Public policy

Our contribution to the public debate

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The continuing aftershocks of the global financial crisis highlight the importance of public confidence in the capital markets. We are acutely aware of our important role in promoting transparency and supporting investor confidence and economic growth. This is one way in which we are working to build a better working world.

Clients, regulators and our stakeholders count on us to deliver quality and excellence in everything we do. Regular dialogue with our stakeholders is a priority for us and what we hear helps inform our views and actions.

Below you will find our viewpoints on some of the most topical issues relating to auditing, financial reporting and the capital markets.

Our latest commentary

Overview: Enhancing the auditor’s report

October 2014

Auditors have traditionally provided a binary “pass/fail” opinion on a company’s financial statements. While still valuable, many believe it is no longer enough. We compare proposals from several regulators and standard setters that would require auditors to say more.

Women on boards: global approaches to advancing diversity

July 2014

Our research shows that board diversity enhances corporate performance, and failing to address the gender gap can have economic consequences. Based on our observation of global trends, three factors can lead to progress on this issue: focused public sector attention, committed private sector leadership and corporate transparency to meet growing public demand for change.

News and views: the global public policy environment for audit, reporting and tax continues to be highly volatile

July 2014

This EY News and views provides a snapshot of key recent developments and summarizes EY’s views. We encourage investors, boards and audit committees to stay close to these developments.

Point of view: Understanding changes to the EU's audit legislation

April 2014

After years of debate, the EU has adopted legislation that includes mandatory audit firm rotation. We explore key provisions and offer our viewpoint.


Point of view: Auditor reporting

February 2014

We believe enhancing the auditor's report will contribute to the ongoing relevance of the financial statement audit and to serving the public interest. This Point of view summarizes our views on auditor reporting, as set forth in our recent comment letters to the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board and the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

News and views: The global policy environment for audit and reporting is likely to remain highly dynamic in 2014

January 2014

This issue provides a snapshot of key policy developments as of the current date and summarizes EY's views.

Point of view: Public policy developments affecting the accounting profession and our business

July 2013

Our latest Point of view provides an update on key global public policy developments affecting the audit and our business around the world. The Point of view includes the latest news on the EU's audit reform proposals and the recent US Congressional vote signaling opposition to mandatory firm rotation, and reiterates EY's views.

Point of view: Q&A on mandatory firm rotation

March 2013

Mandatory firm rotation has received increasing attention from policy makers in recent years as a potential way to bolster auditor independence and increase professional skepticism. This Point of view explains why EY opposes mandatory firm rotation and supports other means of strengthening auditor independence and improving audit quality.

Point of view: Q&A on non-audit services

March 2013

Policy makers in some jurisdictions are considering whether to strengthen existing restrictions on auditors providing non-audit services to audit clients. EY believes that with the right safeguards in place, auditors can maintain their independence and enhance audit quality while providing non-audit services. This Point of view discusses these issues.

Point of view: Public policy developments affecting the accounting profession and our business: looking ahead to 2013

December 2012

Our latest Point of view reviews ongoing public policy developments affecting the accounting profession and our business and considers the outlook for 2013 and beyond. It provides a snapshot of the status of some of the key policy reforms under consideration, and then reiterates EY’s views on these important issues.

Point of view: Enhancing transparency of the audit committee auditor oversight process

November 2012

To promote investor confidence in auditor independence and objectivity, we believe there should be greater transparency of the audit committee’s auditor oversight process so that shareholders have the information they need to properly evaluate an audit committee’s decision to retain or change the auditor. Our latest Point of view explains our proposal for shareholders to receive a report from the audit committee on a periodic basis detailing its oversight of the auditor and the audit process.

Point of view: Auditor reporting

November 2012

We strongly support meaningful change to increase the usefulness and informational value of the auditor’s report. This Point of view summarizes our perspectives on auditor reporting, as set forth in our recent response to a consultation by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board.

Comment Letter: EY comments on IAASB's proposed improvements to the Auditor's Report

October 2012

EY has submitted a response to the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board's Invitation to Comment that made suggested improvements to the auditor's report.

Point of view: EY views on current public policy developments affecting the audit profession

July 2012

This Point of view brings you up-to-date on current public policy developments that will be of interest to you, our clients and other stakeholders. These include: the European Commission's pending proposals on audit policy; the UK Competition Commission inquiry into the UK audit market; the UK FRC's proposals on mandatory retendering; and the US PCAOB concept release on independence, objectivity, and professional skepticism.

Comment Letter: EY comments on UK Financial Reporting Council's proposals on audit tendering

July 2012

The UK Financial Reporting Council issued a consultation in April 2012 on revisions to its Corporate Governance Code and Guidance on Audit Committees. EY has submitted the below response relating to the audit tendering proposals in the consultation.

Point of view: EY perspective on European Commission legislative proposals on audit policy

December 2011

This EY reports provides our perspective on the European Commission's audit proposals following their official publication on 30 November.

Overview: EY Guide to EU legislative process

December 2011

This document provides a brief overview of the EU legislative process and its institutions in the context of the Commission's Green Paper on audit policy.

Point of view: EY views on current public policy proposals affecting the audit profession

November 2011

As policy-makers move forward post-crisis, many have proposed reforms to corporate governance, financial reporting and the role of audits and the audit profession. The European Commission has developed a set of draft proposals in response to its Green Paper on Audit Policy and in the US, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board is seeking comment on its concept release on measures to enhance auditor independence, objectivity and professional skepticism. This report provides a high-level perspective, identifying which measures we support and which we oppose.

Overview: G20 Cannes Summit dominated by sovereign debt risk and future of Eurozone

November 2011

The 2011 summit was dominated by uncertainty around sovereign debt risk and the future of the Eurozone. In the midst of an agenda focused primarily on macroeconomic concerns and fiscal reform, the G20 leaders struggled to make progress and stay united on financial regulatory reform and a broader growth agenda. Learn more about the summit's key actions.

Overview: Update on Public Policy Developments Affecting the Audit Profession

June 2011

This Overview provides an update on recent developments affecting auditors and audit committees, including the European Commission Green Papers on audit policy and corporate governance, House of Lords report, OFT statement on competition, and activity by the IAASB and US PCAOB.

Overview: House of Lords report on audit could influence regulatory agenda

April 2011

The House of Lords published its final report on market concentration in the UK audit market and the auditing of banks. The report makes recommendations to the UK Government and could influence policy making around the world as the European Commission and national regulators also consider measures to reform auditing.

Point of view: Our response to EC Green paper on audit policy

December 2010

The Green Paper raises many questions about the role of the auditor, the structure and regulation of the audit profession, and other core elements of the audit process. Our publication outlines our perspective on these issues, which we discuss more fully in our Comment Letter.

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