Buyers call for role in auditor choice

2 October 2002
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03 October 2002 | Robin Parker

Purchasing professionals have a key part to play in helping to avert future accounting scandals, according to the latest SM online poll.

Visitors to SM's website voted overwhelmingly in favour of involving purchasers in the selection of company auditors.

In the poll, 72 per cent of 141 voters said purchasers could help firms to reduce the risk of accounting scandals such as those that have led to the collapses of Enron and WorldCom.

The results back CIPS's recent call to include purchasers in any moves to revamp rules for choosing auditors.

Roy Ayliffe, the institute's director of professional practice, wrote to Patricia Hewitt, secretary of state for trade and industry, suggesting that organisations should create a cross-functional team, including a purchasing specialist, to appoint auditors.

Meanwhile, research to be published at the end of this year by Professor Maurizio Dallocchio of the Milan business school SDA warns of a "conflict of interest" when firms give auditors extra responsibilities.

• To vote in the latest SM poll and to see the results of previous surveys, visit


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