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KPMG welcomes audit reform to define UK post-Brexit

Mar 19
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Big Four accounting organisation KPMG has welcomed a Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) white paper on corporate governance and audit reform.

Jon Holt, head of audit at KPMG UK, has described the document as a once in a generation opportunity to make changes to the corporate regulatory landscape.

He added that it could have a positive effect on the role Britain occupies in the world now that Brexit has come into force.

Under the reforms outlined in the white paper, it is hoped the message will be that Britain represents a good investment opportunity.

This will be demonstrated through safe and sustainable infrastructure that underpins it becoming a trusted partner for economic growth.

Mr Holt said: “It is an ambitious package of strategic reform. Prioritising and clarifying the audit reform agenda is an important step to rebuild trust in the profession. Establishing ARGA [Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority], with broader responsibilities, is key.”

He drew particular attention to the introduction of a resilience statement, including Environment, Social and Governance disclosures.

Mr Holt described this as among the most important innovations in meaningful corporate reporting that has been seen for decades in this country.

He went on to say he believed such a move would be welcomed by the broader investor community.

The government’s push for a major overhaul of the UK’s audit regime comes after a number of big companies have collapsed.

It wants large businesses to be more transparent about their finances as a way to mitigate company failures and make jobs in Britain more secure.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Restoring business confidence, but also people’s confidence in business, is crucial to repairing our economy.”

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