Proposals for the investor community

In addition to the points noted in relation to an advisory shareholder vote on risk and audit planning, the Government proposes to encourage better engagement with the auditor by inviting the regulator to revise its guidance to audit committees to encourage questions from shareholders about the company audit. The Government also invites the regulator to consider revisions to its guidance on the recently revised Stewardship Code to promote greater engagement from investors on matters relating to audit quality.

The Brydon Review recommended establishing a new body, independent of the regulator and comprising solely users of audit to provide a strong forum for considering audit matters from users’ perspectives. The Government will work with the regulator and the Investment Association to ensure that the the Audit Users Review Board’s terms of reference reflect the importance of a more “user driven” audit. Advice from the AURB will help the regulator to act consistently with its new general objective to protect and promote the interests of investors and users of accounts.

The Brydon Review was concerned that shareholders lacked a confidential channel through which to raise concerns about individual audits, and called for a mechanism to be established to facilitate shareholder engagement with the regulator. The Government expects the regulator to publicise the existing channels through which shareholders are able to raise issues regarding individual audits, and publicise the confidentiality of the complaints procedure.

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