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Deloitte to stop offering non-audit services to public interest entities

KR Srivats New Delhi | Updated on February 16, 2020 Published on February 16, 2020

It is expected to increase public’s confidence in auditor independence, quality

Deloitte Haskins & Sells and its network firms in India, part of the Big4 audit firms, will no longer offer non-audit services to public interest entities that they audit under the laws and regulations here.

Simply put, public interest entities would cover all listed entities and all entities where public money is involved such as banks and insurance companies.

“We believe this would increase the public’s confidence in auditor independence and quality and will remove ambiguity in a public and business environment that demands greater clarity about our services,” a Deloitte spokesperson said.

This voluntary action is in the spirit of self-regulation and extends beyond non-audit services permissible under prevailing rules and regulations.

Deloitte Haskins & Sells remains committed to support initiatives which enhance the quality of financial reporting in India, the spokesperson said.

MCA and Big 4

Deloitte’s move comes on the heels of the Corporate Affairs Ministry move to float a consultation paper on enhancing audit independence and accountability. The 20-page consultation paper had sought comments from government departments and regulatory agencies among others — by February 28 — on wide ranging issues affecting audit independence including a proposal to prohibit audit firms from providing non-audit services to their clients and how to address the oligopoly of “Big 4” audit firms (economic concentration of audit) and making new audit regulator NFRA prepare a separate panel of auditors for appointment as auditors of listed entities. Deloitte move also comes just a few days after Price Waterhouse Network of firms in India, also part of ‘Big4’, said that they would no longer provide non audit services to their audit clients in India which are governed by National Financial Reporting Authority.

Published on February 16, 2020
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