Government to launch corporate reporting and audit regulator

The Government is to overhaul the corporate reporting and audit regime by launching a new regulator.

The Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (AGRA) launch was announced by business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng yesterday.

AGRA will replace the Financial Reporting Council as the UK’s audit regulator.

A date for the switch has yet to be announced.

AGRA will cover unlisted companies with over 750 employees and over £750m in annual turnover.

The new regulator will also be given new powers to make large audit firms keep their audit and non-audit functions separate.

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The Government said the reforms aim to tackle the dominance of the big four audit firms and help fight against sudden large company failures such as the collapse of BHS.

It said it will also act against company directors who take bonuses despite the failure of the companies they run.

The launch of the new regulator is not a surprise, with references to a new audit regulator first referenced in The Queen’s Speech in December 2019, and a critical review into the quality and effectiveness of the UK’s audit process which was published the same month.

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Government to launch corporate reporting and audit regulator