Accountancy giants hit back over auditing 'dominance'

The Big Four accountants have heavily criticised the Competition Commission following the regulator's call for tough measures to open a market that sees KPMG, Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young run the books of more than 95 per cent of the Ftse 350.

In responses just published on the commission's website, PwC argued that the Commission had been "over-selective" in its evidence, adding mandatory rotation removed "the shareholder's right to choose the best provider of the service". Deloitte said the inquiry had failed to get to grip more fully with changes already happening in the market.

However, Grant Thornton, one of the mid-tier firms looking to gatecrash the upper-echelons of the audit industry, said in its response hearing that the Commission had proposed "a thoughtful, measured and balanced package" of reforms.

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