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FRC and ICAS investigate auditor competencies

FRC's conduct committee and ICAS join forces to look into whether auditor competency is fit for purpose in the current climate

21 Nov 2012 Accountancy Age

By Rachael Singh

Richard Fleck APB chairman

THE FRC AND ICAS have commissioned an investigation into the competency and professional skills of auditors.

The review will look at what auditors are responsible for now and how this might change in the future, as well as the mix of attributes, competencies, professional skills and qualities that an audit team needs in order to perform public interest audits.

Staffing models and training implications across the audit profession will also be looked at as part of the investigation.

Richard Fleck (pictured), chairman of the FRC Conduct Committee, who will chair the project's Steering Committee, said: "As corporate reporting changes to better integrate narrative and financial reporting so too may the nature of audit; including the need for more involvement by the auditor in the narrative elements of the annual report.

"Against this backdrop, it is also likely that the attributes, competencies, professional skills and qualities required of auditors will need to evolve in order to keep pace with the needs and expectations of stakeholders."

The year-long study will run concurrently with current measures to reform the audit market, such as the European Commission draft reforms and the competition commission investigation.

Allister Wilson, convener of ICAS' Research Committee, added: "There needs to be greater understanding and clarity around the skills and competencies an auditor needs to meet public expectations, maintain their objectivity and exercise effective judgement and professional scepticism."

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