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Big Four split on solutions to industry’s problems

Paul Hodgson | December 3, 2018

Writing in the Financial Times (FT), David Sproul, the chief executive of Deloitte in the United Kingdom and North West Europe, laid out his firm’s proposals to reform the audit industry.

There were some bombshells: “We propose banning all non-audit services to FTSE 350 and large public interest entity clients. … We have also called for market share caps for the listed market—either taken as a whole or for particular subsets of the FTSE 350.” Almost on the same day, it was revealed in a letter from Bill Michael, KPMG’s U.K. chairman, to the firm’s partners that it was suspending non-audit work to FTSE 350 audit clients right now.

“In terms of a date, we’re stopping the provision of non-audit work to FTSE 350 companies we audit immediately. There are a few tenders for work which we’ll allow to reach their natural conclusion but an absolute hard stop on everything is 1 January 2019,” a KPMG spokesperson said.

Both firms go much further than the others in...

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