Audit reform plans must result in right legislation, say small firms

Press Releases 31 May 2022

FSB responds to the publication of the Government’s planned measures around corporate accountability.

Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chair Martin McTague said: “It’s good to see BEIS grasping the nettle on audit reform. As legislation is drawn up, the key to success will be making corporate Audit Committees directly responsible for reporting on payment and wider supply chain practice.

“When we were the first group to flag the ramping up of unreasonable payment terms at Carillion, six months before the company collapsed, nothing was done.

“In order for today’s measures to work, there must be inclusion of payment practices within Audit Committees’ remits. This reform would ensure a whole board awareness of payment practices. Without it, there will be more Carillions.

“Improving transparency at big corporates whilst easing unnecessary reporting burdens for small businesses is the right direction of travel.  

“It’s now a case of making sure the resulting Bill is fit for purpose as the legislative vehicle needed to make a real difference to late payments. We look forward to working with the Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng to ensure it does.”