Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Role of External Auditors and International Accounting Bodies in Financial Regulation and Supervision.

Ojo, Marianne (2006): The Role of External Auditors and International Accounting Bodies in Financial Regulation and Supervision. Published in: A Comparative Analysis Between the UK, Germany, Italy and the USA. VDM Verlag October 2008

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Abstract

The emergence of powerful financial conglomerates operating at a global level has led to unified supervision of financial services in the UK and Germany. These changes in regulatory structures have a higher potential of better utilisation through the involvement of external auditors. The crucial role played by external auditors in banking regulation and supervision has been highlighted in bank collapses like BCCI and Barings. According to the Basel Core Principles for effective Banking Supervision 1997, an effective banking supervisory system should consist of both “on-site” and “off-site” supervision. Off-site supervision involves the regulator making use of external auditors. On-site work is usually done by the examination staff of the bank supervisory agency or commissioned by supervisors but may be undertaken by external auditors. Following Enron's collapse, debates focussed around why the UK had avoided its Enron. Many argued that it was because the US approach to accounting regulation was rules-based in comparison to the principles-based system of the UK . In addition to adopting an independent standard setting, the International Accounting Standards Board's second principle is aimed at principles as opposed to rules based standards. All public trading companies in the European Union would have to apply new international standards from 2005 in consolidated financial statements ( EC Regulation 1606/2002) and huge efforts are now being made towards global convergence.

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