PracticeConsultingKPMG squares up to the SEC

KPMG squares up to the SEC

KPMG has become the latest Big Five firm to declare its opposition to the Securities and Exchange Commission proposals for auditor independence, and has joined Deloitte & Touche in saying that legal action remains a possibility.

KPMG this week said it would ‘seek to put pressure on the SEC’ by lobbying with the UK government and the European Commission.

Neil Lerner, practice protection partner at the Big Five firm, said legal action had not been ruled out.

‘If the SEC is prepared to listen it can’t be appropriate to discuss legal action. But if it does not listen we have to consider our options,’ he said.

KPMG’s is the latest voice to join the clamour of opposition to the SEC proposals which puts forwards rules intended to ensure auditor independence.

Lerner insists there is no evidence that independence is compromised by non-audit activities within audit firms.

Deloitte’s UK senior partner John Connolly has made it clear resistance will be mounted against the SEC with sources at the firm saying legal action would be considered.

PwC is in the process of splitting its consulting and auditing businesses, while Ernst & Young has already sold its consulting arm to the French group Cap Gemini.

PricewaterhouseCoopers stalls split

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