PracticeAccounting FirmsSarbanes: costly for Big Four

Sarbanes: costly for Big Four

The Big Four firms could be set to lose a total of nearly £700m from the implementation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act according to a new survey.

Link: Sarbanes-Oxley special report

Research from mid-tier rival BDO Stoy Hayward showed that much work currently undertaken by Big Four firms, especially non-audit work, will be seen as a conflict of interest under Sarbanes-Oxley and the companies may be forced to abandon it to competitors. Research estimates PricewaterhouseCoopers alone has £370m of work at risk from Sarbanes-Oxley while KPMG and Deloitte & Touche could lose around £120m each.

A lot of this work will go to Big Four rivals but BDO expects some of this work may reach mid-tier firms as companies reassess how they buy their professional services.

Gervase MacGregor, the partner at BDO Stoy Hayward, which carried out the research, said: ‘I have seen large companies prepared to look outside the global firms, often because conflicts of interest take out half of the Big Four from consideration.’

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