U.K. regulator criticizes Big 4 auditors for ethical shortcomings

The world's four largest auditing firms must take steps to eliminate conflicts of interest, use of inaccurate and misleading data, and unethical practices, said the U.K. Financial Reporting Council's Professional Oversight Board. Files on candidates for promotion to partner contain "inappropriate references of selling non-audit services to their audit clients," according to a report from the board. The panel criticized a salesmanlike culture in which nonaudit revenue results in a lack of "professional scepticism in relation to key audit judgements."

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