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Little external audit improvement post-Carillion collapse

Neil Hodge | February 1, 2019

According to a poll by ICSA: The Governance Institute and recruitment specialist The Core Partnership, just 9 percent of company secretaries surveyed think that the audit process has improved in the past year.

Respondents felt that auditors have become lazier and are pushing clients to deliver more information and format it for them to push through an algorithm. This “laziness” may partly be due to the fact that Big Four firms consider external audit as a loss leader to access better paying non-audit work. Several company secretaries said that auditors need to raise their standards.

But company management has also come in for criticism. Respondents said that management’s drive to push for lower audit fees has simply resulted in audit firms cutting back on the work they will do, thereby affecting audit quality. Another issue...

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