Search for

A fitting tribute

8 Apr 08

I wasn’t lucky enough to work with Aileen Beattie, former Technical Director at ICAS, but her legacy of integrity, intelligence and decency will not be forgotten by the many friends she left here at ICAS and throughout the profession

One way of remembering Aileen is the annual lecture in her name which we hold in London. It’s a high profile event and we have been grateful that, since the lecture began last year, we have had two leading figures in business to deliver the talk – our own Sir Robert Smith gave the inaugural lecture and this year saw the contribution of John Griffith-Jones, Joint Chairman of KPMG Europe LLP.

What John said has really struck home. It featured prominently in the media and judging by the question and answer session that followed his talk at the Scotland Office, will gather momentum throughout the profession. Perhaps Andrew Hill in the Lombard column of the FT summed up the core message of the speech best – ‘Shed the boilerplate and let audit kitemarks take off’, said the headline. Basically, John wants an audit report that amounts to one line which basically says - “these accounts are about right unless management has deliberately conspired to falsify them.”

The kitemark audit report would arguably achieve the following:

  • Reinforce the fact that an audit report is a professional opinion, arrived at by using judgement
  • Encourage auditors to resist adding ‘boilerplate’ clauses to audit reports

At the moment we are some way from achieving this nirvana, but the aim of the Aileen Beattie Lecture is to encourage some creative thinking about the profession. John has certainly provided that.

I’m sure Aileen would have approved.


Have your say


ICAS SkyScraper (link opens in new window)Advertisement