PwC’s Booz Deal Raises Specter of Auditing Conflicts

Deal puts focus on audit firms’ push into consulting work.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s acquisition of consulting firm Booz & Co., completed this week, has U.S. regulators eyeing the potential for conflicts of interest in the auditing industry -- again.

The deal, one of the biggest by a major accounting firm in recent years, has focused new light on an aggressive push by the industry into more lucrative consulting work. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the oversight board for auditors are taking note, pledging to step up their scrutiny to prevent any impact on independent audits.

$32.1 Billion

PwC reported $32.1 billion in revenue last year. Less than half of that came from its assurance arm, which includes the auditing business. The firm didn’t disclose the terms of the Booz deal.

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