A consultation document issued by the Department of Trade and Industry this week appears to hint that the audit threshold will be set at £1m which could save small business £500m a year.Teresa Graham, head of business services at Baker Tilly, said the document seemed to indicate the threshold would go up to £1m.'He [Byers] is not listening to anyone out there who has said let's keep the status quo,' she explained.'The vast majority of practitioners, mostly the smaller ones, are shrugging aside the £1m threshold. It is not a problem. But I'm still hoping that the secretary of state may keep his nerve and go for the maximum threshold,' Graham added.The consultation document, which is only intended to test the arguments and not propose appropriate levels, emphasises that the issue is at what level of turnover there should be a statutory requirement for the audit of accounts.It also sets the context for the review and seeks the views of preparers and users of accounts on the costs and benefits of moving to a higher threshold.A recent Accountancy Age survey revealed an overwhelming majority of small-firm accountants backed raising the audit threshold from its current level, despite fears from some that the move would lead to significant cuts in their income.The closing date for the consultation is 10 December 1999.
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