There may be calls for accounting firms to divest from consulting work to solve conflict-of-interest issues, but corporate governance expert Professor Mervyn King thinks that is not the best scenario for the sector. The calls come after a string of international accounting scandals involving groups such as Steinhoff. Fingers have been pointed at auditing firms for not detecting alleged fraud. King, a Unisa professor extraordinaire and former Supreme Court of Appeal judge, is known for his King codes, the benchmark for corporate governance in SA. Commenting on the concentrated nature of the auditing industry, King said that without the big four - EY, KPMG, PwC and Deloitte, which he refers to as the "final four" as it is unlikely any other accounting firms will reach their size and scale - it would be difficult for multinationals to operate. "We know the world is physically round but factually it's flat, borderless and electronic ... you have multinational enterprises operating in ma...

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