Proposals for the regulation of statutory audit in the European Union: a commentary

Ian P. Dewing, Peter O. Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


For more than two decades the framework governing the statutory audit of companies within the European Union (EU) has been the subject of debate and reform. Significant progress has been made with the publication of the European Commission (EC) Green Paper (1996), and the subsequent EC Conference (1997) and EC Communication (1998). The objective of this paper is to provide a commentary on the recent reviews of the regulatory framework for statutory audit at EU level in the context of ongoing developments. The paper concludes that the regulatory framework for statutory audit in the EU is far from complete and much remains to be done. The way forward, at least in the short term, relies on the accountancy and auditing profession taking the lead in finding solutions. The different nature of accounting, financial and legal traditions within the EU, and the need to search for consensus, however, makes it difficult to predict when the EC will be in a position to complete an internal market for audit services within the EU. A significant factor worthy of further consideration is that developments at the international level are in danger of outpacing the EU's ability to respond. Because of the size, power and adaptability of US financial markets, it is possible that US Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (US GAAP) and US Generally Accepted Auditing Practices (US GAAS) may become the dc facto global standards for listed companies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-130
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Financial Regulation and Compliance
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000

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