Post-Enron developments in UK audit and corporate governance regulation

Ian Dewing, Peter Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines post‐Enron developments in UK audit and corporate governance regulation. It considers the latest government‐initiated reviews into audit regulation, specifically those conducted by the Co‐ordinating Group on Audit and Accounting Issues and the DTI Review Team, and into corporate governance, specifically those undertaken by Derek Higgs and Sir Robert Smith. The paper notes that the reviews were undertaken in the context of developments initiated both before and after the collapse of Enron, including, respectively, the new system for the regulation of the UK accountancy profession as established by the Accountancy Foundation, and the US Sarbanes‐Oxley Act. The reviews have been welcomed by government and thus should play a large part in setting the agenda for the future regulation of UK audit and corporate governance. The proposals for auditing share a number of characteristics with the recommendations of a pre‐Enron empirical study which investigated the regulation of UK listed company audit, although significant distinctions remain. The proposals for corporate governance continue the ‘comply or explain’ approach and do not recommend passing its regulation from the Financial Reporting Council to another independent body of ‘stature’ such as the Financial Services Authority (FSA). It is concluded that key to successful implementation of recent proposals will be the need, for audit, to demonstrate that there is no cosy relationship between regulators and the auditing profession, especially the ‘Big Four’ firms, and, for corporate governance, a willingness to look outside the ‘one‐size‐fits‐all’ approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-322
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Financial Regulation and Compliance
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003

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