• Register
Return to: Home > News > Former ASIC chair warns of potential for major corporate failures

Former ASIC chair warns of potential for major corporate failures

Former Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) chair Greg Medcraft has warned that growing conflicts of interest in auditing could lead to major corporate collapses.

In a television interview with ABC in Australia, Medcraft warned that poor auditing standards could lead to corporate failures on the scale of Enron. Medcraft, who became director of the directorate for financial and enterprise affairs of the OECD in November 2017 was speaking on TV for the first time in Australia since leaving his post at ASIC. He had been with the Australian regulator since 2009, first as commissioner and then as chair.

"The big one is where you have a large corporation, you have a large collapse, and it goes undetected by the auditors," Medcraft told ABC's AM programme. "Auditors are not sceptical enough, they don't challenge enough," he said.

Medcraft also voiced his support for calls in the Australian parliament for an inquiry into the conduct of major auditing firms, adding that: “The policy solution is probably to have something like an audit commission that actually appoints the auditors of large listed companies, but also, most importantly, sets the audit fee…”

Top Content

    South Africa: sensing new opportunities

    It has been an interesting couple of years for the profession in South Africa. A number of high-profile scandals have brought the profession and the role of auditors into sharp public focus, brewing a distrust towards accountants and a large expectations gap. Joe Pickard reports.

    read more

    Ghana: a quest for consistency

    Ghana’s current economic profile would suggest a fertile landscape for purveyors of accounting services. But inconsistent approaches to compliance and application of standards – coupled with problems in the banking sector and consequent liquidity constraints – have created a challenging environment. Paul Golden writes.

    read more

    Drone technology: audit takes to the skies

    The movement towards a digitised era has already impacted the auditing profession in a number of ways, from blockchain to artificial intelligence. Now firms are taking to sky and using drone technology in their audits. Mishelle Thurai speaks to Big Four firms to find out more.

    read more

    SBC: a new alliance joins the market

    Jonathan Minter speaks to Paul Tutin, chair of founding firm Streets Chartered Accountants, about why the business and its European partners took the decision to launch their own association.

    read more
Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.