people make all the difference to the profession. And lastly, Accountancy Age writer Michelle Perry explores which particular bodies could bring reform accountancy and auditors.

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