I am writing to you because I believe that we share a common purpose in restoring trust between business and the wider society in which we operate.
I believe that we need a strong UK Plc to play its part in reinvigorating the global economy and restoring growth and widening prosperity. It follows that UK business must have access, at the right price, to the resources it needs to invest and grow, whether that be financial capital, labour or other resources, together with a proportionate regulatory environment.
The statutory audit has been and remains at the heart of the stewardship relationship between company and investor, enhancing trust between them, assuring annual financial statements and promoting more efficient access to capital.
However, the financial crisis has prompted much reflection, both about corporate reporting and audit. Many wonder whether financial statements have lost their way, with companies increasingly communicating with stakeholders through means other than annual reports. At the same time the statutory audit is under pressure - rightly - to move beyond its traditional scope and deliver more.
Against this background the risk remains that a lack of trust between providers and consumers of resources will increase the cost of those resources or lead to unnecessarily onerous regulation. There must be a better way.
I believe that it’s time for change. But to effect change we need a consensus for action, and therefore we need a debate. A debate about how corporate reporting should be made fit for the business models and rapidly developing communication platforms of this century. A debate about how audit and assurance can be directed to what matters to you and your stakeholders. A debate about how to restore trust.
I am personally committed to achieving positive change. The time is right for us to ask difficult questions, to answer the challenging questions put to us, to mediate consensus among stakeholders wherever possible and to get buy-in from those with the power to implement solutions. As I see it, inaction is a far greater risk; so I hope that you are willing to join KPMG in a lively and maybe even disruptive debate!
Therefore, over the coming months, we will be sharing our opinions on key issues affecting the interaction of companies, investors and other stakeholders and asking you to share your views too. I am inviting you to join us in these discussions both on-line, and in person at a series of debates to commence in the autumn.
I look forward to making a difference together.
UK Head of Audit
KPMG in the UK