The move comes as an almost direct result of the heightened public awareness of accountants and their work assuring the integrity of company accounts.
Howard Martin, E&Y’s managing partner of business risk services, said the firm had taken the action because it needed to ‘put a marker in the ground’ about the firm and its concern with the perception of its reputation.
The firm has been discussing the policy change with clients but is still waiting to see what the overall reaction will be.
Among the audit clients of E&Y are FTSE-100 companies BP, British Airways, EMI and Next.
Martin said the change was a move to ‘self regulate’ even though regulation is expected in this area at some time in the future.
The New Year has also seen Deloittes react to the fall out from the Enron collapse by announcing it would separate audit from its consultancy business.
UK senior partner Phil Verity has been elected for a second term at Mazars
Tallat Mahmood appointed to corporate finance team of Top 20 firm
Top 25 firm HW Fisher & Co has acquired London firm Rhodes & Rhodes
Top Ten firm RSM has appointed Nick Blundell as its head of corporate tax in Birmingham