US investors back quarterly audits
US investors have backed proposals to require public companies to have financial reports audited every quarter rather than annually, according to new research.
An annual poll, commissioned for 23 successive years by US Trust, a firm of investment managers, revealed a majority of shareholders interviewed are in favour of forcing companies to have their financial statements certified by external auditors quarterly rather than annually.
The overwhelming support is said to be due to investors wanting to solve perceived problems following the spate of corporate scandals.
In stark contrast, after years of negotiations, plans by the European Commission to bring in mandatory quarterly reporting have been dropped because of fervent opposition.
Public companies will instead have to issue a trading statement twice a year, but plans are yet to be finalised.