New ICAEW president: Watchdog shouldn’t talk down auditors

THE NEW ICAEW president has issued forthright criticism of the accounting watchdog’s public stance on the audit profession.

Mark Spofforth, also senior partner of Sussex firm Spofforths, said in his inaugural speech that he was “disappointed and dismayed” that the FRC’s Audit Inspection Unit’s annual review of auditors’ work was presented in a critical manner.

“The role of the regulator is to encourage confidence; this is not achieved by talking down the work of audit firms – particularly when the latest Audit Inspection Unit shows clear signs of improvement on 2010, and when no systematic flaws in the audit profession or firms reviewed were identified,” said Spofforth.

He also called on reversing the trend of falling public perception in the value of auditors.

“The accountancy profession must work hard to do so and demonstrate that it deserves people’s trust. We must show understanding and respond to concerns. We must focus on doing what we are trained to do – and do it well,” he said.


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