Concerns over the transparency of audit firms and the relationship between transparency and the quality of audits and the availability and delivery of audit services; the adequacy of the standard audit report; and the impact of audit firm ownership structure on concentration in the market for auditing large issuers; have prompted the Technical Committee of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) to expand the scope of its work to include a number of audit service related issues.

The Technical Committee has now published three related consultation reports:

  • Transparency of Firms that Audit Public Companies. This report examines whether increased transparency of audit firms’ governance, audit quality indicators and audited financial statements could maintain and improve audit quality and services.
  • Auditor Communications. This report looks at whether investor needs could be better met by changes to the standard audit report and providing for additional auditor communications.
  • Exploration of Non-Professional Ownership Structures for Audit Firms. This report examines the effect of the structure of the audit market, particularly with regard to the effect audit firm ownership restrictions have on it.

The closing date for responses to all three consultation reports is 1 December 2009.