Audit, the Big Four, and proposals for reform

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Point of view: Benefits of scale

Benefits of scale: The context and the explanation

In an increasingly complex and global market place, the demands of auditing large international companies with a diverse range of operations and locations increasingly requires their auditor to offer services that match these and in similar locations. This has resulted in the emergence of the large global accounting networks. The European Commission (EC) stated into its recent audit reform proposals that the size of the Big Four and the breadth of services they can provide are a barrier to the ability of small and mid-tier firms to develop the necessary skills and expertise to undertake the statutory audit of large, global companies and that there is a systemic risk to the market if one of the Big Four were to fail. They therefore suggested measures to address these issues – including mandatory firm rotation, substantial bans on non-audit services, and, in specific instances, the formation of ‘audit only’ firms.

We believe healthy competition is good for the marketplace. However, this should not be achieved through artificial intervention which is detrimental to audit quality.

Enhancing the quality of financial institution audits

PwC Point of View setting out alternative options to enhance the quality of the audits of financial institutions, including banks

Competition and choice in the audit market

How do artificial market interventions like mandatory auditor rotation and audit-only restrictions impact audit market competition? PwC says they increase costs and reduce efficiency.

Audit, independence, and integrity

At PwC, independence, objectivity and integrity are at the heart of everything we do. Download this PwC Point of View to learn where we stand on new safeguards and measures to maintain, or regain, public trust.

Audit, independence, regulations, and business services

At PwC, objectivity, quality and integrity are at the heart of everything we do. Download this PwC Point of View to learn where we stand on proposals to limit the scope of services that audit firms can provide.

Governance, transparency and the audit committee

At PwC, independence, objectivity and integrity are at the heart of everything we do. Download this PwC Point of View to learn where we stand on corporate governance, transparency, and the role of the audit committee.