The Big Flaw: Auditing in Crisis

The ‘Big Four’ accounting firms have been hit by scandal after scandal. Regulators, investors and the wider public have lost confidence in the audit market. The FT examines what has gone wrong with accounting - and what might restore faith in the profession

© Bill Butcher

Auditing needs to recover the idea of providing a ‘true and fair’ picture of companies

Firms can be too focused on pleasing customers who are also a source of consulting income

Concerns that audit market is too beholden to the clients whose numbers it vets

Most listed US and British groups use one of the Big Four, with issues discreetly hidden

FT series: with a cabal of auditors dominating the market and chiefs making most of the system of ‘fair value’, what can the industry do to raise standards?

Prudence and judgment were lost in the drive to fair value standards

A series of issues around the world shows all too clearly that auditing has become flabby