Ten-year tenders ahead for FTSE 350 auditors

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An update to the Combined Code for corporate governance coming into force on Monday 1 October will require FTSE 350 companies to put their external audit contract out to tender at least every 10 years.

The result of a Europe-wide initiative to improve audit independence and transparency in the wake of the financial crisis, the audit pitching requirement is a considerable step back from the mandatory joint engagements and rotation of auditors originally suggested by European competition commission Michel Barnier last year. Strenuous lobbying from the Big Four and professional bodies appears to have trimmed the more radical proposals, which can be detected in warm comments on the new code from ICAEW head of corporate governance Jo Iwasaki: “Th...

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