The Lex column of the FT notes:
Welcome to the real world. UK audit firms will finally have to behave in the same way as the public companies they monitor when independent non-executives join their boards this year.
Auditors are already fighting back according to Lex:
Auditors’ criticisms are readily apparent. The independents won’t be involved in day-to-day business, are unlikely to know the details of individual audits, and so may not be able to prevent another Andersen, post-Enron collapse. Issues which usually occupy the time of independents, such as mergers and acquisitions and remuneration, are also rarely problematic inside a partnership such as Deloitte, KPMG or Ernst & Young. So it may be easier to see them as schmoozers whose job is simply to represent the firm at dinner parties.
And yes, that is exactly how I see them. Appointing a few friendly chaps - almopst certainty from the alumni of the firm to be non-execs is going to change absoluely nothing at all.
Lex thinks it will.
Dream on, I say.