Australia's audit pressure cooker

Tighter regulation and reduced numbers in the audit profession mean profit margins are being squeezed and workers are put under increasing stress, which leads to more mistakes. More industry consolidation is inevitable.

A combination of business screwing down audit fees, increasing regulatory pressures, more risk from class actions and public opprobrium is hitting the bottom line of audit firms.

Five years ago, there were 9000 registered auditors, now there are 5000. According to Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia research, less than 50 per cent of auditors now believe audit is an appealing profession.

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