Only big fines will change how the auditors audit

Splitting a firm’s audit and consulting functions has merit but only large penalties will affect proper change
•Watchdog finds work of Patisserie Valerie auditor unacceptable

This time last year the Financial Reporting Council tried to read the riot act to the auditing industry. Standards, which were already too low, had fallen, the regulator’s inspectors reported. The Big Four firms were told to “act swiftly to reverse the decline”. KMPG (famous audit: Carillion) was the worst of the bunch and was put in the equivalent of special measures.

After such public shaming, and with the Competition and Markets Authority on the prowl, you would expect the well-paid partners at all the professional firms to put their houses in order, right?

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