Auditors rally over rulebook.

Complex accounting rules and growing demands by regulators are piling on the pressure and widening the expectation gap, complained auditors this week.

A month before the Financial Services Authority becomes the UK’s official main watchdog, auditors are rallying to fight their corner. John Hitchins, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ financial services arm, told Accountancy Age: ‘We’re getting a mass of rules and less informal contact (with regulators) about what the real issues are. We could miss non-compliance with a rule that regulators expect us to report on.’

The ICAEW is in talks with regulators about the need for better guidance in the banking sector, but nothing has emerged yet.

An FSA spokesman explained: ‘There are changes to the reporting requirements, but the aim of our rulebook is to make it less statutory, more flexible and more related to real problems.’

Concern among auditors centres over a lack of understanding about the audit procedure and what it can realistically achieve.

Expectations too high, say auditors

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