Breaking out: public audit’s new role in a post-crash world (an English perspective)

The paper explores some of the themes set out in ACCA’s 2014 publication, Breaking Out: Public Audit’s New Role in a Post-crash World, and relates them to the English context.


The consequences of the 2008 financial crisis continue to play out around the world but the crisis has spurred fresh thought, especially among public auditors. ACCA’s paper Breaking Out: Public Audit’s New Role in a Post-crash World (February 2014) has brought together some of this new thinking; contributors from Bhutan to Scotland have reflected on the role of public audit in a fast changing landscape.

What this publication demonstrates is that despite the varying accountability systems there is a recurring rationale that runs through parliamentary public account committees and audit regimes. Five years on from the crash there are upbeat conversations about the role of audit and how we can achieve more with less. 

Exploring the themes from the publication in an English context, ACCA hosted a roundtable in Westminster in April 2014, bringing together politicians, contributors from the report, academics, journalists, regulators and auditors from across the country. Clear themes emerged from the event as well as suggestions for what comes next following the abolition of the Audit Commission in 2015. This paper offers an overview of the key issues discussed, outlines specific highlights and considers what comes next.