Just 17% of the public trusts the current audit system, according to a new study by accountancy firm Mazars.
The survey of 2000 people across the UK found that the public “strongly supports” audit reform, with nearly two-thirds (62%) stating that they don’t have trust in the current audit system to provide independent and accurate assessments of a company’s financial position.
Mazars said mandatory joint auditing, one of the key remedies suggested by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in its comprehensive package of measures proposed to the government, is “extremely” popular among the public.
Nearly three quarters of respondents (72%) support the introduction of joint audit as a solution to the string of accounting scandals and corporate failures in recent years.
David Herbinet, global head of audit and partner at Mazars said: “We have long believed that the public has a real interest in an audit system that makes our economy stronger through improved transparency and accountability, and our research only strengthens this belief.
“High profile company collapses are becoming all too common, and impact hard-working people who understandably have grave concerns and are now demanding action.”
He added: “There is insufficient choice and resilience in the audit market. Substantial reform is now critical to the sustainable success of our largest companies and the wider economy.”