The European Commission has launched a broad consultation on the role of the statutory audit as well the wider environment within which audits are conducted. In the wake of the financial crisis, we need to ask the question whether the role of auditors can be enhanced to mitigate any new financial risk in the future. The crisis also highlighted certain weaknesses in the audit sector which need to be explored further. This work on audit is part of the effort to learn lessons from the crisis and reform the financial sector. In particular, the Commission is keen to discuss whether audits provide the right information to all financial actors, whether there are issues around the independence of audit firms, whether there are risks linked to a concentrated market, whether supervision at a European level might be useful and how best the specific needs of small and medium sized businesses may be met. The deadline for responses to the consultation is 8 December 2010.