Plans by the UK government to increase significantly the number of companies subject to stringent governance standards risk straining audit firms and their new beefed-up regulator to breaking point, accountants have warned.

The government has proposed broadening the definition of “public interest entities” as part of a wide-ranging consultation on

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Testing payroll during an audit can be a tedious manual process, the kind of grunt work that has long been viewed as the “dues” paid by young auditors before they advance in their careers. Recently, however, one computer-savvy associate at PwC decided not to pay those dues.

Instead, the associate

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