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Deloitte to discontinue non-audit services to public interest entities

FE Bureau
Non-audit services include consultancy and transaction advisory services like mergers and acquisitions among others.

Auditing major Deloitte Haskins & Sells on Sunday announced a decision to discontinue non-audit services to public interest entities that it is already auditing.

Deloitte is the third firm to do so. Earlier, Grant Thornton and Price Waterhouse India network of firms (part of PwC India), announced similar decisions.

"We believe this would increase the public's confidence in auditor independence and quality and will remove ambiguity in a public and business environment that demands greater clarity about our services," Deloitte said in a statement.

It added that the voluntary action is in the spirit of self-regulation and extends beyond non-audit services permissible under prevailing rules and regulations in India.

Non-audit services include consultancy and transaction advisory services like mergers and acquisitions among others.

These voluntary announcements have come after the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) released a list of issues that it saw as a potential threat to independence of auditors. These included personal relationship with clients, companies appointing auditors and auditors providing non-audit services, among other issues.

While there are no clear guidelines on what constitutes non-audit services and which set of companies would it apply to, the firms mentioned here have used different norms as benchmarks, including those prescribed by Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) and National Financial Regulatory Authority.