Westminster Business Forum

Financial reporting in the UK - the new regulator, ensuring quality and the future shape of the auditing market

Morning, Wednesday, 11th December 2019

Central London


The seminar comes at a time of significant proposed changes to financial reporting in the UK and will look in particular at:

  • the establishment of the new regulator;
  • options for strengthening auditing quality to prevent further accounting failures; and
  • the implications of the CMA’s proposed measures to encourage competition for auditing services, which aim to strengthen the market and financial reporting.

The future of the audit market following the CMA’s market study

Delegates will also discuss proposals in the CMA’s statutory audit market study including an operational split between audit and advisory businesses, mandatory joint audits to increase opportunities for challenger firms to increase the resilience of the market, and increased oversight of business audit committees.           

Sessions will assess the impact that the proposals including the operations split are likely to have on competition and the ability of UK firms to audit international companies - and potential implications such as added complexity and costs to businesses.

The establishment of the new regulator

As the new Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA) replaces the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), delegates will discuss how the new regulator can best function in practice and the likely impact of the new regulator on businesses, investors and auditors.

The conference takes place as the Government considers feedback to its consultation on the proposals following its response to the independent review of the FRC, with ARGA expected to be granted statutory powers to enforce changes to accounts, directly regulate auditors and to investigate company directors, as well as being granted new sanctions to tackle serious misconduct.  

Ensuring the quality of financial reporting

The seminar comes as auditors and financial reports themselves come under increasing scrutiny, with further sessions looking at the role of financial reporting and what can be done to improve standards and transparency following previous corporate accounting failures. It will also follow the anticipated publication of the independent review of the quality and effectiveness of audit.          

We expect discussion on how audits and financial reports can be made more effective and reputable and how best to address the expectations gap between the scope and remit of audits and the expectations of investors and wider stakeholders. 

With Government’s recently-published Green Finance Strategy including the expectation that listed firms and pension funds will introduce the disclosure of climate-related risks by 2022, delegates will also discuss the expanding remit of corporate reporting and what these changes mean for businesses and investors.   

Keynote Speaker

Baroness Bowles of Berkhamsted

Member, House of Lords Economic Affairs Select Committee; Non-Executive Director, London Stock Exchange and Chair, Regulatory Advisory Group, London Stock Exchange Group


Kirsty Blackman MP

Officer, All-Party Parliamentary Corporate Governance Group and Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Economy)


Alistair Thompson

Director of Remedies, Business and Financial Analysis, CMA

Paul Dossett

Partner, Grant Thornton

Natasha Landell-Mills

Head of Stewardship, Sarasin & Partners

Maggie McGhee

Director, Professional Insights, ACCA

Brian Gilvary

Chief Financial Officer, BP and Chair, 100 Group

Professor Atul Shah

Visiting Professor, City, University of London

Senior speaker confirmed from the Financial Reporting Council

Hywel Ball

Managing Partner, Assurance, UK and Ireland and UK Head of Audit, EY

Scott Knight

Head of Audit and Assurance, BDO

Leon Kamhi

Head of Responsibility, Hermes Investment Management