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EY’s Varley admits ‘more to do’ in rebuilding audit work

Steve Varley: ‘taking steps’

Steve Varley, chairman of EY, said the firm is prioritising improvements in audit work following a year of searing criticism of the sector’s failures to spot company failures.

He admitted there is “more to do” but was encouraged by recent ratings of its audit work.

“We have continued to prioritise the infrastructure needed to deliver high quality audits by investing in compliance, our people and new technologies,” he said in a statement alongside annual figures.

“While there’s more to do, I’m encouraged by the improvements in our latest audit quality scores from the Financial Reporting Council. The FRC inspections looked at 18 of our audits this year, with 89% of the 9 FTSE 350 audits rated in the top category.

“We audit around 5,000 organisations in the UK and are increasing our focus to ensure that every one of these audits meets the highest standards. I’m confident that we are taking the steps needed to build on these results in the future.

“We are very clear about the crucial role that our work plays in building and sustaining trust and confidence in the capital markets and helping to improve the attractiveness of the UK as a centre for business.”

EY has grown UK revenues by 1.5% and is on course to grow the headcount of its four Scottish offices by 25% in 2020.

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