Barnier moves forward with his assault on Big Four accountants

THE BIG four accountancy firms will face compulsory rotation every six years and will be barred from offering non-audit services to audit clients, under proposals being brought forward today by EU markets chief Michel Barnier.

But Barnier has stopped short of proposing joint auditing for all major companies after opposition from the Big Four firms and some member states, such as Belgium, who said they had a negative experience when the principle was introduced into their markets.

Barnier’s Green Paper has been delayed by a week, while he has negotiated last minute changes, especially on the need for joint audits.

The proposals still have to be agreed with member states and be passed by the European Parliament.