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Big Four

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Breaking up is hard to do for the Big Four

There are more developments as the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) continues its probe into the Big Four. KPMG recently announced it was stopping non-audit services for larger clients. A big bold move in my opinion. At the end of last week, The Big Four have also unanimously rejected the possibility of being broken up […]

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Calls for reform of crisis-hit world of auditing

Calls for sweeping changes to the auditing sector are gathering pace. The Financial Times has been running a series called the Big Flaw that has focused on areas such as “A return to prudence: how to restore faith in accounting”  and “An illusion of choice: the conflicts that mire the audit world”. To conclude the […]

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FRC shifts focus to diversity as accountant numbers grow

Accounting’s watchdog, the Financial Reporting Council, is turning the focus of its annual report to industry trends on of diversity and inclusion. Plus it’s planning an event to nudge accountancy bodies towards highlighting the issues. The FRC’sannual Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession shows the sector’s professional bodies,such as the ICAEW, have more than […]

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Accounting rules in the line of fire

The Financial Times kicked off what promises to be a great series of articles on accounting this week with an excellent piece by Madison Marriage, titled “The big flaw: auditing in crisis“. The basic question is, with the big four dominating the scandal-hit market and big company bosses ‘making the most’ of the “fair value” […]

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ICAEW displays a healthy degree of scepticism

There’s been lots of talk lately about “scepticism” and “auditing”. As in the post-corporate collapse… “the audit failed to demonstrate a necessary degree of professional scepticism”. This sort of comment makes for a tasty sound bite. And it’s clear that a good degree of scepticism is at the heart of a good auditor. But what […]

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US watchdog’s chief accountant speaks to ICAEW

Boosting audit quality is vital to global economic progress, according to Wesley Bricker, chief accountant at the US’s financial watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Commission. Wesley’s talk on “The intersection of financial reporting and innovation” at ICAEW in London last week was right on the mark … and the full text of his lecture can be found […]

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MP presses FRC on PWC audit of BHS

More Big Four woes. MP Frank Field, chair of the work and pensions committee, wants an update from the Financial Reporting Council over its mainly unpublished but stinging report on PWC’s 2014 audit of Taveta. That’s the one that included auditors signing off Philip Green’s BHS as a “going concern” days before its sale for […]

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Measures to bring the Big Four to order

The latest shenanigans involving the Big Four audit firms have prompted a former, longstanding member of the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to join the debate over what should/can be done about these groups’ increasingly unpleasant grip on the market. Rarely a day goes by when there isn’t a headline about an alleged blunder […]

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Legalise cannabis and collect more tax, says IEA

Statisticians at the Institute of Economic Affairs reckon the UK could collect more than £1 billion a year in tax revenue if cannabis were legalised. A report by the right-wing think-tank says about 255 tonnes of  weed is sold to three million black-market users at about £2.6 billion a year. The institute, much favoured as an information source by Margaret […]

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More uncomfortable audit truths for the Big Four

PwC chairman Kevin Ellis’s “uncomfortable” email lambasting senior auditor Steve Denison over his “inadequate” work on failed UK store BHS was leaked to the media last week. And, quite rightly, it is causing a stir. The FRC had at this stage already imposed a £350k fine and 15-year professional ban on Denison. The note to […]

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