Taking Stock – Who’s in charge – the SEC, PwC or the English ICA?

You won’t find a picture of SEC chairman Arthur Levitt on the walls of any Big Five offices, what with his organisation’s clampdown on auditor independence rules. But what Mr Levitt has done, as Peter Hazell, managing partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers UK, told TS this week, is focus minds of senior partners the world over. Hazell has been working on how the firm will respond to the SEC’s clampdown. Broadly happy with the Levitt plan, Hazell sets out in a comment piece in this weeks Accountancy Age just what he does and doesn’t like about the proposals. But asked whether he would be taking that message to the English ICA, which is conducting its own inquiry into firms’ adherence to audit independence rules on this side of the Atlantic, Hazell said he wasn’t aware of the institute’s inquiry. Bear in mind that a fellow partner, Peter Wyman, announced said inquiry. The irony was not lost on TS. Hazell’s response says as much about the sheer size a global behemoth like PwC has attained as it does about whether US or UK regulators wield more power on this side of the Atlantic.

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