BusinessCorporate FinanceReading between the lines

Reading between the lines

Sir Christopher Hogg has written his first statement in his role as chairman of the Financial Reporting Council

It covers what the watchdog has done, lauds its achievements and then ends.
Short and sweet.

But there is an interesting comment about continuing to attach ‘great
importance’ to the views of its stakeholders including preparers, auditors and
users of financial statements.

It’s not overly revealing but interesting because it touches on the growing
belief among investor groups that the watchdog suffers from too much influence
wielded by the Big Four firms. This complaint must have been behind the
appointment of Prof Andrew Chambers, small firm partner Martin ward, to the
board.

Everyone’s important, he says in truth, with no one group more important than
the other. Though it does remind us that investors are as important as anyone
else – so too are their complaints, we can assume.

Investors are determined that an ‘independent’ regulator, should not be
influenced by interested parties of those it regulates – ie. the auditors, and
the big ones at that.

Yet his comments should come as some reassurance that he has their interests
at heart. He may however, had had more effect if he had singled investors out
for special mention. Never mind, he can do that in private.

Gavin Hinks is editor of Accountancy Age

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