The MPG, charged with tackling choice and competition in the UK audit market, failed to really change a great deal. There was lots of talk but not a great deal of action.
I didn’t know it back then, but audit market concentration would continue to be one of the biggest issues facing audit firms across the world, with the Big Four arguing no problem exists and the mid-tier desperate for change.
It is, therefore, with a tinge of sadness, that I will not be on hand to cover the EC’s audit market proposals as they find a path through EU Parliament and into law (turn to pages 6-7).
After nearly six years at IAB, I am leaving to pursue a new challenge.
My time covering the global accounting profession has been a lot of hard work but incredibly rewarding.
Trying to come to grips with thousands of acronyms, including IFRS, wondering why airplanes are off balance sheet items, trying to understand the difference between a network and an association, and pulling my hair out over firm’s financials have not always been the easiest task for a journalist who had previously specialised on crime, politics and sport.
But part of the reason I have enjoyed my role so much is because it requires you to think, to be sceptical, and question everything that comes across your desk.
Being the editor of IAB has also allowed me to travel widely and meet accountants from across the world, in places like Malaysia, Turkey, Colombia and Europe.
And, it is the people that I have met along this wonderful journey I will miss most.
Of all the industries I have previously covered, I have never met such a consistently impressive, bright and lovely bunch of people. This goes from the ground level up.
The leaders of accounting firms, networks and associations could certainly teach the leaders of a few other industries, including my own, a thing or two about proper leadership and corporate governance!
I believe accountants have such a vital role to play in the wider economy. Almost every major economic event has an accounting angle and these past six years have not been short of good story or two.
If there is one word of advice I could offer accountants, it is to take an even stronger, and more public stand, on critical business issues. Stand up and be counted, especially when the credibility of your profession is at stake.
The new bosses
Before I sign off for the final time, a few of you will be wondering about my successor. You will be pleased to know that editorial responsibilities at IAB will now be managed by our own Ana Gyorkos. Fred Crawley, a good friend of mine, will be stepping into group editor’s position.
I would like to personally thank you for all of your support over the years and I hope you continue to support Ana, Fred and IAB.
It’s been a great pleasure serving you and I wish you every success in the future.