PracticeAccounting FirmsBig Four dismiss threat of audit rotation

Big Four dismiss threat of audit rotation

Big Four audit partners are growing confident the government will avoid introducing audit firm rotation given the mounting evidence against the practice.

Link: Mid-tiers back auditor rotation

Neil Lerner, head of risk management at KPMG, told Accountancy Age: ‘I don’t think they (the government) will propose rotation. There is no evidence that it improves quality or independence.

‘We should look at it again in three years time when no doubt the position will look very different indeed.’

Senior partners of the world’s largest firms want the government to allow the new stricter rules to bed down instead of bringing in the ‘straight jacket’ of auditor rotation.

The latest research from Italy – the only industrialised country to have long-term experience of auditor rotation – showed the practice had done nothing to improve audit quality.

Rodger Hughes, managing partner of markets at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said: ‘The response of the governments in the UK and US is more to do with pressure groups and media than the assessment of history. I hope they will realise it’s not worth pursuing.’

Both agreed that if rotation were brought into the UK the ultimate goal could easily be defeated by staff moving freely between the firms so the audit client could retain the expertise and knowledge.

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