openPR Logo
Press release

Barnier proposals: shareholder views should be heard

A live discussion held between EGIAN chair Andrew Brown and Russell Bedford International chairman Geoff Goodyear has yielded some insights into the current status of the Barnier proposals on audit reform.

Speaking at a press conference held at the Russell Bedford International Tax & European Conference, Copenhagen on 14 May 2012, Brown was clear that market forces alone are unlikely to effect any greater degree of genuine market access for the mid-tier audit firms. Big Four market dominance will increase exponentially over the next decade, he claims, and only regulatory intervention is likely to deliver any greater access for the mid-tier at the top end of the listed markets. Would this situation, he asked, be tolerated in any other sector? ‘If we make no changes now, where will we be in 10 or 20 years? The gap will get wider and wider.’ This is a view echoed by Goodyear, who expressed some frustration at shareholders’ apparently limited awareness of the harm he believes is being caused by the current status quo: ‘The market is stagnant … shareholders really don’t understand how they are being short-changed.’

Brown anticipates no major developments before next year, however. While he suggests the European Parliament is keen to publish its conclusions after the UK’s Competition Commission, this is unlikely to happen before October next year.

Joint audit: EGIAN hopeful of a return to the agenda?

Responding to a question on potential revisions to the Barnier proposals, Brown gave a strong indication that, as far as EGIAN is concerned, joint audits could well return to the agenda. Many MEPs, he argued, are increasingly conscious that ‘something has to be done’; and many are looking to joint audits as part of a package of achieving greater market access. ‘There is a growing realisation that there are issues to be addressed in the audit market. And that’s a big change from two years ago.’

EGIAN, as is well known, sees joint audits as a possible mechanism for achieving better market access; Goodyear, however sees rotation and compulsory tendering as more immediate solutions, pointing to the Big Four’s far lesser dominance in the public sector – the direct result, he believes, of strict tendering requirements.

Shareholder (and client) views should enter the debate

Returning to a point he had raised repeatedly on the publication of the Barnier proposals, Geoff Goodyear again expressed frustration that debate on audit reform remains confined mainly to the profession, with shareholders apparently unaware of the real implications of current limitations on choice. This position Brown suggests is now changing: ‘What the Barnier proposals have done is to create a ferocious debate on the current position of the audit market. Views have changed; people previously not involved in the debate now realise there are issues to be tackled.’

Why don't the mid-tier firms invest and expand?

Responding to a question on the likelihood of further market concentration, Brown was quick to point out that such risks are further exacerbated at the bottom of the market. Experience in Scotland, he claimed, suggests there is a greater risk that the smallest firms will simply withdraw from the audit market altogether. According to Brown, for some at least, ‘it’s simply too expensive to stay in. Scotland now has some cities with no audit capacity at all.’ Big Four market dominance, moreover, has a further impact in discouraging investment by the mid-tier. ‘Why invest in a market where there is no market? No one is going to invest in a market where you have to wait 50 years for a chance to bid … if you don’t have a vibrant market, you don’t have innovation.’


A recording of the online broadcast of the press conference can be viewed at .

Notes for Editors

About Russell Bedford International

Established in 1983, Russell Bedford International is a global network of independent firms of accountants, auditors, tax advisers and business consultants.
Ranked amongst the world’s leading accounting and audit networks, Russell Bedford is represented by some 460 partners, 5000 staff and 200 offices in more than 80 countries in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific.

Russell Bedford International is a member of EGIAN, the European Group of International Accounting Networks and Associations.


The European Group of International Accounting Networks and Associations is an association whose membership is made up of 22 truly global organisations which offer audit, accounting and business advisory services. The combined turnover of the members is US$ 32 billion.

EGIAN provides a forum for the members to develop common positions on specific technical and legislative issues and to debate these issues with key professional stakeholders and regulators such as the European Commission, the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR), the Federation of European Accountants (FEE) and the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC).


Kempton Bedell-Harper
Russell Bedford International
Tel.: +44 20 7410 0339 /
+44 20 7410 0339 / 7490 7766 (UK)
+33 1 58 36 50 00 (France)
Mobile: +44 7905 870768 (UK) /
+33 6 32 29 94 41 (France)

Andrew Brown
European Group of International Accounting Networks and Associations
Tel.: +32 2 763 28 73

This release was published on openPR.

Permanent link to this press release:

Please set a link in the press area of your homepage to this press release on openPR. openPR disclaims liability for any content contained in this release.

You can edit or delete your press release Barnier proposals: shareholder views should be heard here

News-ID: 221767 • Views: 1688

More Releases from Russell Bedford International

Russell Bedford accueille AM&A comme membre à Marseille
L’ajout de bureaux dans la région PACA donne un énorme coup de pouce à la présence française de Russell Bedford tout en consolidant davantage la région EMEA du réseau. Russell Bedford International, le réseau mondial de cabinets de conseil, a annoncé la nomination d’Amirault Mallen & Associés (AM&A) en tant que cabinet membre à Marseille et dans la région Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (PACA), en France. Le cabinet rejoint les membres existants du
Russell Bedford appoints leading CPA firm in South Korea
Global professional services network, Russell Bedford International, has announced the appointment of Samhwa Accounting Corporation, leaving Moore Global to become Russell Bedford’s new member firm in South Korea. Established in Seoul in 1997, Samhwa Accounting Corporation expanded via mergers with Cheil Accounting Corporation in 2012 and Daegwang Accounting Corporation in 2013. The firm is now one of the largest firms of accountants and auditors in South Korea. Registered with the Financial
Russell Bedford supports World Bank Doing Business for 11th consecutive year
Professional services network Russell Bedford International has, for the 11th consecutive year, assisted the World Bank in researching its annual Doing Business project, contributing data on tax regulation, recent reforms, and the real costs of tax compliance worldwide. The report, Doing Business 2020 (which can be downloaded HERE), which over 40 Russell Bedford firms contributed to, shows that governments worldwide are motivated to undertake business reforms with the goal of
World Bank 2018 Doing Business report cites India as the world's most improved b …
Russell Bedford International member firm the Sharp & Tannan Group has again assisted the World Bank in researching its annual Doing Business project. This year’s report, Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs, reveals India to be this year’s best performer, up 30 places in the overall Ease of Doing Business rankings (reaching the top 100 for the first time) and up 53 places in the report’s Paying Taxes survey. Published

All 4 Releases

More Releases for Europe

Strategy Consulting Market 2025 | Analysis By Top Key Players: Booz & Co. , Rola …
Global Strategy Consulting Market 2019-2025, has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. This report covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors operating in this market. The key players covered in this study McKinsey , The Boston Consulting Group , Bain & Company , Booz & Co. , Roland Berger Europe
Influenza Vaccination Market Global Forecast 2018-25 Estimated with Top Key Play …
UpMarketResearch published an exclusive report on “Influenza Vaccination market” delivering key insights and providing a competitive advantage to clients through a detailed report. The report contains 115 pages which highly exhibits on current market analysis scenario, upcoming as well as future opportunities, revenue growth, pricing and profitability. This report focuses on the Influenza Vaccination market, especially in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, South America, Middle East and Africa. This
Global Strategy Consulting Market Research Report 2018-2025 | Global Key Player …
An up-to-date research report has been disclosed by Market Research Hub highlighting the title “Global Strategy Consulting Market Size, Status and Forecast 2018-2025” which provides an outlook for current market value as well as the expected growth of Strategy Consulting during 2018-2025. The report studies the casing heads market worldwide, especially in North America, China, Europe, Southeast Asia, Japan and India, with production, size, growth, revenue, consumption, import and export
Strategy Consulting Market Deep Insights with Core Business Strategies 2018 - Ro …
Strategy Consulting Market report provides a vital recent industry data which covers in general market situation along with future scenario for industry around the Globe. It also consist of major data along with forecasts of a global market along with clear presentation of diagrams (charts and tables). Global strategy consulting market size status and forecast 2025 has a vast collection of market research reports concerning the software industry, its sub-sectors, and
Wearable Heart Monitoring Devices Market 2018 To 2023 – Top Leaders Beurer Gmb …
The Worldwide Wearable Heart Monitoring Devices Market is growing at a healthy rate. The major players in this market are Medtronic (U.S.), Kinetec Products UK Ltd. (South America), Beurer GmbH (Europe), Medisana AG (Europe), Briggs Healthcare (U.S.), Polar Electro (Europe), SUUNTO (Europe), Koninklijke Philips N.V. (Europe), Garmin Ltd. (Europe) and others. The Wolrdwide Wearable Heart Monitoring devices is segmented on the basis of products, type, application, and end users. On
Surgical Equipment Market 2018 Leading Manufacturer in Europe, the Middle East & …
The Europe, the Middle East & Africa Surgical Equipment Market is expected to grow at an approximate CAGR of 6.7% during the forecast period. A surgical equipment is a designed tool or device to carry out various surgical procedures so as to modifying biological tissues and to provide access for viewing them. The surgical equipment can be designed specifically for a particular surgery or it can be used as general purpose