View more on these topics

ICSA joins debate over Big Four dominance of audit market

The Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators has entered the debate regarding the dominance of the Big Four accounting firms in the UK audit market as it voices support for a wider availability of choice.

In response to a discussion paper issued by the Financial Reporting Council entitled Choice in the UK Audit Market, the ICSA has stated the emphasis should be about ensuring that a wide enough net of services is available to prevent a cartel being allowed to form.

The Big Four PwC, KPMG, Deloitte and Ernst & Young currently audit 97 percent of the FTSE 250 and all but one of the companies in the FTSE 100.

The ICSA says in order to encourage more competition in the audit market, it is recommending that the FRC pushes smaller firms to enhance their services.

It also recommends that a second tier of firms acting as joint auditors or forming liability partnerships to provide an alternative to those companies seeking a wider range of audit services.

Whilst non-executive directors are understandably cautious, tending towards the larger firms with the higher profile reputations, the ICSA suggests that audit committee chairmen and finance directors need to be made more aware of what the smaller firms have to offer.

An ICSA spokesperson says: “In the event that one of the Big Four firms collapses, the FRC should consider laying emergency plans. This would involve the Big Four signing a Memorandum of Understanding that they would hold back on recruiting the staff and clients to prevent a monopoly on their acquisition. Provided they had been encouraged by the FRC, we believe that the second tier of firms would be in a good position to take on the staff and clients of the collapsed partner.”


Hot property is cooling

Property as has had many attractions as an asset class – low volatility, a lack of correlation to equity markets and the ability to provide a solid, reliable stream of income.
The past three years have seen another reason to invest in property – capital growth.

Release service sets up training centre

The Equity Release Advisory Service franchise is to be rebranded Equity Advice and is launching a training centre for brokers looking to enter the market. The “centre of excellence”, to open in September, aims to provide brokers with education on the market and allow them to sit an exam. The launch comes in the same […]

Commission can pay the customer

I get a little exasperated with all the evangelism concerning commission. If those who seek to change things thought about it a little more, they might realise that: If insurance companies are daft enough to pay these huge sums, why not take them? In the case of life cover, no one says you have to […]

Too good to be true

The English language is full of wonderful sayings such as never look a gift horse in the mouth. A free gift from the Revenue that we should quietly accept was exactly what the pension industry appeared to get in the shape of scheme pensions.

Neptune India: three stocks we’re buying & the one we’re not

By Kunal Desai, Head of Indian Equities The Neptune India Fund’s investment process serves as a key differentiating feature of the portfolio versus its peers, contributing to its significant outperformance under Manager Kunal Desai’s tenure. Focusing on industry disruption, accounting quality, liquidity and corporate governance, Kunal sets out three stocks that he’s buying in the […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm