United Kingdom
Tony Cates on Audit reform and restoring trust

Tony Cates, Head of Audit at KPMG in the UK:

Audit’s hugely valuable, and without audit the capital markets would simply not be able to work. Investors need to be able to rely on financial statements to make their investment decisions. If it wasn’t for audit they wouldn’t be able to place that reliance.

 

But let’s not forget there’s a wider group of stakeholders that see the importance of audit. It’s not just investors, it’s employees, it’s management and it’s society as a whole. Society has lost trust with business, particularly big business, and I think audit has a role to play in helping restore that trust in business, and I think that’s crucially important to our economy and our society. What we’re trying to do is start a debate around what audit assurance, company, reporting, governance could be about in the future.

 

The starting point is our website and some blogs that we’re starting to stimulate some thoughts, to really be provocative in some areas. I’d like people to really participate, put their comments on the website, challenge us or agree with us if they do agree. But also I want them to be talking to their audit partners, to the lead partner from KPMG and engage with us in a debate, you know, in the field when we’re doing work them a well.

 

It’s a very personal thing for me. I mean I see the capability of auditors in our firm and in other firms, actually, and I can see what we can do, what assurance we can give, the broader work that we can do outside of the core audit to give assurance to companies and to investors and I’m really passionate about that.

 

I want us to be adventurous and bold in offering a broader range of services to our clients to give them more comfort in the business models of the companies they invest in, in the sustainability of the companies they invest in and the results of companies they invest in.

Video: Audit reform and restoring trust 

Tony Cates, Head of Audit at KPMG in the UK, talks about corporate reporting and the important role of KPMG in restoring trust.