A UK inquiry, over-zealous lobbying and a very determined commissioner all have an impact on the audit reform timetable, says Philip Smith

There’s a man in Brussels who holds the fate of the audit profession in his hands. No, it’s not Michel Barnier, the European commissioner responsible for proposals that could see a massive shake-up in the profession. It is in fact a UK Conservative MEP who hails from Lancashire, Sajjad Karim.

As the lead negotiator – or rapporteur as it is called in Brussels – on the draft audit legislation that is making its way through the European parliament and the Council of Ministers, Karim faces the difficult prospect of balancing European Commission proposals with the democratic debate that could see many amendments made to the final directive. Much of the debate will take place in the legal affairs committee of parliament, known as JURI, of which the MEP for the UK’s North West constituency is a member.

The

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