LONDON (Reuters) – PwC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY should ring fence auditing as a separate business by June 2024 to improve the quality of auditing, Britain’s accounting watchdog said on Monday.
Corporate failures at builder Carillion and retailer BHS led to three government-backed reviews that recommended a shake-up of auditing, but the government has yet to introduce legislation to mandate change, partly due to Brexit and more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Financial Reporting Council had already begun seeking voluntary changes to help speed up reform, and said on Monday it was asking the “Big Four” firms to agree to operational separation based on a set of principles it has already discussed with them.
An implementation plan should be submitted to the FRC by October 23 for implementation by June 30, 2024 at the latest, the regulator said.
(Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Jason Neely)