How bad can auditing get? Worse, it seems. The Guardian has reported:
Grant Thornton was the worst performer in the Financial Reporting Council’s annual review of audits by the UK’s big accountants. The FRC said half of the eight Grant Thornton audits it inspected for 2017/18 required significant improvement.
Across the industry, one in four audits failed to reach required standards, a finding that will intensify pressure on the firms, which are all already under scrutiny by the Competition and Markets Authority.
Let's summarise. Audit standards are getting worse. And the alternatives outside the Big 4 are not up to scratch.
This might be best described as systemic failure.
This is why civil society needs to be in this space. And it is why I will be with the Corporate Accountability Network.