Image Source: Gideon Benari
Rebecca Wayman

Parliament: "CMA must separate 'big four' accountancy firms"

Watchdog CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) is being demanded it break up the ‘big four’ accountancy firms, thus improving confidence in top company audits.

This is according to MPs, amd a report from the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) committee demands the separation of KPMG, Deloitte, PwC and EY.

MPs have ‘stressed’ that this move would be far more effective in tackling interest conflicts.

BEIS chairwoman, Rachel Reeves, said: “For the big firms, audits seem too often to be the route to milking the cash-cow of consultancy business.

“The client relationship, and the conflicts of interest which abound, undermine the professional scepticism needed to deliver reliable, high-quality audits.

“Splitting audit from non-audit business would be a big step to boosting the culture of challenge needed to deliver high-quality audits.”

CMA will shortly deliver its final report on the issue.

The watchdog’s initial plans included an operational divide between advisory and audit work, but received criticism from clients who warned of bigger, more challenging bills.

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