UKSA is among a number of investor bodies seeking changes in audit practice in order to bring about better protection of investor interests. Led by the Universities’ Superannuation Scheme, these embrace the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum, the London Pension Fund Authority, Railpen, BBC Pension Fund, Threadneedle Investment Management, Royal London Asset Management, Legal & General Investment Management, The Co-operative Asset Management, Environment Agency Active Pension Fund UK, Swedish National Pension Fund, Ethos Foundation Switzerland, Pensions and Investment Research Consultants (Pirc), Governance for Owners and Proxinvest (one of a group of European proxy firms within ECGS Ltd, European Corporate Governance Service).
As well as lobbying the UK government and legislators, this group is endeavouring to influence the audit reform process initiated by Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for Internal Markets and Services. “It is vital” says the coalition, “that policy-makers do not lose sight of the purpose of the audit. The audit is intended for shareholders, to permit them to rely on accounts as a basis for monitoring executives’ performance. The audit is not for company executives, and it is not for the auditors.” UKSA members might think it worth while to lobby their own MEPs on the matter.
UKSA takes a stronger line on some matters than the group, but has signed the group’s position paper (available for download here).