8 November 2021 — Publication

Organisation of the public oversight of the audit profession in 30 European countries

Organisation of the public oversight of the audit profession in 30 European countries

Enhancing companies’ credibility through audit ensures that stakeholders make informed decisions based on these companies’ financial statements. In parallel, public oversight ensures audit quality.

The European Union (EU) statutory audit rules significantly impact how the public oversight of statutory auditors and audit firms is organised. Designated national public oversight bodies have the ultimate responsibility for the oversight of the audit profession. They can delegate certain tasks to other authorities and professional bodies.

This survey presents the impact of the 2014 EU audit legislation. Our findings show that the national public oversight bodies now carry out many activities previously in the competence of the professional bodies. Nevertheless, professional bodies continue to play an important role in this area working together with public oversight bodies to reinforce audit quality.

The survey also provides an overview of how the public oversight is organised in each of the 27 EU Member States and Iceland and Norway as members of the European Economic Area (EEA). It covers information on composition, funding, transparency and key activities of the national public oversight bodies and the extent of delegation of tasks to professional bodies. The United Kingdom, which applied EU Single Market legislation until the end of 2020, resulting in its audit framework in 2021 remaining consistent with EU practice, is included in the survey with respect to the subject matters as covered for EU and EEA countries.

This publication is based on the input of our members and it is part of a series of work done by Accountancy Europe on the 2014 rules on statutory audit. It is an updated version of our previous work: