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FRC plans 8.5% hike to levy rates

Additional funding will be used to clear backlog of disciplinary cases and promote influence abroad

23 Jan 2013 Accountancy Age

By Richard Crump

Financial Reporting Council

An 8.5% hike in levies has been announced by accountancy's watchdog, the FRC, for 2013/2014.

The additional funding will strengthen its ability to respond to international demands, scrutinise emerging issues, and conduct research into the economic and business environment, the FRC said.

In tandem with the levy increase, the FRC is upping its 2013/14 budget by 10% to £24.5m in order to pursue priority projects such as extending the scope of its international influence and clearing its backlog of disciplinary cases.

Last year, the FRC completed the most radical structural overhaul in its history, which saw it slash its seven operating arms down to just two. Under the new structure, one division sets governance guidelines as well as some accounting and auditing standards. The other focuses on enforcement and discipline.

Mridul Hegde, executive director of strategy at the FRC, said reform has given it the impetus to ramp up its workload and expand its influence abroad.

"We think we can do more and achieve more," Hegde told Accountancy Age. "In particular, we want to focus on influencing the international debates on auditing and international [reporting] standards."

The FRC said it will also increase its audit monitoring programme for large listed entities, conduct supervisory inquiries into corporate failures and near failures, while improving the speed and efficiency of its disciplinary process.

"There is a backlog and we recognise that it has taken too loo long. That's a resourcing issue," said Hegde.

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