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Accounting bodies pin hopes on UK deal to relieve auditor shortage


A mutual recognition agreement between Australian and UK regulators should increase talent flows and be a "major drawcard" for an audit career.

By Christine Chen 12 minute read

A deal struck between the Australian and UK audit authorities should help to increase the flow of auditors between the two countries and address the profession’s talent shortage problems, professional bodies say.

ASIC and its UK counterpart, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), last week inked a Memorandum of Understanding on Reciprocal Arrangements (MOURA) deal allowing qualified auditors of either country to apply for mutual recognition and audit rights.

The agreement between the regulators “could help to address the profession’s talent shortage”, CA ANZ said.


“This agreement provides greater clarity and confidence for auditors moving between Australia and the UK,” said Simon Grant, head of Group Executive Advocacy and International Development.

"The ability to be recognised and work overseas in a truly global profession is a major drawcard for a career in audit," he added.

“Australia is one of the first countries to be recognised under the UK FRC’s renewed approach on mutual recognition, which alongside New Zealand, is a testament to our close ties and shared history.”

Maggie McGhee, executive director for strategy and governance at international body ACCA, said the deal came at the right time with “audit talent globally increasingly in short supply”.

“Over time this Memorandum of Understanding on Reciprocal Arrangements should increase the supply of high-quality auditors for both economies,” she said.

“This will in turn support the continued efforts from the respective regulators of the two countries to drive high-quality audit in the public interest.”

Last year, CPA Australia found that in the decade leading up to 2020, accounting firms took in 19 per cent fewer graduates. CA ANZ has previously said: “Accounting, audit and finance professionals in Australia are currently in shortage and, in the absence of change, shortages will persist and grow into the future.”

In October, ASIC chairman Joe Longo also told a parliamentary the audit profession was facing “long-term staffing challenges” and it was a “challenge” to attract new entrants.

However, Labor Senator Deborah O’Neill said the real problem was remuneration, with auditors facing low pay but heavy workloads, particularly in the big four firms.

Longo said part of the problem might be paying people more, “but we all know that sometimes paying people more doesn’t mean you’re going to get people to do that work or attract the right people”.

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Christine Chen

Christine Chen


Christine Chen is a graduate journalist at Accountants Daily and Accounting Times, the leading sources of news, insight, and educational content for professionals in the accounting sector.

Previously, Christine has written for City Hub, the South Sydney Herald and Honi Soit. She has also produced online content for LegalVision and completed internships at EY and Deloitte.

Christine has a commerce degree from the University of Western Australia and is studying a Juris Doctor degree at the University of Sydney. 

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