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My shareholder perspective on auditing and corporate reporting

I explain why corporate governance fails and how auditor appointment should be changed to make auditors completely independent

Summary

Posted 24 April 2021

On 18 March 2021 the UK Government's Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy issued a 232 page consultation document "Restoring trust in audit and corporate governance: Consultation on the government’s proposals."

This is part of the response to several major corporate failures in recent years and it could lead to major changes in the way UK companies are governed and audited.

As a member of the Policy Team, I am helping the United Kingdom Shareholders Association ("UKSA") to write its response to the consultation.

On 21 April 2021 the Control and Risk Self-Assessment Forum ("CRSA Forum") held an online event called "Perspectives on Audit and Governance Reform" to discuss the consultation document and the issues more generally.

I gave a 10-minute presentation "Audit and corporate reporting – A Shareholder View." You can watch it below.

Video

Presentation outline

The slides

I am happy to share the original PowerPoint slide presentation.

How the presentation was recorded

My first presentation recording was done on the spur of the moment, just putting my iPhone 6 on the table and relying on its built in microphone. See my page Lecture: The Quran recognises religious freedom.

Once I found recording presentations worthwhile, I purchased a high quality Sennheiser digital lapel microphone which plugs into the lightning port of my iPhone. That produces a much better recording.

Further reading

I recommend reading the articles linked below. The first of them is the page about Bruce Wayne (Batman) which I mention during my talk.

Corporate governance – why it is needed and why it fails so often
Public company shareholders cannot run companies themselves, or even choose executive management. Instead, they require intermediaries in the form of non-executive directors. However there are structural weaknesses in our present corporate governance rules. Furthermore, in my view the most important reason for governance failure is not structural; it is human nature.
How to make auditors completely independent
The UK has seen many recent audit failures. I have experience of auditing from both the auditor's perspective and the client's perspective. In my view the most fundamental problem is that companies choose their auditor. In practice, company managements have a major influence over auditor selection. The best solution is to take the power to appoint auditors away from companies.

 

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