A fierce debate is underway over the future of audit. Could it be resolved with an independent body appointing company auditors?
In July 2002 Lord Sharman, a former chairman of KPMG International, conceded in the pages of Accountancy Age, a trade publication for bean counters, that having a public sector body audit listed companies might be a good idea.
Almost exactly 16 years later and history repeats itself, more or less. Last week a partner with the international accountancy and audit firm Grant Thornton floated the idea that a public body should be appointing auditors to listed companies.
The two ideas are subtly different. Lord Sharman suggested the National Audit Office might audit companies or, at the very least, be auditor of “last resort”, mirroring
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