US firms to keep lucrative tax work
US accountancy firms will be given concessions as new rules governing the conduct of auditors are issued by the Securities & Exchange Commission today.
The SEC’s reform of corporate governance will finalise plans to strengthen the independence of audits, and place curbs on non-audit work. But a crucial paragraph relating to whether auditors can perform certain tax services has been revised under heavy pressure from the profession.
Much of the services that accountants offer audit clients have been stripped away due to fears of conflict of interest, but tax services should now survive.
The battle for lucrative tax work between top law firms and top accountancy firms has been long-running. Ernst & Young and KPMG earn more than 35% of their total fee income from tax work.