UK watchdog to boost competition in accounting

LONDON, July 22 Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:14am EDT

LONDON, July 22 (Reuters) - Britain's top companies will have to put their book-keeping work out to tender every five years to increase choice and ensure audit quality, the country's competition watchdog said.

The Competition Commission set out on Monday the changes it plans to introduce in a "sticky" accounting market dominated by the Big Four: Deloitte, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young.

The watchdog said companies could defer putting out their accounting work to tender by a further two years in exceptional circumstances.

The watchdog said it has decided against forcing companies to switch auditor on a regular basis but will give the accounting sector's regulator, the Financial Reporting Council, powers to boost competition.

The Competition Commission will put out its plans to public consultation before issuing final changes to the market later this year.

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