Law Archives - Page 10 of 11 - Emile Woolf writes

Disclosure of auditors’ papers: more misconceived EU regulation

The EU has been at it again. Its Statutory Audit Directive requires auditors ceasing to hold office to give their successors access to all “relevant information” if the successors request it. This misguided dictum is being introduced as an amendment to our Companies Act 2006 and a new Audit Regulation is being drafted. “Relevant information” […]

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Banks deserve our opprobrium: they have forgotten all basic principles

Banks deserve our opprobrium: they have forgotten all basic principles   The Chinese Sage Lao Tsu wrote, on the subject of government, that in the golden age people do not even know they are being governed; in the silver age they revere their leaders; in the iron age they respect them; and in the age […]

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Prescriptive accounts? I’d rather they were understandable

Interpretation of those magic words “true and fair” has long been the subject of philosophical debate.  International Accounting Standard (IAS) 1 requires companies merely to present their accounts “fairly”, which has always been the US formulation.  The IAS regime does, however, insist that any international standard which the EC is proposing to adopt must not be […]

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Qualified Audit Reports: Don’t show them to the FRRP

In June the Financial Reporting Review Panel (“FRRP”) published a Consultation Paper called “Proposal to encourage voluntary disclosure of qualified audit reports”.  The text makes it clear, however, that it is the auditor rather than the company that is being “encouraged” to make voluntary disclosure – promptly, ahead of public filings, directly to the FRRP.  […]

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The consequences of mindless regulation are always heartless

The Institute recently announced its decision to open its disciplinary and appeals hearings to the public and press.  It is said that this accords with the practice of other professional bodies.  Does this mean it is the right decision? I question whether the interests of the member or firm subject to the complaint were adequately […]

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Borrowers must face the reality of their choices

Since gaining its independence from the Treasury 10 years ago the Bank of England’s pledge to control inflation as its overriding priority has, until now, been visibly honoured and we have all benefited. Unlike the Treasury, however, the Bank’s sole weapon in fulfilling its mission is its autonomy over setting interest rates, and the present […]

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Desperate measures: if it moves, tax it

The purpose of taxation is to pay for the necessary expenditure of government.  Adam Smith spelt out the basics 200 years ago:  the manner in which taxes are raised and spent must be transparent, visible for all to see.   The journey from first principles to contemporary reality leads to a fiscal statute book of […]

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The European Commission must be called to account

The subject of Europe polarises any otherwise rational debate.  Obsessional prejudice, whether pro or con, induces deafness and drives out reason.   More inflammatory even than party politics (where spin and expediency have blunted the ideals), passions over Europe (the Union, not the continent) have taken on the trappings of a belief system, susceptible to […]

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Spicing up the Audit Report will end in tears

A study of the evolution of the form and content of UK audit reports over, say, the past 50 years would make nostalgic but intriguing reading because it would at the same time reflect changing public and investor expectations of the audit function.   Under the Companies Act 1948 audit reports were required, positively, to […]

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Time to give unaudited accounts “compilation” status

Last month I highlighted the deterioration in quality of company accounts on file, linking this phenomenon to the increase in number of companies exempt from audit.   Since the new Companies Act makes no attempt to address this issue the profession’s own Professional Oversight Board (POB) now strongly supports the view that the involvement of […]

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