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KPMG chair says Big Four have a public interest commitment to audits

KPMG chair says Big Four have a public interest commitment to audits

The chairman of KPMG has weighed in on the future of the mature audit business by claiming that the UK's largest auditors have a public interest commitment to retain them.

In the face of more lucrative growth prospects and changing industry demands and regulations, Simon Collins, KPMG's UK chairman, told the Financial Times he felt the profession "can't afford" to reduce client choice.

Growth areas

Speaking specifically about the large-listed audit market, Collins' comments revolve around the way the Big Four have been rebuilding their consultancy arms.

With stagnating growth in traditional audit work, acquisitions have been made in consultancy. Management Consultancies Association (MCA) members reported an increase of 8.4% in fees during the last year, representing a figure of £5.2bn.

Overall, the Big Four's consultancies grew by 10.75%.

Increased figures

According to the latest research from Accountancy Age in their 'Top 50+50' supported by Wolter Kluwer, KPMG's consultancy arm grew by 12.8% in the last financial year to £598m. Meanwhile, audit grew by 2.9% to £495m, meaning that the firm makes more in fees for the former than for more traditional work on client accounts.

Deloitte has mirrored KPMG with its recent announcement that its UK consulting income grew by 10.5% to £687m for the year ending 31 May 2015, while audit revenue increased to £708m - a rise of 0.3%.

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