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PCAOB Unlikley To Draft New Rules For Tax Auditors In Near Term

by Mike Godfrey, Tax-News.com, Washington

22 December 2003


Consideration of a new rule to limit accounting firms in offering tax services to their audit clients is not a high priority for the US accounting industry regulator, its chairman told the Financial Times last week.

According to William McDonough, head of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the initial inspections of the so-called ‘big four’ accountants in the US (Ernst & Young, Deloitte & Touche, KPMG and PwC) commenced in September and recently concluded found that there appears to be a changing culture within the industry.

"There is obviously a self-policing aspect of it that makes us not think that the single most important thing we have to do this week is come up with a new edict on tax," McDonough told the FT.

"Everything I am hearing so far is that the word is getting out that a different behaviour is needed," he added.

As for the need for tougher rules on audit firms: "I do not believe it is a high priority for the board - coming up with a new stated board view on it," McDonough said.

More comprehensive inspections of the big four firms are due to commence in May next year.


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