National Grid FD says Big Four will do

Steve Lucas, group FD of FTSE 100 giant National Grid, is satisfied that the
leading four accounting firms offer his company enough choice for audit and
other accounting services.

In an interview featured in this week’s Accountancy Age, the FD of
the £19bn utility group said the four giant firms were more than capable of
providing the UK’s largest companies with the services required. ‘Four firms are
OK. I get enough diversity of opportunities whenever I am out there shopping for
services from the four,’ he said.

Lucas’ comments offer a different slant on the view that at least one more
giant audit firm is required to offer the top end of the market the choice it

The Oxera report, commissioned by the Department of Trade and Industry and
the Financial Reporting Council, found that more choice was needed in the

However, the National Grid finance head added that any less than four firms
would make it difficult for the FTSE 100 market to buy the services needed.
‘Four is the bare minimum. If it became three, I think there would be problems,’
Lucas said.

Lucas also voiced his support of Sarbanes-Oxley regulations, which many other
FDs have complained about. ‘Sarbanes-Oxley has helped us improve the business.
It has been worthwhile,’ Lucas said.

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