Complaints about the auditor of a company

Published: 25 September 2023

3 minute read

Find out about our processes and how to make a complaint about the auditor of a company.

What should I do if I have a complaint about a statutory auditor or audit firm including in relation to an individual audit?

If your complaint relates to a company audit within the FRC’s scope (defined below), you should send the complaint directly to us (and consider also complaining directly to the auditor).

If it relates to any other audit you should complain to the auditor or firm first.

If you are unhappy with the response of the auditor or firm, you should complain to their Recognised Supervisory Body (RSB).

What types of statutory audit do the FRC investigate?

We can investigate and take action in respect of breaches of relevant requirements in statutory audits of:

  • Public Interest Entities (PIEs), being UK incorporated entities listed on a UK regulated market, credit institutions and insurance undertakings;
  • AIM listed UK incorporated companies with a market capitalisation in excess of 200m Euros; and
  • Lloyds Syndicates

in cases where:

  • It would not be appropriate for the Case Examiner to resolve a matter through constructive engagement; and
  • the FRC has decided there is good reason to investigate the matter

Click on the links for more information about the Audit Enforcement Procedure which is the process under which those decisions are made and subsequent investigations are conducted, our Case Examiner Guidance on constructive engagement and our Conduct Committee Guidance on the thresholds for commencing an AEP investigation.

If you think your complaint meets these requirements, fill in our complaints form.

What will the FRC not investigate?

We will not usually investigate complaints about other categories of statutory audit as these are investigated by the RSBs.

Find out more information on delegation agreements

If your complaint would not fall to the FRC to investigate but you think there is good reason why the FRC should investigate, please tell us why when you complete the complaint form.

How can I complain to a Recognised Supervisory Body?

You can find out who an auditor and a firm are registered with by searching the Register of Statutory auditors. You should check both the individual and firm separately, if complaining about both, as they may be registered with different RSBs.

What if I complained to the Recognised Supervisory Body but I don’t agree with their outcome?

You can ask us to review the professional body’s handling of your complaint by filling in our complaint form.

More details on how we handle these complaints and what happens next

What if I think the FRC should look at this complaint, not the Recognised Supervisory Body?

The FRC directly investigate breaches and enforce relevant requirements in certain higher risk categories of statutory audits (listed above). Other categories are delegated to the RSBs but can be reclaimed where it is in the public interest to do so.

If you think your complaint meets these requirements, fill in our complaints form.

Is there a time limit for complaining?

Complaints should be submitted within 12 months of the conduct or matter that you wish to be reviewed (or within 12 months of you reasonably becoming aware of it.

If 12 months have passed, we will ask you to explain why we should look into it and why you did not complain earlier.

What happens to my complaint?

We will contact you within 5 working days to tell you if your complaint can or should be reviewed by the FRC. If not, we will explain why.

If it is something we can look into, it will be passed to the Case Examiner who will acknowledge your complaint in 5 working days after receipt and may ask for further information. The Case Examiner will review your complaint and may either:

  • Take no further action
  • Engage with the firm
  • Refer the matter for investigation

What and when will I hear back from the FRC?

If our Case Examiner decides not to take further action we will explain why within 6 weeks.

If we think that your complaint should be referred to another regulator, we will tell you.

If we look into your concerns, you will not be given any updates or outcome. This is to ensure fairness and due process.

Our publication policy explains when we publish information. If you write to us asking for updates outside of publications we will not be able to give you any further information.

You can subscribe for updates about our Enforcement activity.

We do publish information in our Annual Report and accounts, and Annual Enforcement Review about Enforcement and Constructive Engagement activity.

What if I disagree with how the FRC has handled my complaint?