By Austin Mitchell, Prem Sikka
...in the home of Commons with co-author Austin Mitchell MP. The booklet is billed as a devastating critique of the “Big Five” accountancy agencies and the pro our bodies that keep watch over them. ”In it, we are going to exhibit how the massive 5 accountancy enterprises function cartels, launder funds, hinder enquiries and perform bribery at a world level.”
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Extra resources for Dirty Business: The Unchecked Power of Major Accountancy Firms
In 1991, the APC was turned into the Auditing Practices Board (APB). Its present chairperson is a partner from Arthur Andersen. There was the usual promise to tweak the ethical guidelines and toughen the disciplinary arrangements, but no attempt to explain previous failures. The DTI helped the industry by ensuring that there would be no independent investigation of audit failures at Levitt, BCCI and Polly Peck. The well-tried and trusted tactic of promising reforms was used again. In cooperation with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the London Stock Exchange, the ICAEW set-up a Committee to examine corporate governance under the chairmanship of Sir Adrian Cadbury.
If no questions are asked, then of course, no further information in addition to that contained in the Annual Report need be provided. However, if a shareholder asks further information I propose to reply as follows: “In recent years we have experienced certain difficulties in obtaining necessary information for our audit and being sure that all relevant explanations have been provided to us. In the final outcome we have been satisfied that we have received all such information and explanation; otherwise this would have been reflected in our audit report.
45 By the 1980s, more auditing failures emerged as Johnson Mathey, De Lorean, Sound Diffusion and other companies collapsed. Despite the earlier promises, no fundamental reform of the auditing industry took place. Following the adoption of the EU Eighth Directive, the UK government published its proposals for the regulation of auditors (DTI, 1986). The document raised the prospect of an independent body to regulate auditors. But the government gave in to lobbying by accountancy firms and accountancy trade became formal regulators (under the Companies Act 1989) of the auditing industry.