Ernst & Young questions prohibiting internal auditors from assisting external auditors

19 June 2013

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Hywel Ball, head of assurance, UK & Ireland at EY, says:

“We acknowledge today’s launch of a revised standard which now prohibits external auditors from receiving direct assistance from a client’s internal auditors.

“Although we recognise the FRC’s fundamental concern about the independence of external auditors, appropriately restricted direct assistance, provided by internal auditors to external auditors, does not present a real threat to the independence of the external auditor.

“The provision of direct assistance to external auditors has not been an area of concern for company stakeholders to date. Restricted direct assistance is a reasonably common feature of current external audit practice and it has not impaired audit quality.

“Introducing this prohibition now will add complexity to the planning of multi-location audits – for example direct assistance being permitted for the performance of PCAOB audits on UK components, but not permitted for the audit of the component’s UK statutory accounts.”

Link to FRC press release:

http://www.frc.org.uk/News-and-Events/FRC-Press/Press/2013/June/FRC-prohibits-the-use-of-internal-audit-staff-on-t.aspx