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Big Four reform: Governance revamped amidst missteps and scandals.

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Key Points:

  • Big Four accounting firms are reevaluating their corporate governance practices.
  • Recent missteps and scandals have brought scrutiny to the firms’ operations.

The Big Four accounting firms – Deloitte, PwC, EY, and KPMG – are in the process of rethinking their corporate governance practices following a year of mis-steps and scandals. These firms have faced significant scrutiny over the past year, with various high-profile cases raising questions about their objectivity, independence, and ethical standards. Now, the firms are facing increased pressure to address these issues and restore public trust in their services.

One of the main issues that has come to light is the close relationship between the auditors and their clients. Critics argue that this close relationship compromises the independence and objectivity of the auditors, leading to potential conflicts of interest. In response, the firms are exploring ways to enhance their independence, such as establishing separate audit practices and limiting non-audit services provided to clients.

Another area of concern is the lack of diversity within the firms’ leadership. The Big Four firms have historically been dominated by white men in top positions, leading to a lack of representation and diversity of thought. The firms are now working to address this issue by implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives and setting targets for increasing the representation of women and minorities in leadership roles.

Additionally, the firms are reevaluating their risk management processes and procedures. Several high-profile cases, such as the collapse of Carillion, have highlighted weaknesses in the firms’ risk assessment and management practices. As a result, the firms are implementing new risk management frameworks and enhancing their internal controls to prevent similar failures in the future.

The recent scandals and missteps have also prompted regulators to take a closer look at the Big Four firms. In the UK, for example, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) has proposed new rules to increase the accountability and transparency of auditors. These rules include mandatory rotation of audit firms and increased reporting requirements. The aim is to improve the quality and reliability of audit services and restore public confidence in the profession.

In conclusion, the Big Four accounting firms are facing a crucial period of reflection and reform. The recent scandals and missteps have exposed significant weaknesses in their corporate governance practices, leading to calls for increased transparency, independence, and diversity. The firms must now take decisive action to address these issues and restore trust in their services.


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