UK - Auditors should consider differential pricing for audits of high-risk companies and pension scheme clients, PricewaterhouseCoopers claims.
The accountancy giant said that while it had no immediate plans to introduce a differential pricing system, auditors have to readdress the risk-reward balance of their business and assess the “sustainable economic model” for the future.
PricewaterhouseCoopers UK head of assurance and business Rodger Hughes confirmed that while pension scheme accounts posed less risk than company accounts, differential pricing should be considered for them too.
He said: “As with insurance, different clients present different levels of inherent risk and, logically, fees should reflect those differences.”
In an internal survey of 193 listed-company audits conducted by PwC partners, the company revealed 84% of these had errors in the accounts.
Hughes said PwC should be held to account when it falls short of the industry’s high-standards, but stressed it was unfair that auditors should “carry the can” for everyone else.
But Hughes conceded that current practices could only change if the whole industry was behind the move.
“In any business, you can only charge what the market is prepared to pay. We cannot simply impose changes, only encourage the market to move in a particular direction.”
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