The Big Four accountants could find themselves being stripped of their most lucrative audit deals every 10 years, according to tough new rules proposed by the European Union.
Internal markets commissioner Michel Barnier was finally able to welcome an agreement struck between the various branches of the EU that would force companies to change auditor once a decade.
The four firms that so dominate Europe’s audit market - KPMG, EY, Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers – have already been hit by UK Competition Commission reforms this year. These changes will force listed companies to put the audit role out to tender every 10 years, but the EU has gone further and said that the incumbent beancounter will not even be able to pitch for the role again.
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