There was little effect by the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on audit practices in Australia, as the country was largely sheltered from the GFC. The U.K. and Europe which had experienced significant reforms to audit were not sheltered from the GFC and regulators and law makers were pressured to take further action. The key UK and European audit reforms included the expanded auditors' report, disclosures on materiality thresholds, bans, caps and restrictions on non-audit services, viability statements released by directors, more powers for audit committees and mandatory firm rotation by auditors. The aim of this exploratory research study is to obtain the views of relevant stakeholders in relation to the benefits and costs of the recent UK audit reforms and the new EU Audit Directive (July 2016), and via a synthesis of these results and a review of the relevant Australian accounting literature, consider whether there is scope and benefits for Australia to now adopt similar reforms to audit and assurance services. The study finds that there are significant reforms to audit that have benefited the UK audit profession, and an open debate in Australia needs to be considered regarding the need for similar reforms perhaps before the next wave of accounting scandals and corporate collapses. The study suggests a need for a more proactive approach to audit reform and this lends support to recent findings from Australian accounting research studies.
Bibliographical note© 2017 John Wiley & Sons; © 2017 CPA Australia.
Funding: Aston University & RMIT University.
- Audit Reforms, Audit and Assurance Markets, Regulations