In an extraordinary move, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has ordered PricewaterhouseCoopers’ London-based global head of mergers and acquisitions to move his office and home at least 500 miles away from the nearest PwC office. Unable to do so without relocating to the middle of the Atlantic or the Gobi desert, he has been forced to quit.
His ‘crime’ is to have married the sister of the financial controller of Reuters, one of PwC’s US audit clients. The SEC justifies its action as part of its crusade to stamp out conflicts of interest.
US legislators routinely pass extra-territorial legislation seeking to control individuals and companies across the globe. But the SEC’s current campaign against PwC is part of a deeply worrying trend.
As the debate over global accounting standards drags on, the worst nightmare of those who fear US domination appears to be coming true. Just before Christmas, a senior SEC official uttered a phrase many have dreaded. He told a top UK accountant: ‘We already have a set of international standards – it’s called US GAAP.’
With accounting and ethical standards set in Washington, what price a UK qualification in the 21st century?
Just one half of UK practices have implemented a pricing structure around auto enrolment implementation and advice - with many suffering increased costs
Deloitte's north-west Europe foray; BDO, Smith & Williamson investment paths; Shelley Stock Hutter; and Wilkins Kennedy discussed by editor Kevin Reed on our Friday Afternoon Live broadcast
Accountants should alter their perspective on auto-enrolment to maximise business opportunities, according to Eric Clapton.
Kevin Reed discusses whether new accountancy group Cogital can rival the Big Four...and its likely direction of travel