Carillion demise may spark Big Four break-up

Good morning everyone … but not so good, I suspect, if you are involved with the Big Four/Carillion/financial regulation.

MPs are not happy with the UK’s leading auditors. At all. In fact, our representatives at Westminster say the top accounting dogs are a “cosy club incapable of providing the degree of independent challenge needed”.

They want to see Deloitte, KPMG, PwC and EY broken up after the spectacular and alarming demise of government contractor Carillion.

Failing in their responsibilities

The latest criticism follows a 100-page report on Carillion’s failure by two parliamentary committees. It accuses the government, regulators and Carillion’s board of failing in their responsibilities. It says they acted “entirely in line with their own personal incentives”.

Carillion went belly up in January with liabilities of £7billion and only £29million in cash. The report said it was a “a giant and unsustainable time bomb”.

Systemic flaws in corporate Britain

The collapse showed  systemic flaws in corporate Britain and revealed regulators to be toothless and “feeble”.

Deloitte was Carillion’s internal auditor, but all three of the other Big Four did work for Carillion.  KPMG was external auditor, EY gave advice, as did PwC.

KPMG is being probed by the UK’s accountancy regulator for its role.

“It is a parasitical relationship which sees the auditors prosper, regardless of what happens to the companies, employees and investors who rely on their scrutiny,” says chair of the business select committee Rachel Reeves.

Intuit QuickBooks guide to going digital, plus Accountex 2018

The folks at Intuit QuickBooks have produced a handy eight-point checklist for navigating the digital landscape. It’s well worth a look if you think you are in that sizeable cohort that’s a bit behind the tech curve.

As would a trip to Accountex, the two-day accounting extravaganza at London’s ExCeL next Wednesday and Thursday 23-24 May. And good news if you still don’t know if you’re going to the event. The team has produced the 2018 Accountex show guide, which details the exhibitors, the speakers, the round table discussions…. and much more. Check it out here.




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About the Author

Ian Moss

Ian Moss is the Editor of Accounting Insight News. He's been a journalist since leaving university and has worked for the Daily Mirror and Financial Times, among other media groups. Likes running, guitar, golf, dog-walking.

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