PracticeConsultingLetters – Readers be on guard.

Letters - Readers be on guard.

Readers should be on their guard about the representations in your columns from Peter Mitchell, chairman of the Small Practitioners’ Association.

Peter is a leading advocate for the removal of audit from smaller companies. He is solidly behind any movement towards lifting the limit to #4.8m. It’s clear he would like audit abolished altogether.

His reasoning is that it is unnecessary, of little or no benefit, and it diverts valuable time away from mainstream activity by advisers and by the clients themselves. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Peter’s assertions disregard any protection that audit might give, the quality of reporting and the standards of ethics that auditors bring to their work.

To imply we are too busy doing audit to provide added value services is preposterous, not to say negative thinking.

Audit may be unpopular, but it’s necessary, it enhances all that we do and it’s a fundamental part of the standards governing financial life.

Though it’s cool to think laterally and advocate liberality, readers should not be fooled.

Peter wants audit removing because he wants regulation lifting from his members.

If he achieves that it would give them carte blanche to deal with companies of a considerable size without having to be bothered with any regulations from the JMU.

It’s time for him to come clean and to take into account wider concerns than simply those of his members.

Audit enhances the standards and behaviour of both the audited and the auditors and that’s how it should stay.

John Malthouse, principal, Malthouse & Co, Liverpool.

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