Gosh, now here’s a thing

Richard Murphy is a visiting professor in accounting at Sheffield University. Based on the limited public information available on King & King, he questions whether a firm of its size could maintain its independence from Gupta. “I always felt as an auditor that I could walk away from a client and say: ‘Well you don’t agree with me. I don’t care, you are no longer a client.’ And I did so,” he says.

The professional body the ICAEW confirms that King & King has just two chartered accountants. A third has a certified accountancy qualification. Companies House filings disclose more directors, but provide no further information on their qualifications.

Murphy explains that a three-partner firm mitigates the risk that objectivity towards any single client is compromised. He says: “It isn’t possible for a two-partner firm to undertake this audit because it is inevitable that given the significance of that client to that firm, both partners will be involved. Therefore there is no independent third-party view to hold other partners to account.”

How many partners were there at Murphy, Deeks, Nolan?

We have a corollary here, the rich who must be taxed more are those making 10% more than the demander, the correct number of partners is the number I had…..

2 thoughts on “Gosh, now here’s a thing”

  1. You know I hate to say this, but the prof is talking bollocks.

    Where the engagement partner determines that the risk of an audit engagement is so high that it requires input from a reviewer, it’s up to him or her to get that input. For a small firm where the objectivity of all the other partners may be compromised, this means they need to contract with another firm to provide a suitable third party reviewer.

    Honestly, it’s been this way for ages. You’d expect a chartered accountant, even one associated with a tinpot outfit like MD&N, to know this.

  2. When I read that article this morn I immediately thought ‘What Will Worstall Say?’.

    Well, he’ll heap derision on it, won’t he? Quite right too.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *