"The FRC has just announced in their latest 3-year strategy that they want only 10% of audits covered by AQRT to be 'not up to standard'. It might surprise you to know that it's currently 30%! You may want to take a closer look at your auditors in your next external audit effectiveness review".

Code of Conduct

Audit Review has adopted the following Code of Conduct to provide the framework for its client relationships and to clarify the professional standards which audit firms may expect for any reviews and tenders on which Audit Review may advise.

Audit Review’s role

Audit Review’s role as a consultant is to assist decision makers within the governance structure of the company to make the most informed and appropriate decisions possible on the relationship with its auditors, having due regard to the organisation’s strategy, the Board’s statutory duties, the requirements of the UK Corporate Governance Code and the views of institutional investors and other stakeholders.

Audit Review recognises that all substantive decisions regarding auditors are made by the appropriate governance bodies in the company.

Avoiding conflicts of interest

Audit Review will seek to avoid conflicts of interest with its clients, whether real or perceived and, recognising the public interest represented by an audit opinion, is committed to advising its clients on objective quality and value for money grounds and not just on cost.  It will therefore:

  • Not advise audit firms on their strategies for winning audit clients, outsourced internal audit mandates or on individual reviews or tenders for either external or internal audit appointments
  • Only be remunerated by fees charged to clients which shall be transparently presented; it will not accept assignments from clients where any of its fee is conditional on achieving cost savings
  • Raise with audit committees where the objectives of the various company stakeholders (for instance, Finance Directors, Non-Executive Directors or shareholders) may differ
  • Disclose any actual or potential conflicts of interest in writing to clients in advance of commencing an assignment or immediately on becoming aware that such conflict exists.


Audit Review recognises that information which it receives from its clients and during a tender process:

  • May be commercially sensitive
  • May involve “Inside Information” as defined by the Disclosure and Transparency Rules

Audit Review will agree written confidentiality undertakings with its clients covering such information.  Audit Review will not disclose information provided during the course of a tender process by an audit firm, including the price at which it has tendered, to any other firm, client or prospective client.

Commitments to audit firms tendering

Audit Review recognises that tendering for audits is a process which takes time and financial resources within the firms who tender.  It is committed to encouraging its clients to ensure that all audit firms placed on a tender short list have a reasonable prospect of winning that tender.

Audit Review is committed to ensuring that the audit tender process:

  • Is overtly fair both to the incumbent and any other audit firm with the requisite skills, resources and experience which wishes to tender
  • Gives all audit firms sufficient and equal access to information and key decision makers
  • Provides useful feedback to all audit firms who tender