PwC issues challenge

The Big Five firm on Monday launched a mechanism to score accounting standards against a set criteria written up by the firm’s experts. The move marks the first signs of a foray by Big Five firms into the realms of standard setting.

One standard-setter said the results of PwC’s analysis on the rule for deferred tax were surprising and suggested PwC had stepped outside its expertise. Out of a maximum of 10, PwC rated FRS 19 for deferred tax with a score of 6.3 compared to the predecessor standard’s score of 6.9.

Peter Holgate, PwC senior technical partner said: ‘A change is not always an improvement. Scores we have attributed to these standards tell us that in just half the cases looked at, new standards fared worse than their predecessors.’

PwC’s move was dismissed by Accounting Standards Board chairman Mary Keegan. ‘It makes standard-setters look like we’re ice-dancing holding up score cards,’ she said.

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