Gavin Hinks, Accountancy Age, Monday 11 October 2010 at 09:05:00

Economic affairs committee begins inquiry into audit concentration and audit during the crisis


The House of Lords will tomorrow begin its inquiry into audit during the financial crisis, and the concentration of the audit market in the UK.

The economic affairs committee will begin with evidence from academics including Prof Michael Power of the London School of Economics and Prof Stella Fearnley of Bournemouth University.

In written submissions the committee has already received some strident views. Grant Thornton wrote to the committee urging a cap be placed on the number of big audit contracts any one firm could hold.

Mazars has called for dual audits while John Griffith Jones, the head of KPMG, has called for better communications between auditors and regulators through the use of a new code of conduct.

The committee is chaired by Lord MacGregor, former agriculture secretary and chief secretary to the Treasury in Margaret Thatcher's government. Other members of the committee include Lord Lawson, former chancellor of the exchequer under Thatcher.

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