The Professional Oversight Board of Accountancy, the auditing regulator for the United Kingdom, said that it had discovered some procedural deficiencies in a round of audit inspections of 27 British corporations conducted by Big Four firms. Overall, the report stated that it didn't find any "systemic weakness" in the auditing firms' procedures, but noted that in at least two instances, the POBA had concluded that "there was sufficient doubt as to whether" the company being audited "had applied the correct accounting treatment or made appropriate disclosures." "The quality of audits is under threat from a number of risks which are not addressed by all firms in all audits," said POBA Chairman Sir John Bourn. "We found that each of the Big Four firms of auditors have the necessary infrastructure in place, and the commitment, to complete good quality audits. However, where the firms do not follow their own procedures they expose themselves to the risk that future audit opinions may not be appropriate." However, the report did not specifically identify any of the firms in the report -- KPMG, PwC, Ernst & Young and Deloitte. The POBA was established last year. A copy of the report can be obtained at www.frc.org.uk/poba/publications/.
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