Big Four partners seek promotions for cross selling

One auditor boasted about his cross-selling and another produced his raw
sales statistics while angling for a promotion, according to the latest probe
into the Big Four.

Auditors are trying to capitalise on their cross-selling successes when
competing for promotions, according to the Financial Reporting Council’s Audit
Inspection Unit (AIU).

Authorities frown upon cross-selling, which involves an auditor selling
non-audit services to their audit client. The practice is a potential threat to
auditor independence and the Big Four explicitly prohibit the practice from
being considered in staff appraisals.

But that didn’t stop Big Four firm Deloitte’s audit directors and managers
referring to cross selling when trying to secure a promotion, according to the

“A number of audit directors and managers referred in their performance
evaluations to cross selling non audit services to their audit clients,” the
report stated.

In Deloitte’s Big Four rival Ernst & Young, the AIU found some staff
attached their personal sales data to their appraisal forms.

“Contrary to the firm’s instructions some audit partners had retained certain
raw sales data generated by the firm’s IT systems on their appraisal forms,” the
report stated.

The issue was a blip on an otherwise positive report for the audit
profession. Overall, the AIU found Deloitte’s strategy demonstrated the
importance the firm attaches to “technical competence and high quality audit

In E&Y’s case the AIU found their strategy reflected the importance the
firm places on audit quality.

Read the AIU’s Deloitte Report

Read the AIU’s Ernst & Young report

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