The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has revealed that its enforcement division has grown by 44% in the last year, to enable the “swifter“ resolution of cases, while the number of investigations opened also increased.
In the council’s third annual enforcement review, it highlighted the group’s “continued focus” on driving audit quality improvements, with the number of cases resolved through constructive engagement, up from 31 to 48.
Financial sanctions have continued to play an important role, with the total value of sanctions increasing from £16.5m in 2020 to £16.7m including a £15m sanction imposed by an independent tribunal against Deloitte for its audit of autonomy, marking the highest financial sanction imposed to date in any FRC case.
Furthermore, the report notes the progress which has been made over the year including the delivery of initial investigation reports in both Carillion audit investigations, while in the Silentnight matter, the independent tribunal made findings of misconduct in relation to serious ethical issues.
Elizabeth Barrett, executive counsel and executive director of enforcement, FRC, said: “We have had a busy and productive year against a challenging background with significant progress on key cases.
“We have also invested in substantial growth of the division to support future delivery of more timely outcomes in holding to account those responsible for the preparation and audit of financial statements who fall short of the required standards.”