A root and branch overhaul of audit is required to bring assurance in financial statements, according to BDO.
The firm will argue to a Lords committee on Tuesday afternoon that audits for small businesses and company subsidiaries should be scrapped, while regulators should encourage investors and non-executives to consider hiring auditors outside of the Big Four.
The Lords Economic Affairs Committee will hear from BDO, Grant Thornton, Mazars and RSM Tenon for their views on audit market concentration.
BDO audit partner James Roberts pooh-poohed earlier reports that had suggested the firm would encourage government intervention to force auditor rotation. Instead the firm would prefer investors and company non-executives to be persuaded to consider auditor options outside the Big Four firms.
This could be achieved through regulation that requires transparency in the process of choosing an auditor, and audit committees showing that options outside the Big Four have been evaluated and considered.
“We don’t like the idea of government-style [audit] appointments,” said Roberts, “but audit committees directed to consider other firms.”
“The oligopoly is unhelpful. We hear general rumblings [from investors]. We have to get over the institutional prejudice.”
Only the largest banks, financial services firms and oil giants were currently out of reach of BDO’s ability to audit among the UK’s top companies, said Roberts.
Two new audit partners have been appointed at the firm BDO in its audit practice following continued growth and investment
Investment in people, tech and businesses impacts on EY's profit per partner figure
If businesses do not take cyber security seriously in their business planning regulators may do it for them, the ICAEW has warned
Dr Richard Willis provides a several thousand-year history lesson of the profession, from origin to modern-day