Amid demands for increased auditor independence and the compulsory rotation of audit firms every seven years, only a slim majority of FDs believe companies should not be forced to change auditors.
The inconclusive result is revealed in the latest Accountancy Age/Reed Accountancy Personnel Big Question.
Asked whether companies should be forced to rotate their audit firms, 54% disagree, while 38% say they should rotate. A further 8% were undecided. Arguing in favour of rotation, Anne Bowes of Peake Construction Consultants said: ‘As an ex-auditor, I have seen it from both sides and relationships do build, which can be too cosy. Independence is critical in keeping shareholders happy.’
Paul Taylor, Congregational and General’s FD, was firmly in the ‘no’ camp.
He said: ‘This would imply the auditors aren’t doing their job and maintaining standards and impartiality.’
The most frequently cited reasons for rotating auditors was the need to prevent auditors from becoming complacent and getting too close to their clients.
As David Edwards of Use Colour said: ‘Yes, it makes sense, otherwise lethargy sets in.’
Compulsory rotation of partners or firms undertaking audits was recommended by the DTI report into the Maxwell affair.
The application of robotics in finance functions is moving faster than predicted. Although, companies are cautious in how they are applying artificial intelligence to ensure results first, many are stepping up their investigations
EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager has defended the decision to order technology giant Apple to pay €13bn (£11bn) in back taxes to the Irish government
Carillion has announced the appointment of a new finance director as it reported a rise in first half profits and sales led by strong growth in its support services business
The UK inflation rate hit its highest level in almost two years in July, suggesting that the sharp fall in sterling following the UK referendum to leave the European Union is forcing prices up