EventsPast Event

Reforming audit and governance – do the government’s plans go far enough?

By 19.03.21EventsPast EventMarch 29th, 2021No Comments

A discussion on the government’s new white paper and whether it can help to restore trust in audit and corporate governance.

Date/time: Monday 29 March 2021, 12:00 – 13:00

Via Zoom


  • Lord Prem Sikka, Emeritus Professor of Accouting, University of Essex
  • Professor Christine Cooper, Chair in Accounting , University of Edinburgh Business School

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has published its long awaited white paper on audit and corporate governance reform.

The paper sets out policies intended to build confidence in audit and governance processes, and prevent the issues that affected companies including Carillion, Thomas Cook and BHS from reoccurring.

Its recommendations include:

  • potential caps on the market share of the ‘big 4 auditors’
  • development of a new audit profession, with a remit to look beyond financial results to performance against wider measures including climate change targets
  • a new industry regulator, the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA)
  • more stringent conditions for dividend payments, and clawback provisions for executive bonuses in the event of business failure

The measures undoubtedly recognise many of the concerns raised by academic experts, campaigners and other stakeholders. However, much of the white paper is concerned with technocratic changes to regulatory structures and zombie policy objectives like bonus clawback and greater competition in the audit market that are regularly proclaimed but yet to materialise.

So does it represent a pathway to better business, and if not, what more do we need to do? This event will hear from expert perspectives on the issues of audit and corporate governance, ahead of the consultation period which runs until July.

Join us for what is sure to be a fascinating discussion, and one that can hopefully stimulate progressive responses to the consultation!