Coming – new European rules on auditing and SPE disclosures

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14 Feb 2004

In a (PDF 64k) before a plenary session of the European Parliament, Frits Bolkestein, European Commissioner for Internal Market, Taxation and Customs, announced that, in March, he will be proposing to the Commission a revised Company Law Directive on the Statutory Audit function.

"It will strengthen controls over the audit profession in the EU. With independent oversight; strengthened inspection; stronger ethical and educational principles; high quality audit standards." It is likely also to include:
  • Full group auditor responsibility for consolidated accounts of a group of companies.
  • Obligatory independent audit committees for listed companies.
  • Stricter auditor rotation requirements.
  • Strengthened sanctions.

Mr. Bolkestein also said the Commission is developing proposals to require "full disclosure in the company accounts of offshore Special Purpose Vehicles, including why the company uses these offshore structures and much stricter verification by the group auditor of their content".

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