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7 in 10 people want to see audit evolve

13th May 2019

Most people think the audit industry should evolve in a way that will prevent company failures, research has revealed.

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) surveyed 11,000 people across 11 countries, and found that 70% would like to see audit processes evolve.

The audit industry has recently come under scrutiny, with several high-profile cases of audit failure resulting in substantial fines for the largest accountancy firms in the UK.

A report by the Business, Energy and Industrial Skills committee has called for a structural break-up of the ‘Big Four' to address these issues, a view echoed by the Competition and Markets Authority.

However, the ACCA says there is also an 'expectation gap' between public understanding of audit and the reality of the industry.

More than half (55%) of those surveyed believe auditors are responsible for avoiding company failures, and 34% expect auditors to always detect and report any fraud.

Maggie McGhee, executive director of governance at ACCA, said:

"The profession has long spoken about the expectation gap in audit, and our research highlights the failure of the gap to close.

"Globally, it is clear that further education on the auditor's role is required, backed by a proactive approach from the profession to address public concern."

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