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Reaching Key Financial Reporting Decisions: How Directors and Auditors Interact by Tony Hines, Vivien Beattie, Stella Fearnley

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8

Case 4 — Finch plc

Nobody likes prior year adjustments, except the auditors, let's be honest (Damien, audit partner)

8.1 BACKGROUND TO THE CASE

Finch plc is a FTSE — small cap company specializing in the provision of consultancy services to both the private and public sectors. In recent years the group has internationalized beyond its European core by acquiring a number of small consultancies in other countries to attain critical mass.

The company's founder, Matthew, is due to retire as executive chairman. Until recently he also acted as CEO but has now been replaced by Dean.

Ben (aged in his 40s) is the finance director. He is a qualified accountant and has worked for over 20 years in professional services and outsourcing organizations and has experience as finance director for both private and listed companies. He joined the company the previous year.

Robert (also in his 40s) had just given up being audit committee chair, being replaced by Jim. Robert holds an MBA from a prestigious international business school. He has considerable consultancy experience and is on the board and audit committee of a number of private companies. He joined Finch's board as a non-executive director a few years earlier. At the time of the interview he was in the process of becoming non-executive chairman but remaining as a member of the audit committee (although not as chair).

The current audit engagement partner is Damien (in his 40s). Damien's firm won the audit via a tender process from another ...

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