Governance change

Baroness Ford to oversee audit changes at Deloitte

Big four accountant Deloitte has announced that Scottish businesswoman Baroness Margaret Ford of Cunninghame will oversee changes to its audit governance structure.

It follows criticism of the sector’s performance in high profile company collapses.

Deloitte, which also announced that Stephen Griggs will become managing partner, is setting up an independent Audit Governance Board.

Baroness Ford, who announced earlier this month she will be stepping down next year as chairman of STV, is appointed independent non-executive chairman of the AGB .

The AGB will have a majority of independent non-executive directors, including Jim Coyle, Almira Delibegovic-Broome QC and Shirley Garrood.

Effective from 1 January, the AGB will have responsibility for providing independent oversight of the UK audit practice, with a focus on the policies and procedures for improving audit quality and ensuring the Financial Reporting Council’s (FRC) objectives of, and desired outcomes for, operational separation are met.

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The creation of the AGB is the initial phase of Deloitte’s implementation of the principles for operational separation set out by the FRC in July.

Richard Houston, senior partner and chief executive of Deloitte UK, said: “We recognise the need to be more transparent about our audit business and demonstrate that audit quality remains our number one priority.

“Our governance changes are an important part of this, and we welcome the diverse and extensive experience and independent rigour these high calibre individuals will bring to the AGB and our audit business.

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