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Failure to assess risks in the financial sector 'threatens our economy'
Posted on 27 Jan 2011 by the Editor
<P align=justify>Minister&nbsp; Kelleher&nbsp; was speaking at the Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI) Forum&nbsp; on the future of audit publication &#8220;Statutory Audit/ What the future holds?&#8221; The&nbsp; Minister&nbsp; said: &#8216;a reformed audit-related regime should be one that is capable of alerting shareholders, investors and regulators to the risks and problems arising across the business sector.</P>
<P align=justify>&#8216;This&nbsp; is&nbsp; what&nbsp; the various reviews at national, EU and global levels must identify&nbsp; if&nbsp; confidence&nbsp; in&nbsp; the&nbsp; role&nbsp; of&nbsp; audits&nbsp; and&nbsp; auditors is to be successfully restored.&#8217;&nbsp; Minister&nbsp; Kelleher&nbsp; identified worthwhile areas for consideration including how&nbsp; the&nbsp; communications&nbsp; between&nbsp; the&nbsp; boards of companies, their internal auditors and audit committees, statutory auditors and shareholders could be improved and made more meaningful.</P>
<P align=justify>&#8216;Getting&nbsp; communications&nbsp; right is essential to the well being of companies and&nbsp; their&nbsp; stakeholders.&nbsp; This is crucial if we are to achieve an enhanced statutory&nbsp; audit&nbsp; process&nbsp; that&nbsp; fulfils&nbsp; the&nbsp; reasonable&nbsp; expectations&nbsp; of interested parties.&#8217;&nbsp; Greater&nbsp; stakeholder&nbsp; activism&nbsp; in&nbsp; shaping the companies they own was also strongly advocated by the Minister.</P>
<P align=justify>&#8216;I&nbsp; think&nbsp; it&nbsp; reasonable&nbsp; for&nbsp; the State to expect that, in return for the granting of limited liability status, companies should keep proper books of account and produce financial statements which give a true and fair view of the&nbsp; state&nbsp; of&nbsp; affairs of the company, and that a statutory auditor should express a &#8220;true and fair&#8221;opinion about them,&#8217; Minister Kelleher said.</P>
<P align=justify>Concluding&nbsp; Minister&nbsp; Kelleher said: &#8216;One lesson coming loud and clear from our&nbsp; recent experiences is that the time has come for statutory auditors to adopt a more inquisitorial approach and to reassert their independence from the&nbsp; companies&nbsp; they audit and to restore confidence in the profession as a whole.&#8217; </P>
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