Examination of Witnesses (Questions 1277
TUESDAY 4 DECEMBER 2007
Q1277 Chairman: Good morning and
welcome to the session. Please introduce yourselves for the record.
Mr Sexton: I am Richard Sexton,
head of the UK Assurance practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers which
includes our audit practice.
Mr Hitchins: I am John Hitchins,
a banking audit partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Q1278 Chairman: What are the aims
of an auditor when auditing a company?
Mr Sexton: The audit is performed
in accordance with standards and regulations in the UK now issued
predominantly by international bodies. It seeks to provide comfort
about historical financial information as embodied within the
financial statements included in a company's annual report. That
is the role of the statutory audit. In the UK we do perform other
work at times at the request of companies predominantly in connection
with interim announcements. That is also performed in connection
with guidance issued by the Auditing Practices Board in the UK.
Q1279 Chairman: Does auditing a bank
present any additional problems compared with a non-financial
Mr Hitchins: The only extra requirement
placed on us when auditing a bank is our statutory duty to report
to the FSA if we become aware of anything that is material to
the exercise of the FSA's functions.