David Jetuah, Accountancy Age, Tuesday 19 October 2010 at 09:27:00

Dermot Mathias, policy board chairman at UK's sixth largest firm says BigFour's control of the audit market is "unhealthy"

One of BDO's most senior figures has branded the dominance of the Big Four inauditing Europe's biggest companies as "unhealthy".

Dermot Mathias, policy board chairman at the UK's sixth largest firm, flaggedup the conflicts of interest that can often arise because of the range ofprofessional services offered by accountancy giants.

The Big Four's control of the audit market meant that potential clients wouldonly have one or two firms to choose from when conflicts came up, Mathias said.

"Having four big players is unhealthy,"Mathiastold City AM.

He admitted it was in his interest to question the Big Four's dominance, butthere were "others in the [audit] market who say this also".

Mathias also backed the idea of having regulators select the auditors for bigcompanies and also putting a cap on the amount of audits the Big Four canhandle.

He also said BDO was now ready to take on bigger and more complex audits.

Further reading:

BDOelects senior partner