Mario Christodoulou, Accountancy Age, Friday 18 June 2010 at 10:06:00

It's time for ?really bold thinking? says senior partner


KPMG?s senior partner has added his voice to growing calls for reform toaudit in the wake of the crisis.

In a speech at the ICAEW on Wednesday John Griffith-Jones he said it is wastime for ?really bold thinking? about the future of audit.

He suggested auditors might work ?collaboratively? with regulators and ratingagencies, along with boards and management to discuss risk.

?What is the point, they and others ask, of doing extensive and increasinglyelaborate audits of the financial accounts of our banks, when audits failed toidentify the huge and systemic risks which led to the near collapse of theGlobal banking system in the Autumn of 2008?? he said.

?It is a straightforward question; It deserves a straightforward answer.?

It followed an earlier call from PwC senior partner Ian Powell to reform theaudit model.

?The overall model is long overdue some serious market-wide discussion. Forme, the fundamental questions revolve around the scope of the audit; should thisbe extended and the nature of audit reporting extended with it,? he said in anApril speech to ICAS members.

Also in April, Graham Clayworth, audit partner at BDO, said the professionneeded to consider providing assurance around a company?s business model andrisks, typically, ?front of the book? disclosures.

?We have to ask what comfort the auditor can give in terms of the informationthat is in the front? ?The concession that the profession will have to make foradditional liability limits will be to extend work that the auditor does at thefront of the book,? said.

Further reading:

Seniorauditors renew calls for liability reforms

Topfirms launch search for bigger role in company audits