Grip of big four accounting groups over Britain's blue-chip companies 'is doomed'
Feb 24, 2013 (Financial Mail on Sunday - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
THE grip of the big-four accounting groups -- Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Ernst & Young, Deloitte and KPMG -- over Britain's blue-chip companies is doomed, according to one rival.
The Competition Commission has unveiled a damning report into the market for audit services.
The Commission's provisional report, issued on Friday, found the market was "sticky," there was too little competition and shareholders had too little influence over the appointment of auditors.
The inquiry team is consulting on possible remedies for the competition shortfall, including forcing companies to change their auditor regularly -- known as mandatory rotation. A final report is due in the autumn.
But James Roberts, senior audit partner at BDO, a rival to the big four, said the report would lead to change and there were signs that companies were moving to anticipate its final recommendations.
"The market has started to loosen," he said. "We are seeing larger companies put their audit contract out to tender."
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