Professional Oversight Board Bares Scope of Audit Inspection Unit’s Work for 2012/13

Jack Humphrey, Regulatory journalist
March 22, 2012 /

The Professional Oversight Board of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has published a description of those entities whose audits will be deemed to be “major audits” for the purposes of audit inspections in the year from 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013. Such audits will fall within the scope of the work of its Audit Inspection Unit. The AIU selects the audits it reviews from this population, using a risk-based approach.

The FRC consulted on the scope of its activities as part of its Reform Programme. Further discussions are being held with stakeholders before substantive decisions are taken. In the meantime, therefore the Board has decided that no change should be made to the scope of the AIU’s work for 2012/13.

The AIU reviews the focus of its inspections annually to ensure that account is taken of risks arising from the current economic climate and other relevant developments. In 2012/13 the AIU will continue to give particular consideration to the exercise of appropriate professional scepticism by audit partners and staff in key areas of judgment. It will expect to see evidence that initiatives taken by firms to improve performance in this area, including additional training and communications from senior management, are leading to changes in behaviour in practice.

The AIU will also continue to place emphasis on the quality of auditing in the financial sector, in particular banks and building societies, liaising as appropriate with the Financial Services Authority.

Areas of particular focus for 2012/13 will include the audit of revenue recognition, fair value measurements and disclosures, the impairment of goodwill and other intangible assets, the recoverability of deferred tax assets, going concern and related party relationships and transactions. The AIU will also continue to place emphasis on group audit considerations and the quality of reporting to Audit Committees.

John Kellas, Interim Chair of the Board, said: “The current economic environment continues to pose challenges to auditors. At the same time, there is pressure on audit fees. The AIU will review how auditors are responding to these challenges to maintain audit quality.”

 

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