The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) reportedly issued £16.7m worth of financial sanctions this year, increasing from the £16.4m made in 2019/20, according to the latest analysis by Thomson Reuters on the FRC Annual Enforcement Report.
The research found that the council opened 16 investigations into auditors, accountants and/or actuaries compared with the 14 made last year. There are also 49 current investigations ongoing.
Kyle Gibbons, managing director, Europe of Thomson Reuters Confirmation, said: “It’s almost expected now that auditors will be fined tens of millions every year. What is new this year has been the near elimination of discounts on fines, indicating a much tougher line than previously.
“Fines are increasingly large enough to make a substantial impact on the profits of a firm, even those of the Big Four. A series of multi-million-pound fines have made the audit profession sit up and take notice and they are now investing in reform and technology as never before.”
He added: “Prominent frauds like Wirecard are still too common. However, many frauds are now being caught using relatively straightforward technology. There is improvement happening and auditors are increasingly embracing the idea that they should help to stop fraud.”