Big Four non-audit fees soar

Non-audit work now forms bulk of E&Y business

A total of 46% of the Big Four’s fees came from non-audit services to non-audit clients in 2003/04, up from 38% two years ago, the Professional Oversight Board for Accountancy has revealed in its annual analysis of the accountancy industry.

In the year to May 2004, Deloitte earned £810.1m in advisory services to non-audit clients, compared to £259m in income from audit, according to the research.

The shift in the sources of accountancy fee income shows how new regulation in the aftermath of Enron and WorldCom has transformed the profession. Audit firms’ ability to sell advisory services to audit clients has been severely curtailed in the wake of the catalogue of accounting scandals.

Other findings include a 5.8% rise in student numbers worldwide and a steadily rising proportion of female members since 1998 ? from 21% to 27% – and of female students ? from 46% to 49%.

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