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Performance of UK bodies not up to scratch

The UK Professional Oversight Board (POB) believes there is a cause for concern about the performance of some professional accountancy bodies that qualify and supervise auditors.

The POB is responsible for monitoring auditors’ recognised qualifying bodies (RQB) and auditors’ recognised supervisory bodies (RSB).

The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Chartered Accountants Ireland and Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland are RQBs and RBSs.

The Association of Authorised Public Accountants is an RSB and the Association of International Accountants is an RQB.

In a report to UK Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills Vince Cable, the POB said some of these organisations require:

  • More rigorous monitoring of approved training offices;
  • More robust procedures for verifying audit experience prior to awarding the audit qualification; and,
  • Complaints to be investigated without undue delay.

The POB also said that although the bodies have taken many positive steps in response to its previous recommendations, it is not confident they can fulfil their regulatory obligations to inspect all relevant audit firms under their jurisdiction.

The POB added that overall the accountancy bodies devote “substantial resources” to their regulatory responsibilities, which are generally of a “high standard”.


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