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The Accounting Profession in 2022 – Summary Highlights

Release Date: March 2023

In 2022 Year in Review, Professional Services Practice’s Risk Management Information team reviews the English language press to provide the accounting profession with a curated selection of significant events impacting the risk landscape. This article summarizes the highlights of that review.

Over the past year, the accounting profession experienced noteworthy developments in relation to regulatory reform and enforcement activity, reputational concerns, technological disruption, human capital issues and the litigation landscape, among others. Heightened geopolitical tensions, economic pressures and the lingering effects of Covid-19 also presented the profession with challenges.

Highlights over the past year include:


  • Heightened regulatory enforcement. Record penalties imposed against firms and individuals. Some jurisdictions brought criminal charges against auditors.

  • Development of data privacy laws, with an increase in related litigation.

  • Growth in environmental, social and governance (ESG) regulation. Investments in firm ESG practices.


  • High profile litigation involving firms throughout the Ex-US, highlighting the worldwide nature of liability risk. Claims continued to feature noteworthy amounts.

  • Increase in the availability of class actions, including the implementation of the EU’s Collective Redress Directive, and advancements in third party litigation funding.

Culture and Talent

  • Reputational concerns arising out of regulatory sanctions and litigation involving accountants, with some matters raising alleged governance failures and poor business practices.

  • Audit reforms focusing on improving audit quality and strengthening ethics.

  • The world ‘opening up’ after Covid-19. Organizations shaping policies around the future of work and addressing concerns around changing organizational culture.

  • Recruitment and retention challenges, as firms competed across borders and industries for talent. A need to shift employee skills to align with digital disruption and address the heightened focus on ESG issues.

  • Significant investments by firms in disruptive technologies, especially artificial intelligence, with attendant concerns over risk identification.

External Threats

  • Exacerbation of existing risk issues and the novel challenges caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Increased significance of inflation, global supply chain issues and cyber threats. New economic sanctions to navigate.

  • Greater care and caution for crypto clients after noteworthy disruption in the industry.


The Professional Services Practice at Aon values your feedback. To discuss any of the topics raised in this article, please contact Audrey Jenner , Daniel Hacikyaner or Rona E. Davis.
Audrey Jenner
Audrey Jenner
Vice President and Director

 Daniel Hacikyaner Daniel Hacikyaner
Vice President and Director

Rona Davis

Rona E. Davis
Senior Vice President and Executive Director