First it was the Big 3, Andersen, Deloitte, and KPMG up against the Securities & Exchange Commission regarding the auditor independence guidelines the SEC is hoping to enforce. Then Ernst & Young jumped in with the others, claiming the SEC’s proposal would make it impossible for audit firms to enter into strategic alliance or joint ventures, even with non-audit clients.
That left PricewaterhouseCoopers as the only hold out, sticking up for the SEC and supporting the change in guidelines. Now it looks like the group is a team again. PwC, in a letter sent to its clients, claims the proposed plan to limit services performed by audit firms "goes too far."
PwC chief executive, James J. Schiro, argues that the SEC proposed guidelines will stifle the profession and harm the ability of accounting firms to serve the needs of their clients. Previously the firm had indicated support for the SEC guidelines. PwC will join others in presenting arguments at the SEC public hearings scheduled in September.