PracticeAccounting FirmsFears mount for charity audit

Fears mount for charity audit

Concerns that Big Four firms could abandon working for charities because of a lack of expertise in the sector have been revealed by the Charity Commission.

It also fears that accountants who offer services for free to charities will not provide the same quality of work.

‘Charity audits have always been done on the cheap, so firms are now shying away from doing them,’ said Jon Thorne, head of financial regulation at the Charity Commission.

He added that ‘one of the Big Four’ has already retreated from its charity sector work.

The Big Four this week stood by the quality of their audit work. A spokesperson for KPMG, said that the firm ‘supports a number of charities with its professional services work’, and does much of it at discounted rates.

He added: ‘All auditors engaged in charity work receive specialist training and accreditation. KPMG does provide quality audit support for a number of organisations in the charity sector and will continue to do so.’

Neil Andrews, PricewaterhouseCoopers charities partner, said: ‘As a firm we are strongly committed to the sector and apply the same high-quality standards to our work with charities as we do to all our clients.’

Thorne expressed his concerns as the commission issued an open letter to practitioners to encourage them to work more closely with charities in a bid to ‘drive up’ the standards of financial reporting.

Ernst & Young and Deloitte declined to comment.

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