The audit market is being accused of lacking competition, but there is a case for reforming ownership rules.
Every few years significant concerns are expressed about the market for external audit services, which is dominated by the Big Four firms. Typically, these concerns are triggered by a corporate collapse (most recently, Carillion) which prompts questions like “where were the auditors?”
These individual cases are regrettable, and have led to more demanding corporate governance codes, more extensive disclosures by companies and more prescriptive regulation of auditors—but cases continue to occur.
However, the most imp
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