UK Financial Reporting Council knocks KPMG on quality of banking audits
By Oludare Mayowa
The United Kingdom Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has knocked one of the biggest audit firms, KPMG LLP over the the quality of its banking audits with U.K.’s industry regulator said it was “unacceptable” that for the third year running the accounting firm’s work wasn’t up to scratch.
The FRC in its annual report released on Friday, examined the U.K.’s seven biggest auditing firms, which include Ernst & Young and Deloitte, said almost 30 percent of all bookkeeping was below par in the year to the end of March.
“Overall Inspection results at KPMG did not improve and it is unacceptable that, for the third year running, the FRC found improvements were required to KPMG’s audits of banks and similar entities.
“Given the systemic importance of banks to the UK economy, the FRC will be closely monitoring KPMG’s actions to ensure findings are addressed in a timely manner.
“KPMG has agreed additional improvement activities to be delivered this year over and above its existing audit quality improvement plan,
“In response to our findings this year, the firm’s senior leadership has committed to make the further changes necessary to improve audit quality in time for 2021 year-end audits.
“We will monitor these closely to assess on a timely basis the extent to which they address our findings,” the report released on Friday stated.
The FRC said that “We will also continue to focus our inspections on KPMG banking audits.”
The regulator said central to achieving consistent audit quality is a healthy culture within the audit practice that encourages challenge and professional scepticism, as it set out in its letter to Heads of Audit
in December 2020.
“We have a major project underway to examine audit culture, including an international conference held in June this year on the subject.
“Operational separation of audit practices from the rest of the firm should help the largest firms to focus on developing an appropriate audit culture,” the FRC stated.