Rise in audit threshold not a threat to accountants, says CIMA

Stephen Byers, trade secretary, said yesterday he was raising the statutory audit threshold from £350,000 to £1m for all period ends after July 31, 2000. He also said he would introduce a new limit of up to £4.8m at some point in the future – with some form of ‘lighter assurance’ for companies with a turnover between £1m and £4.8m.

Tony Dart, CIMA’s Director of Technical Services, said:’CIMA strongly favours any measure which eases any excess regulatory burdenon smaller business. Many business people see the bureaucracy imposed onthem as a lead weight holding them back; and they count audit as being partof that weight.

‘What small businesses need and want is help in increasingthe viability of their businesses. What they seek is the pure gold ofservices that create wealth for them.

‘Raising the audit threshold is an opportunity for accountants. It’s not athreat. They will be able to offer more worthwhile services that add valueto small business.

‘Few small business owners are interested in independent reports on pastperformance. They expect clear, justified recommendations as to the bestfuture course of action to adopt. That is the value they seek, not theattestation or certification about what they themselves have decided anddone.’

For full details of yesterday’s announcement, click here.

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