SEC chairman Arthur Levitt was due to announce his ruling yesterday.
And legal appeals aside – and the paralysis caused by the farcical presidential election perhaps makes that more of a probability than a possibility – the Big Five can now be more sure of their destiny than at any time over the past 12 months.
But while the impact of the ruling will be just as shuddering this side of the Atlantic, one party has been curiously quiet.
Nowadays it is accepted practice that when one state attempts to affect business in another, the matter usually ends up the subject of much posturing, name calling and, if you are the US Trade Department, with the imposition of all manner of embargoes. Don’t forget the Banana Wars.
Throughout this debate, however, the British government has stayed mute, even though the futures of British firms are at stake at home and abroad.
Levitt has raised an important question of independence. In today’s climate perception matters as much as reality. There may be no proven example of an audit being prejudiced by consulting work but the question has to be asked whether they need to be ‘seen’ as independent.
This is a crucial debate and hopefully one with a sensible, balanced outcome. But it is in no one’s interests that one of the key players has been missing.
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