Accounting watchdog to remove ‘silos’

ACCOUNTANCY’S REGULATOR intends to streamline its structure and remove “silos”, to improve the body’s effectiveness.

A joint BiS/Financial Reporting Council (FRC) consultation, to be released soon, will propose removing the council’s seven boards and replacing them with two. The standards & policy board, alongside the code of conduct board, will sit below a main board consisting of three executives.

Chief executive Stephen Haddrill (pictured) told Accountancy Age that the changes, which include proposing an investigation settlement strategy, would enhance the FRC’s position as an independent regulator.

“The word ‘independent’ is important. We’re concerned there are aspects where we’re enmeshed in self-regulating. We need clearer lines,” said Haddrill.

With its tribunal board, the AADB, dealing with many time-consuming cases “people have forgotten about the original case”.

“We’re looking to be as proportionate as possible. If we find things of concern we want the capacity to set a sanction that can be done quickly, without drastic action, for example a loss of licence.”

Rather than having seven boards setting out regulation, the new structure would look to reduce the amount of red tape foisted on the profession.

“New regulation has to be properly justified,” said Haddrill.

The consultation will also propose allowing greater information sharing across the FRC. Currently the Financial Reporting and Review Panel cannot share information with the Audit Intelligence Unit.

UK standards setter, the ASB, will continue to advise on accounting within the new structure.

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