Hinted at, in this month’s Accountancy Age audit page, Rodger Hughes, PwC’s head of assurance and business advisory services, said that one answer to the post-Enron perceived audit crisis ‘may be audit pricing’ since ‘for some time it has been impossible for the large firms to get adequate insurance cover’.
Hughes issued his warning amidst the fragmentation of Andersen, one of the world’s largest audit firms, just months after the collapse of its audit client Enron, once the seventh largest publicly-listed company in the US.
Hughes, said today (Monday): ‘We have no current plans to introduce differential pricing of audits.
‘However, I do believe our profession has to consider its sustainable economic model for the future. As with insurance, different clients present different levels of inherent risk and, logically, fees should reflect those differences.’
Clearly, in any business, you can only charge what the market is prepared to pay. We cannot simply impose changes, only encourage the market to move in a particular direction.’
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