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Committee Chair comments on Grant Thornton audit response

20 February 2019

Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, has commented on correspondence from Grant Thornton, following their recent appearance in front of the BEIS Committee's inquiry on the future of audit.

The BEIS Committee has also published Committee correspondence to the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), to follow up on issues raised during FRC Chief Executive Stephen Haddrill's Committee appearance.

Grant Thornton's letter covers issues raised during the evidence session on 30th January including the auditor's responsibilities relating to the detection of fraud, and enforcement sanctions and the levying of fines where auditors fail.

Chair's comments

Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee said:

"Auditors are often quick to explain away shortcomings in audits as the inevitable consequence of an ‘expectation gap' where auditors are apparently unable to provide what investors or other stakeholders might expect to see in an audit. But the very least we should demand is that auditors have robust measures in place to pick up blatant cooking of the books. Grant Thornton's latest correspondence adds to the impression given by their public evidence that they are too accepting from the outset that their audits won't be capable of picking up fraud."

Further information

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