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Dutch to act as catalyst for EC auditor rotation changes

Netherlands reform to introduce mandatory auditor rotation could be catalyst for EC to introduce Europe-wide proposals

16 Apr 2012 Accountancy Age

By Rachael Singh

European commission

DUTCH COMPANIES may be forced to rotate their auditor every eight years under reforms currently making their way through parliament. The changes come ahead of incoming European Commission proposals to change audit rules.

The EC proposed a series of audit regulation changes last year, including rotating its auditor every six years, which is currently under consultation in Brussels' parliament.

A reform from the Netherlands would back the EC's case with Baker Tilly International CEO Geoff Barnes claiming the latest announcement could act as a "catalyst".

The Dutch move to mandate auditor rotation every eight years would affect companies such as Unilever and Reed Elsevier, The Financial Times reports.

Netherlands MPs voted for the proposals which included limiting advisory work an audit firm can undertake.

The auditing profession is currently awaiting the outcome of a Netherlands upper chamber, the Senate, decision to endorse the changes.

The EC proposal recommends companies change auditor every six years, unless they opt for joint audits which would allow them to keep the same firm for up to nine years.

However, Brussels has faced resistance from the Big Four with KPMG co-chairman John Griffith-Jones claiming the EU risks "sleep-walking" into damaging changes.

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