PracticeAccounting FirmsBig Five should face anti-trust probe

Big Five should face anti-trust probe

The Big Five are ripe for an anti-trust investigation to break their stranglehold on corporate accounting and auditing, according to a London-based economic think-tank.

Arguing there is a strong case for an enforced separation between audit and consultancy services, the New Economics Foundation has called for a new vision for corporate accountability and the auditing profession in the wake of the Enron scandal.

The NEF report, ‘Five Brothers; the rise and nemesis of the big bean counters’, said: ‘A light spin on a low temperature will not wash out the stains from events like the Enron scandal.’

The report called for auditors to be rotated every three years and for there to be a three year ‘cooling off’ period before an auditor could become a director of a former audit client.

The NEF also demanded a mandatory split between auditors and their management consultancy services.

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