Timeline 2000


  • Ernst & Young becomes first Big Five firm to abandon English ICA training scheme in favour of Scots ICA
  • – English ICA officials visit other Big Five firms in attempt to persuade them not to follow E&Y
  • – With a week of the 31 January deadline, one third of tax returns still not submitted


  • – SEC forces PwC partner Geoff Westmore to resign
  • – A million taxpayers miss Revenue’s self-assessment deadline
  • – PwC joins the English ICA exodus


  • – Revenue announces it will collect its first income tax payments over the internet by end of year
  • – The Big Five launch fightback against SEC pressure to separate audit and consultancy business


  • – Government sets £1m audit threshold for small companies, and proposes £4.2m limit in future
  • – Accountancy bodies announce plans for global chartered accountancy qualification by 2003
  • – Ernst & Young partners give go-ahead to sell off firm’s consultancy practice to Cap Gemini


  • A Y2K bug causes the Revenue’s computer system to fail creating a backlog of 900,000 self-assessment forms
  • – Government agrees to shift share tax burden from companies to individual employees


  • – JDS announces investigation into PwC over firm’s involvement in collapsed engineering company TransTec
  • – Further delays for taxpayers wanting to file their self-assessment tax returns over internet
  • – PwC delays splitting up its auditing and consulting divisions until end of year


  • Accountancy Age Top 50 reveals Big Five firms are growing twice as fast as mid-tier firms
  • – Inland Revenue suffers further embarrassment as it admits its website does not work properly
  • – UK to play greater role in setting global accounting standards following appointment of Sir David Tweedie as chairman of board of revamped International Accounting Standards Committee


  • – Both sides claim victory as Arthur Andersen finally divorces from Andersen Consulting
  • – English ICA defends UK auditor independence in two reports against the SEC’s moves
  • – Former building societies saved huge ‘conversion’ tax bill following the Revenue’s decision not to appeal a special commissioner ruling


  • – An Accountancy Age/Reed Personnel Big Question survey reveals just one in five FDs believe Labour policies support business
  • – APB announces tough rules on UK auditor independence as SEC continues with crackdown on big firms
  • – PwC’s proposed sale of its consulting arm to Hewlett-Packard is revealed


  • – Andersen Consulting announces new name, Accenture, and £110m rebranding campaign
  • – UK venture capitalists say start-ups lack adequate financial controls
  • – IT contractors win the first round in their legal battle over the government’s IR35 tax legislation


  • – The Office of Fair Trading rules Inland Revenue did not act illegally by distributing free Microsoft tax software
  • – The SEC faces isolation after an international summit of accountancy bodies move to develop global code on auditor independence
  • – PwC hunts for a new buyer for its consulting wing following the last minute withdrawal of HP from $18bn talks
  • – The government reveals PwC raked in £4.4m in accountancy fees from the Dome


  • – Anti-fraud legislation announced in Queen’s speech provokes fears over client confidentiality
  • Ernst & Young becomes first firm to confirm it will convert to new limited liability status
  • – JDS launches investigation into accountants and auditors at shipbuilder Semple Cochrane

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