CMA audit reform recommendations: our view

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) delivered its final recommendations for reform of the UK's audit market on 18 April 2019

Mazars has been a consistent and vocal advocate for change in the industry, and has argued for a more equitable market which works in the interests of the companies it audits, for shareholders, and for society as a whole.

In direct response to the CMA’s recommendations on the future of audit Phil Verity, Mazars UK Senior Partner, said:

“The CMA’s independent study, built on a detailed and extensive analysis of the state of the audit market, has delivered a brave and robust set of recommendations. For that, the CMA must be commended: this suite of measures will drive real reform of the audit market, and will deliver a genuine societal benefit as a result.  

“The cultural shift brought about by the introduction of Joint Audit in the UK will be profound. Based on our extensive experience in joint audit, we remain fully confident that it will deliver improved quality, greater confidence in audit reports, and a fairer and more equitable market.

"It is now the time for us and our peers to take up the challenge: first in ensuring that these recommendations are realised in the near term, and subsequently by working together to embrace a new – and better – way of performing audits in the UK. We are committed to helping to facilitate a vibrant and sustainable market: one with audit quality at its heart, which meets the needs of stakeholders and wider society”.

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Joint Audit: The Facts

In the UK, Joint Audit represents a different and unfamiliar way of approach the audit process. It is also widely misunderstood thanks to a continued focus on decades-old anecdotes based on a limited experience of joint audits undertaken in very different circumstances to those in the present.

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The Benefits of Joint Audit

Joint Audit is a tested and proven mechanism to facilitate the emergence of new players and, in the case of France, has already led to creating the least concentrated audit market of any major economy. If undertaken in the right spirit of collaboration, we believe joint audit also reinforces governance arrangements on the conduct of audits and delivers real improvements in audit quality.

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