Profession calls for debate on audit spin-off plan

Of 500 professionals polled, 29% said the move, proposed in the FRC
consultation on audit competition and choice, should not go ahead but was ‘worth
debating.’ A further 29% said the move should ‘definitely’ go ahead, and 13%
said it should go ahead on condition that other firms do the same.

The results will worry many senior Big Four figures, who have been at pains
to point to the difficulties posed by the plan.

The move would not address the range of auditors handling big ticket audits
and would encourage them to extend the number of companies they audit to
increase market share, they argued.

Only 28% of people answered ‘No, definitely not,’ to the question ‘should the
Big Four be forced to spin off their audit arms?’

BDO managing partner Jeremy Newman said this week progress was modest on the
firm’s aims to take on FTSE350 audits. The firm will unveil 17% growth in
interim revenues today, powered by 17% growth on corporate finance. Audit and
tax grew by only 8% each.

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