UK investors rarely read audit opinions or
“bland” audit committee reports, according to a PwC UK survey.

The PwC Audit today and tomorrow
study which sought investor views on the future of audit found that
audit committee reports would be more helpful if the lid was lifted
on the talks between auditors and audit committees, which currently
take place behind closed doors.

Investors also called for auditors to provide
assurance on performance measures.

PwC UK board member responsible for reputation
and public policy Richard Sexton said the views of investors and
analysts are critical to the audit profession’s aim to underpin
trust and confidence in the capital markets.

“They clearly value the audit process, but in
calling for more timely assurance, investors and analysts have laid
down the gauntlet. The profession needs to accept the challenge no
matter how difficult the task to achieve it,” he said.

Sexton also added that, “if we want an
assurance and reporting model that adds value to the capital
markets, all market participants – analysts, investors, regulators,
companies and auditors will need to be engaged in the

The PwC study found mixed opinions regarding
corporate governance with many corporate governance specialists
welcoming additional going concern information, rating the adequacy
of current disclosure as poor.

However, mainstream investors did not express
interest for additional detail on going concern by saying enough
information can be gleaned through management and other

PwC UK conducted 22 in-depth interviews with
UK based investors for the purpose of this study.