Public criticism and the hostility of regulators and politicians are intense, especially in the United Kingdom since the January 2018 collapse of contracting giant Carillion. The debate is joined, the outcome is uncertain, and the consequences to the capital markets will be profoundly disturbing.
The issues are complex: audit quality, the “expectations gap,” competition and choice. Disruptive “solutions” include breaking up the Big Four, stripping their services to “audit only,” and even nationalizing audit assignments.
With DOA, veteran lawyer and author Jim Peterson surveys the background to the current UK environment, examines the possible actions, and assesses the doubtful prospects for beneficial change.