Commenting on the report by the Work and Pensions and BEIS Committees on the collapse of Carillion, Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner at PwC, said:
“We recognise the report’s aim to understand the lessons from Carillion, including the roles played by management, regulators, auditors and advisers. At PwC we take our responsibilities extremely seriously and adhere to professional standards, ethical codes and regulatory guidance.
“As acknowledged in the report, the Official Receiver applied to the Court ‘to appoint PwC to resource a liquidation of exceptional size and complexity as quickly and effectively as possible’. Since then our priority has been to keep public services, such as the maintenance of prisons, hospitals, roads and schools, running safely across the country - minimising the disruption caused by the collapse - while saving thousands of jobs.
“In terms of the audit profession, competition in the large company audit market is fierce, however, we would welcome more players to boost choice. Recent audit reforms have had a positive impact on audit quality, driven innovation and strengthened the position of audit committees, but are not increasing choice. This is a market issue, driven by the complexity of large international businesses which require significant size, scale and expertise in their auditor. Currently, it appears the level of investment required and risk and regulatory scrutiny involved has not made it an attractive enough proposition for other players.”
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