The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) have launched a study to reassess the competencies required for auditors to practice the profession.

The study is aimed at improving audit quality, and ultimately, restore market confidence through an invigorated audit profession.
ICAS research committee convener Allister Wilson said there is a need for greater clarity around "the skills an auditor needs to meet public expectations maintain their objectivity and exercise effective judgement and professional scepticism."

Scheduled to run for one year, the study will take place at a time when the audit market is under the scrutiny of different organisations such the Competition Commission in UK or the European Commission in Europe.

FRC and ICAS expect the study will look at the implications of these developments to restore confidence in audited financial statements.

"As corporate reporting changes to better integrate narrative and financial reporting so too may the nature of audit; including the need for more involvement by the auditor in the narrative elements of the annual report," FRC conduct committee chairman Richard Fleck said.

Fleck, who will chair the project’s steering committee, added some auditor’s skills and qualities "will need to evolve in order to keep pace with the needs and expectations of stakeholders."

Related links

Financial Reporting Council

Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland