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Singapore businesses clamour for more diverse audit market

A surprising 88% believe this is necessary.

According to a global business survey by Experian, given the current scenario that the vast majority of large public businesses are audited by only four firms, a whopping 88% of Singapore respondents believe there needs to be a more diverse audit market.

Here's more from Experian:

This sentiment is shared by respondents in emerging new markets such as India (90%) Vietnam (88%), Taiwan (87%) Brazil (86%).

Immediate neighbour Malaysia 92% led by Chile (94%). The global average stands at 69% who supports and 22% not supporting the idea.

Kon Yin Tong, Managing Partner of Foo Kon Tan Grant Thornton LLP said, “ Auditor concentration is an issue not peculiar to the EU and any further research and discussion is welcome. Long auditor tenure is a problem around the world; some economies target firm rotation at financial institutions. Audit rotation unto itself is not the answer, but only one possible part of the solutions. There needs to be more diversity as that will make the profession stronger as a whole.”

Strongly supporting the move for joint auditing came from Chile (94%), Brazil (93%) Mainland China (89%), Vietnam (88%), Peru (87%), Greece, Poland (82%) each .Businesses who do not think it would help market confidence if every large public company was audited by two firms rather than one are Switzerland (70%) leading the pack followed by US (67%), UK (63%) Netherland (62%) and Singapore (60%)

Other findings revealed that 44% of Singapore businesses is of the view that pure audit (firms with a very substantial size in audit) will no longer be able to provide non-audit services vs 22% who disagree. The global finding stands at 31% agreeing with 26% disagreeing.

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