Big Four

EY makes pair of progressions towards audit separation

The group revealed that it has both appointed two independent non-executives and established its new UK audit board

EY has announced a pair of progressions in relation to the implementation of its plans for the operational separation of the firm’s UK audit practice.

The group revealed that it has both appointed two independent non-executives and established its new UK audit board.

Mridul Hegde and Philip Tew will sit on the newly formed board, which came into effect on 1 July 2021.

Chaired by David Thorburn, an existing independent non-executive at EY, the audit board will be tasked with providing independent oversight of the group’s audit practice and the implementation of principles laid out by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).

The board will be added to the Big Four firm’s public interest board, previously named the independent oversight committee, and another newly established entity, the audit remuneration committee.

Hywel Ball, UK chair at EY, said that the new appointments support the group’s focus on “delivering the highest levels of quality” by building a “culture of challenge and strengthening oversight”.

He added: “Combined with our sustained investment in audit quality, we hope these measures will continue to build trust and confidence in UK audit.

“To be truly effective though, it’s important that operational separation is accompanied by changes in the wider corporate governance and audit ecosystem through the Government’s proposed package of reforms.”

While Hegde has acted as an independent non-executive director at HSBC and chair of its risk committee since 2018, Tew serves as a non-executive director and chair of the governance, audit, and risk committee at investment management firm Quilter Cheviot.

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