A leading expert on reform of the audit industry has joined as a Visiting Research Fellow at Alliance MBS.
Dr Yasmine Chahed was a member of the review team during the recent Brydon review into the quality and effectiveness of audit, while she has also been working on a major project looking at the future of corporate reporting for the Financial Reporting Council (FRC).
She has worked with academics in the Accounting and Finance division at AMBS for many years, in particular with Professor of Accounting Chris Humphrey who was a member of Sir Donald Brydon’s advisory board, and Professor Paolo Quattrone who was on the FRC’s Future of Corporate Reporting Advisory Group.
She said: “I am thrilled to be joining the School in this role. Alliance MBS has become a world-leading knowledge hub in the area of audit reform and there are many overlaps with my own work, especially with the work of Chris Humphrey, Brendan O’Dwyer, Stuart Turley, and Javed Siddiqui who have been looking at this subject for many years. I am really looking forward to joining forces to create an even stronger academic voice to ensure audit reform does not fall off the radar.”
Following a number of high-profile corporate collapses, the government is presently undertaking a string of reviews into the audit sector to increase competition, end conflicts of interest, and improve regulatory oversight.
Dr Chahed says although these debates have been running for 20 years or more, there is cause for genuine optimism that this time will be different. “So many of these debates have repeated themselves over recent years, but at some point you have to reach a new consensus on what auditing is for and I think we are now getting nearer.
“In particular, what we are seeing now is a real mindset change around responsible business. The discussion today has a different quality to it and there is more of a sense of urgency.”
She adds that the pandemic has amplified all these debates. “In the present climate it goes without saying that it is essential for auditors to understand how resilient and viable businesses are. The relationship needs to go far beyond just looking at the numbers and look in far more depth at the quality of relationships that companies have with stakeholders.
“As we aim to recover from the pandemic delivering proper audit reform has never been more important. Society needs assurance that the companies it depends on for jobs, investment returns and tax revenues are being run responsibly.”
Dr Chahed says her work is about bringing together practice, policymaking and academic voice. “It is about providing solutions and creating really productive dialogue. My work has always been about understanding real world problems through an academic lens, and at AMBS I will continue my academic work on audit reform and the future of corporate reporting.”
Yasmine is a member of the FRC’s Financial Reporting Lab Steering Group, its Future of Corporate Reporting Advisory Group, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales’ (ICAEW) Narrative Reporting Working Party.
During her academic career she has lectured on topics such as narrative reporting, corporate sustainability, and technology-led transformation in professional services.
*Read here for an article Yasmine recently wrote about audit reform for the Financial Times.