Accountancy Foundation review brought forward.


The Accountancy Foundation, the UK's first independent regulator of the industry, is to come under the government spotlight three years earlier than planned. Trade minister Patricia Hewitt has launched a review of the regulator in response to US corporate scandals and concerns over the structure and funding of the UK body.

US corporate scandals such as the collapse of Enron have raised questions in both the US and the UK about whether the industry should continue to set its own ethical standards and whether there should be more independent supervision. The foundation is exclusively funded by the UK's five accountancy institutes and the Irish accountancy institute--an arrangement that has raised concerns in Whitehall that the regulator could have a conflict of interest. The review will also consider whether the foundation should focus on auditing or on the whole accountancy industry.

"The UK regime is already built on solid foundations and has set quality benchmarks across the world," Hewitt said. "But recent events in the US show that we cannot afford to be complacent. Any proposals resulting from...

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