§ Finally, the statutory audit. The Companies Act requires all companies to have their accounts audited, but for the 937 smallest companies the expense can be out of all proportion to the benefit. When I was at the Department of Trade and Industry, I continually pressed for a change to that. My predecessor announced consultation in the March Budget. I can now announce the conclusions.
§ My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade and I have decided that most companies with a turnover between £90,000 and £350,000 a year in future need only get an independent accountant's report on whether the company's accounts correctly reflect its books. For the 40 per cent. of companies with turnover of less than £90,000, we propose to take the deregulation a step further. For those small companies, the audit requirement will be abolished altogether.