Appointment of Kathryn Cearns as Chair of the Office of Tax Simplification Contents

The appointment of Kathryn Cearns

Background on Kathryn Cearns

5.Kathryn Cearns was the Deputy Chairman of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales’s (ICAEW’s) Financial Reporting Board and resigned her position upon appointment to the role of Chair of the OTS. She currently holds 12 appointments at various entities, including Chair of Audit and Risk Committee, Highways England, Member of External Audit Committee, International Monetary Fund and Non-executive Board Member, member of Audit Committee, Companies House. She was awarded an OBE for voluntary services to Government Financial Reporting.

6.Mrs Cearns has previously been the Chairman of the ICAEW Financial Reporting Committee, the Independent Chairman of the Financial Reporting Advisory Board of HM Treasury, and a Consultant Accountant at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP. She is a Chartered Accountant and has sat on a sub-committee of the former Accounting Standards Board as part of the Urgent Issues Task Force.

Oral evidence

7.In the oral evidence, the Committee questioned Mrs Cearns about her prior experience and her suitability for the post. Topics covered during the session included:


8.The Committee is satisfied that Kathryn Cearns OBE has the professional competence and personal independence to be the Chair of the Office of Tax Simplification. We wish her every success in her new role.

Published: 8 March 2019