PracticeAuditThis soap could run and run

This soap could run and run

Most of you will no doubt be aware of the 'revolution' occurring in the world of television. I'm not talking about Celebrity Love Island, although come the revolution hopefully all involved in that idea will be the first against the wall.

The advent of digital TV, be it satellite, cable or freeview, is seeing the number of channels grow exponentially.

Having neither the time, nor a willing partner, to go for the 200-plus channels offered by Sky, I plumped for a set-top box – with around 50 channels – on the promise of a greater choice.

Instead, I seem to be developing constant deja-vu. I’m sitting in front of the goggle-box thinking: ‘I’m sure I saw this last week’ – or even yesterday. Either I’m losing my mind (long suspected) or this extra choice I was promised is actually just endless repeats.

My fears that it was the former were compounded when listening to the Queen’s speech last week. ‘Company law will be reformed to encourage greater levels of investment and enterprise,’ said Her Majesty, in a strikingly similar statement to the one made the last time she opened parliament.

What this means to us is that auditor liability is making an appearance on the government agenda for the umpteenth time.

Proportionate liability has been a subject for debate in the audit community for years and, after a brief period when it masqueraded as a liability cap, it may now finally happen.

This time, the company law reform bill might make its way through parliament, complete with legislation on proportionate liability by contract. Finally, this long-running soap could come to a close – unless, of course, it doesn’t.

The fears are that the massive number of bills squeezing their way through parliament in the next 18 months could see company law, described as ‘always important, never urgent’, make way should time become limited.

In which case we will be sitting here talking about company law reform in the Queen’s speech next year, further aggravating feelings of TV deja-vu.

But should this drama have another twist left, it is still bound to be far more entertaining than Celebrity Love Island.

Paul Grant edits the audit page

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