PracticeAuditPwC chief calls on Cable to clarify audit intentions

PwC chief calls on Cable to clarify audit intentions

Business secretary under pressure to reveal what the plan is for audit

Ian Powell, UK chairman of PwC

PwC’s UK chief has called on business secretary Vince Cable to explain his
intentions for audit and financial reporting.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Ian Powell is quoted saying the
firm would like to work with Cable on future plans and “talk through” some of
the issues.

Powell adds that “we need to know what the ground rules are, if you like,
around audit reporting and his aspirations for the future.”

Cable was reported during the General Election campaign saying he had asked
the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to examine the Big Four firms and the role of
Magic Circle law firms.

Since becoming business secretary and part of the coalition government Cable
has been silent on the issue but the profession has been waiting for some
additional indication of what will happen. In previous comments Cable has
indicated his belief that there is not enough competition at the top end of
audit.

Members of the largest firms outside the Big Four have signaled their welcome
for Cable’s interest in the competition issue.

Last week the Financial Reporting Council reported that efforts to improve
audit choice, or open up large public company audits to firms outside the Big
Four have so far failed. A report from the FRC said the watchdog would now spend
the next six months considering whether a fresh set of measures was needed.

FRC chief Stephen Haddrill has indicated in past interviews that his interest
was not necessarily in expanding choice, but that may change with Cable at the
head of the business department.

Read more:

Cable
cabinet role fuels audit debate

Measures
to open up audit market have so far failed

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