ICAEW: Regulation won’t instil trust in auditors

REGULATORS cannot bring back public trust in auditors, according to the ICAEW’s audit and assurance faculty chairman.

Charles Bowman, also a senior partner at PwC, made the comments at a recent audit and assurance conference set up by the auditing special interest group.

Bowman said it was up to the profession, not the regulators, to inject trust into audits.

“Auditors can’t make businesses trustworthy, just like regulators can’t make auditors trustworthy,” he said.

The public is looking to the regulators to rebuild trust following the credit crunch which was brought about by the banking crisis in 2007. He said that “trust is earned and developed outside of regulation” and was about “leadership not just processes”.

Trust was of vital importance to the profession at the moment, he added. In a debate held by PwC earlier this month, attended by CEOs and CFOs from both the private and the public sector, it was revealed that public trust in audits has never been lower.

“Earning trust has to be down to the profession and not down to the regulator – otherwise I fear for our future.”

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