PwC may abandon uneconomic audits

Link: PwC acts to limit risk on audit reports

Samuel DiPiazza, PwC’s global chief executive, has indicated that his firm would not work for companies that are not willing to pay higher audit fees.He added that the firm could also drop clients that did not want to pay for enhanced assurance services, such as risk assessment.

The warning comes in the wake of the Enron scandal and the collapse of one of the world’s largest global audit firms Andersen and highlights audit firms’ growing concern over the risk:reward ratio in audit work.

DiPiazza told the FT: ‘If we have an audit client unwilling to pay what we feel are fair audit fees or that restricts our scope of services to the point where we are concerned about the quality of that audit – either of those can cause us to walk away from that relationship.’

DiPiazza also criticised the extraterritorial reach of the notorious Sarbanes- Oxley Act which he said may also force audit firms to abandon work at US-listed companies.

Separately, he gave a boost to the principles based accounting system and international accounting standards saying the US would have to give up many of its accounting rules and its rules-based accounting system.

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