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"For auditors, financial directors, regulators, standard setters, audit committee members and the whole gamut of stakeholders on whose behalf they act, there is much of interest in this revealing, behind the scenes view of the corporate financial reporting process. The great claim of hindsight is that things could have turned out differently if the situation in hand had been better understood. While largely leaving such reflective questions to the intrigue and imagination of the reader, Beattie et al′s study is a real stimulant for debate and critical reflection – especially in terms of the changing orientation of, and respect for, professional accounting and auditing judgement processes, and the impact and achievements of global standard setting and regulatory regimes. Future practice development and regulatory policy action in the corporate financial reporting arena will certainly not be able to be excused on the grounds that we didn′t fully appreciate our initial starting point."
Professor Christopher Humphrey, Manchester Business School
"This book shines a strong light onto what really happens in the interactions between CFOs, audit committee chairs and audit engagement partners. It blows apart the myth that these interactions are cosy and provides first rate evidence which should be essential reading for policy makers, standard setters, academics, commentators and those involved with financial audits. It also gives clear insights into the success of the audit committee model and of the positive impacts being achieved by regulators in the UK. Stella Fearnley, Vivien Beattie and Tony Hines have delivered much to consider in terms of the nature of the standards that are actually required. They also highlight the need to focus more in the period ahead on the timeliness and quality of communications rather than yet more box–ticking and hobby horses related to audit that aren′t actually supported by the evidence."
Martyn E Jones, National Audit Technical Partner, Deloitte LLP (United Kingdom), Member of the DTTL global Audit Technical Advisory Board
"Beattie, Fearnley and Hines′ new book is a rich, revealing, and rewarding field study of negotiations among the chief financial officers, audit committee chairs, and audit engagement partners of British public companies. Firmly anchored in a careful theoretical framework, their examination and analysis of nine cases documents the consequences of the past decade′s changes in governance, auditing and financial reporting regimes. Deep involvement of chairs of audit committees seems to have fulfilled the hoped–for gains of governance reforms. The push towards international financial reporting standards which ignores the national differences in audit and corporate environments has been less successful. This is a superb, well–written addition to their earlier prize–winning work on the subject. No legislator, regulator, CFO, audit committee, auditor or academic interested in auditing and financial reporting should miss reading the book."
Shyam Sunder, James L. Frank Professor of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Yale School of Management