Tweedie wants audit and reporting “evolution”

INCOMING ICAS PRESIDENT Sir David Tweedie has called on the profession to restore confidence among its stakeholders by improving financial transparency and audit rigour.

The former IASB chairman said “the status quo is not an option” and lessons should be learned from the financial crisis. However, he warned against turning accountancy upside down.

“…It should be a matter of natural evolution not revolution,” said Sir David.
“As we continue to shine a light into the debate it should result in more of the good and detailed work of the auditor being reported to the true clients – shareholders and investors; more useful financial reporting and communication which tells the full story of a business and reflects economic reality; and regulators and auditors working more closely together.”

“When I started my accountancy career in the ‘70s, values and ethics were dripped onto me”, he added. “Under today’s spotlight that tone at the top needs to be even more visibly evident; with values and integrity literally dripping through an organisation. Organisations and individuals that push ethical considerations to the heart of their strategies will stand a better chance of sustaining success over the long term.”

A big focus for Sir David during his term as president will be encouraging smaller firms to offer a broader range of services to clients. Where the biggest auditors must maintain a commercial distance from public interest clients, smaller company clients require more from their accountants than just accounting and tax compliance.

“In the midst of all this we must not forget the voice of the smaller companies. Small audits are different. Accountants have an even more important business advisor role to play in this case.”

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