It’s now customary, in our opening remarks about EY UK Transparency Reports (TR), to remind readers about the extent to which our profession is scrutinised by policymakers and regulators: that changes to corporate governance, reporting and auditing (the business ecosystem) are necessary and inevitable. There has certainly been no let-up in these sentiments over the past 12 months, and that’s as it should be. This year however, the response to COVID-19 and the ongoing preoccupation with Brexit may have reduced stakeholders’ focus on recommendations for enhancements and innovations to the ecosystem.
The list of priorities for most stakeholders now begins with resilience and recovery. This certainly applies to EY, and we are determined to make a difference and contribute to the national effort. As a major UK employer and business service provider – and most especially as an auditor of both companies and local authorities – this defines our purpose right now. The need for assurance to help inform investment decisions and manage risks, in both private and public sectors, has never been greater or more challenging. Not only do we have to contend with remote working, and engage with the difficulties and vulnerabilities faced by the entities we audit, we have to be resolute in our focus on the health, safety and wellbeing of our people.
100 Empower Top 100 Ethnic Minority Executives and Future Leaders
The TR gives the both of us – you the reader and EY UK – an opportunity to be candid. It’s a chance for us to tell you about our successes and disappointments in 2020, and for you to give us feedback on what matters the most to you (e.g., our governance, diversity, inclusivity and/or quality of our audits).
For your reference, the TR you are about to read is compliant with the Audit Firm Governance Code 2016, Local Auditors (Transparency) Regulations 2020, and Article 13 of the EU Audit Regulation (537/2014).